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Car Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer in Tucson

Being involved in a car can be a traumatic experience, and if you’re injured, the initial impact is only the beginning of your ordeal. Even a relatively minor car accident can result in whiplash, severe bruising, and other uncomfortable injuries. When you sustain severe injuries, you may require surgery, physical therapy, and other types of medical treatment. As the medical expenses mount, you’ll also experience lost wages from missing work. 

As a car accident victim, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you contact the Tucson car accident lawyers at Wattel & York, Attorneys at Law, we will review your case for free. In addition, we work on a contingency basis, which means that we will assign a car accident lawyer to your case, and you will not have to pay out of pocket for our professional legal advice. So contact our personal injury law office for a free consultation. 

Man Standing Between Two Crashed Cars

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents 

Like all major municipalities, Tucson, AZ experiences a wide range of accident types. Here are some of the types of cases our car accident attorneys handle:

Car vs. Car Accidents 

This is one of the most common types of motor vehicle crashes. Because there are so many personal vehicles on the road, car vs. car is also the most prevalent accident type. The severity of injuries is often related to the relative speed of the vehicles involved, but even a low-speed car wreck can cause serious injury. 

Truck Accidents

In personal injury law, truck accidents refer to collisions with large commercial vehicles. Under federal law, the maximum gross weight of a commercial vehicle is 80,000 lbs. This includes the cab, trailer, and cargo. When a vehicle with such substantial mass is involved in an auto accident, the driver of the smaller car is almost always injured. 

Infographic about Gross Weight
Source: https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/brdg_frm_wghts/

In addition to direct impacts, truck accidents can also involve unsecured loads falling away from the truck and striking a car or creating a road hazard. Federal and state laws for commercial trucking are extensive. When a truck accident causes serious injuries, a car accident lawyer must review the driver’s log, manifests, route schedules, etc., to determine compliance with the rules and regulations. 

Motorcycle Accidents 

Any responsible motorcycle operator knows that being involved in any motor vehicle accident can result in severe personal injury. Motorcycles are capable of traveling at high speeds but offer little protection. When a motorcyclist is struck by a larger car or truck, the results can be devastating. 

Pedestrian Accidents 

Pedestrians have no physical barrier for protection, so there are almost always injuries when they’re involved in an auto accident. Pedestrian collision victims may face a long road to recovery. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, a Tucson car accident lawyer can review your case and fight for a full and fair settlement. 

Bicycle Accidents 

Like pedestrians, cyclists have little protection in an auto accident. Therefore, it’s important to proactively pursue your car accident claim from the insurance company. A car accident lawyer can review your case and act as an intermediary between you and the insurance company. 

Bus and Mass Transit Accidents 

Mass transit is responsible for many personal injury victims. In addition to the chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident, the actions of the operators can place their passengers in danger of injury. Wide turns, sudden acceleration, and short stops can cause passengers to pitch forward, backward, or to the side.  

Heavy Car Crash On Freeway

Types of Car Accident Injuries 

Car crash injuries range from minor bruising to catastrophic injuries to wrongful death. The following are some of the most prevalent injury types our Tucson car accident lawyers frequently see:

Head Injuries 

When the forward movement of a vehicle is suddenly halted in an auto accident, the occupants pitch forward. This often causes them to strike their heads against the steering wheel, dashboard, or in the case of backseat passengers, the seat in front of them. Even when the airbags deploy, the occupants can sustain head injuries. Head injuries can range from minor cuts and scrapes to traumatic brain injuries

Broken Bones 

This is common when the speeds are high or in accidents where the vehicle is struck at an angle. Auto accident victims who sustain broken bones are entitled to compensation for their medical treatment, time off from work, physical therapy, and more. 

Burns 

Burns can result from heat, fire, or friction. For example, a motorcycle accident victim may sustain road rash, a kind of friction burn. 

Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common types of auto accident personal injury. It occurs when the head snaps backward and forward as the result of an impact. Whiplash is common in rear-end collisions. 

Soft-Tissue Injuries  

Many accident victims experience severe bruising that can be extraordinarily uncomfortable, even debilitating. 

Internal Injuries 

Some injuries can’t be detected without X-rays and MRIs. You may have sustained a severe internal injury without realizing it. That’s why it’s important to get medical attention either at the car accident scene or as soon as possible. 

Even if you believe that your injuries are minor, it’s in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney as early in your case as possible. Our Tucson accident lawyers often review personal injury cases where the client believes that their injuries were minor, only to learn that they have a significant car accident case. That’s why we encourage individuals who have been involved in a Tucson, AZ area car accident to contact our personal injury law firm for a free car accident case evaluation. 

