Car accidents can put your life at risk and leave you in a bad financial position. Not only are car accidents expensive, but they can cause you to be temporarily or permanently disabled. When you get into a debilitating motor vehicle accident, you suffer more than just property damage. You can be stuck with immense emotional pain and also struggle with severe injuries that take time to heal. Not only are car accident injuries difficult to manage, but they can be expensive. Because you are wounded, it can be challenging to hold a full-time job and complete work-related tasks. Medical bills and lost wages can financially upend you for months or years.
You can reach out to a Glendale car accident lawyer who can help you obtain a settlement because your damages deserve compensation. They can speak to the other parties about paying for your losses.
If you were in an unfortunate car wreckage, you should seek advice. Once you speak to an attorney in Glendale, you will get clarity on how to obtain a settlement. Contact Wattel & York today for a free consultation.
How Can An Auto Accident Occur?
Auto accidents are a frequent occurrence and can happen for a number of reasons. The most common ways include the following:
Careless drivers can drive if they had too many drinks. Driving with a BAC over 0.08% is illegal, but many drivers still take the risk of getting behind the wheel while inebriated. Alcohol impairs cognitive processes, makes it difficult for drivers to see, and also slows their ability to react to emergency situations.
Ignoring Traffic Signals
Some drivers ignore traffic devices by running red lights to get ahead, not yielding, not stopping at stop signs, and turning when the pedestrian light is on, which are all traffic violations.
A speeding car can take longer to slow down, and the impact of the crash is much more intense at faster speeds. Unfortunately, many drivers speed, and are unable to respond in time to obstacles on the road and unexpected traffic changes.
Drivers that don’t pay attention to the road put lives in danger. Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds significantly increases your chance of getting into a car crash. Distracted driving often involves texting, talking on the phone, engaging with passengers. changing the radio station, adjusting the temperature, or eating while driving.
Drowsy driving can also put others’ lives in danger. Drivers that are fatigued could doze off, making them completely unaware of what is going on. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous, which is why it is better not to drive at all if you’re feeling sleepy. Sometimes prescription medicine can make drivers drowsy, which is why on the there is usually a warning label to avoid driving after taking the medicine.
Road rage is an example of aggressive driving and is often triggered by an angry or impatient driver. Aggressive driving can be expressed as brake checking, tailgating, swerving, cutting other drivers off, weaving through traffic, and more. Blocking other drivers, driving in the shoulder lanes, and other erratic behavior is common in aggressive drivers.
Not all car crashes are the driver’s fault. Sometimes a defect can cause an accident. Manufacturers’ defects happen when there is a flaw in the vehicle’s equipment. For example, there may be an issue with the brakes, steering, engine, or other important components of the vehicle.
Car drivers can make an improper turn by mistake and cause an accident. Improper left turns happen when a driver turns left but the opposing lane isn’t clear. Sometimes this happens when a driver doesn’t notice a smaller vehicle in oncoming traffic. They can also make an improper right turn and not yield to another driver that has right of way.
Driving The Wrong Way
Drivers can get into a bad accident on one-way streets in larger cities or in areas that the driver is unfamiliar with. Wrong-way driving can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents, such as head-on collisions.
Evidence in A Car Accident Claim
An experienced car accident lawyer will do their best to prove your case using all available evidence.
One of the most important forms of proof is photographic evidence. The images from your car crash can show the extent of the collision was and who may have been at fault. Photographic evidence shows the damage done to your vehicle and the positioning of the vehicles. Tire marks on the road, debris, and the trajectory of the vehicles involved are all useful evidence.
When catastrophic car accidents happen, there might be onlookers. If anyone saw the car accident, you can use their testimony to support your car accident claim. Your personal injury attorney can reach out to the eyewitness at a later date to get a testimony from them.
Sometimes, your attorney has to subpoena the other party to find out additional information. The proof discovered through a subpoena can make your case more favorable. For example, your attorney may subpoena a driver’s cellphone company to find out if they were texting while driving. Your attorney can then review their cellphone usage history to see the exact times texts were sent and if they matched the time of your car accident.
When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they may request a breathalyzer or lab test if they suspect the driver is inebriated. Once administered, your attorney can later obtain the test results. The information can be useful in your car accident claim if the other driver was intoxicated.
Car Black Box
Many modern vehicles have a black box that stores electronic data. This information helps mechanics understand how your car is performing. It also records information that can be useful for a car crash. For example, the speed that the vehicle was going at the time of the accident and whether the driver braked or not is recorded in the black box data.
Police reports are an official unbiased record of how the car accident occurred. They may have also issued a citation. Based on the type of traffic infraction, this can be tied into your car accident claim.
Attorneys can use surveillance camera footage to show what happened before and during the accident. If the at-fault driver was being aggressive, speeding, and performing other traffic violations, it will be on camera. Your lawyer can review the footage and analyze how the car accident occurred.
The driving history of the at-fault driver can be very telling. If the other driver has a history of DUIs, citations, and a variety of other behavioral patterns, this can be used as evidence that they caused your car crash as well.
Glendale Car Accident FAQs
You probably have a lot of questions for your Glendale lawyer. Common questions are addressed below:
How long do you have to make a claim after a car accident?
In the state of Arizona, you should file your claim within two years after the date of your car accident according to the state’s statute of limitations.
Can my case’s statute of limitations be extended?
Sometimes your statute of limitations can be extended beyond the 2-year limit. This applies to minors who were injured in a car accident and victims who were traveling and unable to seek legal representation until they returned home. Other unique circumstances can allow you to extend the two year time limit.
Can a car accident cause PTSD?
Car accidents can put you in a life-threatening situation and cause you to feel powerless. This can be stressful emotionally, which is why car accidents can cause PTSD. The pain that you endure because of your car accident wounds and the emotional turmoil you feel can cause deep psychological wounds for several years.
Is Arizona a no-fault state?
Arizona is an at-fault state. At-fault states award the person not responsible for causing the car accident, meaning the liable party must provide a settlement.
How long do you have to report a car accident in Arizona?
Not all car accidents get reported in Arizona, but if they are severe and cause a certain amount of damage, you need to report it within a specific time frame. If there is injury, death, or property or vehicle damage that is over $1,000, you need to report the car accident. You need to report the car crash immediately or within 24 hours, or you’ll get charged with a class 3 misdemeanor, resulting in jail time and fines.
Can I Get Compensated In A Hit-And-Run Case?
You can only get compensated in a hit-and-run case if the police are able to track down the culprit. Your attorney can then take on your hit-and-run case and seek a settlement on your behalf.
How Glendale Car Accident Lawyers Help
Once you’ve been in a car accident, you can look for a knowledgeable attorney who can review your case. They will let you know how much you may be due compensation for your damages.
Lawyers Provide Guidance and Tips
You may be confused about the settlement process and need beneficial advice. Car accident lawyers have all the information you need. They will provide valuable resources, give you tips on interacting with the other driver’s insurance company, and direct you on the next steps. You can be confident in your law firm’s services, as they support and fight for your right to receive a settlement.
Meeting the Lawyer
Your attorney will do a quick review of your situation and let you know if it is a claim worth pursuing. If you are not at fault and have damages, you can certainly obtain compensation. When you are partly at fault, you may still have a case because Arizona is an at-fault state. You can still move forward even if you are 99% at fault because the other driver still owes you damages for the proportion they are at fault for. However, if you experienced no damages at all, then your attorney may not take this case.
After the initial consultation, your attorney will know whether this car wreckage is one that you can receive a settlement for. Next, you will have to provide as much information as possible. If you have witnesses, you can provide your personal injury lawyer with their contact information so that they can reach out to them. You can give your attorney a personal account of what pain and suffering you experienced, the type of expenses you had to pay for since your accident, and what you have to pay for in the future. Using this data, your attorney will use traditional and proven methods to develop a reasonable and realistic settlement.
What Can Increase My Settlement Award?
In a car collision, several factors influence the amount of your settlement award. First, the total amount can change depending on the severity of the damages.
These are damages that typically come in the form of bills or can be recorded as a receipt. Economic damages include your medical bills, income loss, and other expenses caused by the accident. Your medical bills could consist of emergency room treatment and on-site stabilization if you were injured so severely that you needed immediate care. Other costs are medical treatments, imaging scans, medical tests, follow-up appointments, and more. If required surgery, physical therapy, or pharmaceutical pills, you should include these expenses. When you have to take time off from work, all the hours you worked results in money lost. You can add this and future time off from work, as it will take a while to recover from your wounds. The higher the cost of your damages after a severe accident, the larger your settlement amount.