Elements of a Car Accident Claim

In order for an auto accident claim to be viable, it must have the following four criteria:

1. Duty of Care 

Every motor vehicle operator owes a duty of care to every other individual using the roadway. This is such a well-established legal concept that even insurance company lawyers are reticent to try to build a defense around this aspect of the case. 

2. Breach of Duty 

In order to recover compensation, a car accident attorney must prove that the defendant somehow breached that duty. This can be shown in a number of ways. Did the defendant fail to stop for a traffic control device? Were they speeding? Were they operating a vehicle while impaired? 

Under Arizona’s comparative negligence laws, accident victims can recover compensation even if they are partially at fault. In other words, their breach of duty does not negate the other driver’s breach of duty.   

3. Causation 

It’s essential that car accident attorneys for the plaintiff are able to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident. For example, running a red light is a breach of duty, and if it causes an accident with injuries to another, the injured party is entitled to compensation. There are, however, cases where a driver may have breached their duty of care, but they are not responsible for the accident. 

4. Damages 

Car accident attorneys must show that the accident caused damages. In an accident injury case, damages include medical bills, lost earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. There must be a monetary cost to the injuries. 

Our Tucson car accident lawyers are particularly adept at proving the four elements of a personal injury case. We will prepare your insurance claims prior to approaching the insurance company. Call our law firm today for a free case evaluation. 

Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Case

Auto accident lawyers divide damages into compensatory damages and non-compensatory damages. Compensatory damages compensate you for your injury and trauma and are further divided between economic damages and non-economic damages. Non-compensatory damages, aka punitive damages, are designed to further penalize the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. 

Economic Damages

Any monetary expenses that injury victims incur are considered economic damages. These include, but are not limited to, all medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, future lost earnings, modifications to the home or workplace to accommodate the plaintiff, etc. 

Non-Economic Damages

Also referred to as pain and suffering, non-economic damages seek to compensate an accident victim for intangible losses that they incur as the result of an accident. This can include mental trauma, physical pain and discomfort, loss of capacity, and more. 

Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant demonstrated a wanton disregard for the safety of others or the act was intentional. In a car accident, punitive damages might be awarded if the defendant was extremely intoxicated or they struck the defendant’s vehicle as an intentional act of aggression. There are no punitive damage caps in the state of Arizona, but they are not awarded in all personal injury cases. 

Our personal injury law firm can prepare an itemized list of economic and non-economic damages after a careful review of your case. Then we can prepare a demand letter for the insurance company. 

Woman After Car Crash With Smartphone Calling 911

Pima County Car Accident Statistics 

As the second largest county in Arizona, Pima experiences thousands of auto accidents every year, and unsurprisingly, most of those occur in Tucson. In 2021, Tucson had 6,190 crashes. This resulted in 88 fatal crashes for a total of 91 deaths. In addition, there were 2,311 injury crashes with 3,360 people injured. 3,791 crashes resulted in property damage only.

Infographic about Pima County Car Accident Statistics
Source: https://azdot.gov/sites/default/files/media/2022/09/2021-crash-facts.pdf

Alcohol was involved in 456 crashes that resulted in 34 deaths and 281 people injured. 

How A Tuscon Car Accident Lawyer Prepares Your Case

Every case begins with a call to a personal injury lawyer. Our law firm handles personal injury claims on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket to meet with a professional Tucson car accident lawyer. If you agree to hire our legal team, we will begin preparing your personal injury claim if you haven’t already filed with the insurance adjuster. 

We will then collect your medical records or request them from the hospital and your healthcare providers. Our legal team will also request your accident report from the investigating agency, along with any other evidence they collected. We will subpoena and depose all witnesses, including the investigating officers and the defendant. If necessary, we will contact medical expert witnesses and accident reconstruction experts. 

Once we have compiled your damages and have a full view of the case, we will file a claim on your behalf with the other driver’s insurance company — or with your insurance company if uninsured motorist coverage is applicable. 

Depending on the level of cooperation we receive from the insurance company, we will determine whether we need to file a car accident lawsuit. Even if we go to the extent of suing the insurance company, which is common with a Tuscon auto accident claim, most cases settle before reaching court. 

The Statute of Limitations in Arizona

Under Arizona law, plaintiffs have two years from the date an accident occurred to file a claim. While this may seem like a long time, a thorough Tucson car accident lawyer may take months to depose all of the witnesses and prepare a claim for filing. It’s in your best interest to speak to a Tucson car accident attorney at your earliest convenience. 