Partial or Permanent Injuries
Car accidents can result in scrapes, cuts, bruises, broken bones, and more. You may have bled internally because an organ was damaged or punctured. If your spine was injured, this could result in herniated discs, paraplegia, and forms of paralysis. Head injuries are commonly caused by car accidents, where they are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions can have long-term consequences, along with broken bones and other serious injuries. The level of the injury you sustained increases your compensation, especially when the collision results in a permanent disability.
These are damages that are not quantitative. This means you can’t simply estimate it the way you would add up medical bills. Your car accident attorney understands how to add up non-economic damages and will use a multiplier or another well-known method to calculate your damages. This includes items such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, PTSD, depression, and more. You can also have physical pain, such as aches, heaviness, soreness, and more. Your settlement increases based on the amount of difficulty and hardship you experienced.
This only happens if you end up in court, where the other party is punished for their behavior. This is when the other driver was drunk or participated in distracted driving. When the other party is highly negligent and reckless, they must pay punitive damages. Your attorney can order a subpoena to investigate whether the other driver was texting. There is also the chance you know the other driver was upset with you and intentionally crashed into you. If this is provable, your attorney can show that they had malicious intent. The other party would have to pay more if this is the case and may receive legal action.
Sadly, many car accidents result in the passing of a loved one or their passengers. When a wrongful death occurs, you can also include in the settlement the victim’s funeral costs, burial expenses, their earning capacity, the lost work benefits, their income, and the medical bills before their death. The non-economic damages include loss of consortium, guardianship, companionship, mentorship, and other responsibilities they provided for their loved ones. In addition, you can include the loss of valuable services, their pain and suffering before passing, and any other expenses that happened. Wrongful deaths typically multiply the total compensation amount because their entire life is taken into consideration.
What Steps Should I Take Towards Building a Case for My Settlement?
You can get started on getting ready to speak with your car accident attorney by taking these steps. Then, you can be prepared and know what types of costs you can include in your settlement.
Evidence for Your Motor Vehicle Accident
Lawyers are entirely dependent on the evidence you provide. They can best represent your case to other parties or in court when you have plenty of evidence to back it up. You will want to take pictures of your wounds, the property damage done to your car, and also the area the accident happened in. Give your lawyer a highly detailed list of your economic and non-economic damages.
It is recommended that you stay in the area until the police arrive to give them your account of what happened. Your input will help the police officer decide who is at fault, especially if citations are required. In addition, a police report is additional backup evidence that makes your commentary more official.
You should seek immediate medical help after a car accident has happened. However, do not wait or avoid treatment because you don’t feel any pain. You may have soft tissue injuries, and these tend to appear at a later date. Additionally, you can tell your attorney exactly what injuries you experienced so they can include them in your claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After speaking with your attorney, you can let your insurance company know what happened in the accident. Your attorney will guide you on what to say so you don’t accidentally reduce your settlement amount. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, instruct them to talk to your lawyer or give them little to no information. This way, they can’t use what you say against your claim.
Negotiation with Other Parties
Your attorney takes over after this point and works with the other parties to obtain a settlement that makes sense. Your damages can be life-changing, and it is your attorney’s job to show the other parties how badly the accident has inflicted your personal wellbeing. Attorneys will use negotiation, strategy, and strong communication skills to pressure the other party into providing you compensation.
If you and the other party can’t arrive at a settlement agreement, your attorney will take them to court on your behalf. This is unlikely, as most settlements happen either before a court or at the pre-trial meeting. However, if this is the unfortunate outcome, your lawyer will represent your case before the jury. The jury tends to lean in favor of the plaintiff, especially when so much evidence backs up your claim.
Get Started with a Glendale Car Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents are frightening and can completely change your life for the worst. As soon as you get into one, you should speak to a dedicated Glendale car accident attorney. This is simply because it is easier for your attorney to represent your claim when the evidence is still fresh. Don’t wait too long to get started on claiming your damages. A car accident can turn your life upside down and set you back financially. To overcome this, you can work with an experienced Glendale car accident lawyer to improve your chances of receiving the total compensation you deserve. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay any of our lawyers until we win your case. If you need additional help in other areas, lean on us for help. We are resourceful and will do our best to support you during this crisis. Ask our lawyers any question, we are educated and can provide in-depth information on the car accident claim process. If you are hestitant to begin, you can simply talk with us first before making a decision. We can review your claim to see who is at fault and whether it is worth your time to pursue your car accident claim. Contact Wattle & York today for a free consultation.