Dealing With The Insurance Company on a Car Accident Injury Claim

You may receive a call within a day of your accident from the defendant’s insurance company, even if you haven’t filed a claim. Insurance adjusters know that the average car accident settlement increases once the victims speak to a personal injury law firm. They will offer you money for your medical bills and a premium for your trouble. 

The fact is that initial insurance settlement offers in car accident cases are rarely sufficient for a full recovery. If you accept the offer, you will be asked to sign a waiver that prevents you from filing additional insurance claims or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. 

Contact an accident lawyer in Tucson before accepting an insurance company’s offer. Our auto accident lawyers can review your claim and prepare a counteroffer. 

How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Our legal team is familiar with all phases of the personal injury legal process. We can help you make a full and fair recovery from your accident by examining all aspects of the case and diligently pursuing justice. We represent clients in claims involving relatively minor injuries up to catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims. Contact a Tucson auto accident lawyer today.

Crashed Car After Collision

Frequently Asked Questions by Car Accident Victims

At Wattel & York, we have represented hundreds of clients in Tucson auto accident cases. Many of our clients have similar questions. The following are the most common questions our Tucson car accident lawyers hear from our clients. 

What should I do if I’m injured in a car accident?

While no two car accidents are exactly alike, some steps could potentially help you remain safe while strengthening your car accident claim. 

  • Stay in the car or move to a position of safety – If the conditions aren’t safe, you should stay in your car unless the car is unsafe. Don’t move injured parties unless it’s absolutely necessary to protect them. 
  • Call 911 – Make certain that first responders are en route to the accident scene. The dispatcher will want to know your exact location, a description of the vehicles, the number of injured parties, the nature of the injuries, and any additional information that may assist police and EMTs. 
  • Talk to witnesses – If there are witnesses on the scene, ask them to remain to speak to the police. If they refuse, try to get their contact information. As a last resort, copy their license plate information for the police and your attorney. Eyewitnesses can make or break a personal injury case, so it’s essential to provide these leads. 
  • Take pictures or video – Visual evidence is also important, and the accident scene will look different even moments after the collision. From a safe position, take photos or shoot a video with your phone. Include the vehicle damage, debris on the road, visual injuries, signs or other geographic indicators, etc. 
  • Allow the EMTs to examine you – Even if you feel fine, you may have undetected injuries. Furthermore, you may be in shock due to the trauma you just experienced. Allow the medical workers to examine you on scene. If they want to take you to the hospital, allow them to. If not, follow up with your doctor at your earliest convenience. Your well-being is paramount, and prompt treatment will help you and your claim.
  • Contact an accident lawyer – In Tucson, Wattel & York represents the victims of negligence on a contingency basis, so you don’t need to worry about the cost. 

Why do I need a lawyer?

An injury attorney plays many roles when it comes to automobile accidents. In addition to being the point of contact between you and the defendant’s insurance company, They can also recommend doctors and healthcare providers who work with accident victims by allowing delayed payment. Your attorney will negotiate with the claims adjuster and the insurance company’s lawyers, and if your claim goes to court, they can litigate the case on your behalf.

You can accept an insurance company’s initial offer and avoid using a personal injury attorney, but you risk running out of money before you’ve fully recovered. 

How long does it take to file a claim?

The claim itself does not take long to file. However, the reason that lawyers often delay filing a claim is to properly assess the case. If they rush their investigation of the facts, the defense may exploit an error to push for a lower settlement amount. While pursuing a claim through a lawyer may take longer, it usually results in a much higher settlement amount. 

When should I see a doctor after a car accident?

You should see a doctor as close to the time the accident occurred as possible. Even if you don’t feel like you need to see a doctor because you feel fine, it’s important to recognize that some injuries take longer to manifest. Whether you are transported to the hospital and are attended to by the emergency room physicians or you see your primary care physician the next day, this will establish a baseline for your injuries, which will help with your medical recovery and your claim.

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

While you will never have to pay out of pocket before Wattel & York settles your case, there is a fee for our services. We collect these fees at the end of your case once it’s settled. Contingency fees can range from 30 – 40 percent and are outlined in the contingency fee agreement. An injury law firm can justify its fees by pointing out that personal injury claims handled by law firms typically garner much higher settlements and jury awards.

If you have any questions about how contingency fees are assessed, we encourage you to ask them during your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.  

Tuscon Car Accident Lawyers Representing Victims

Wattel & York, Attorneys at Law, has been recovering compensation for car accident victims for years. We have successfully represented hundreds of clients on a contingency basis. We recognize the traumatic impact that accident injuries can have on your life. We will focus on helping you with your financial recovery while you focus on your physical recovery. Contact our Tucson, AZ office for a free consultation. We only accept payment if we win your case through a settlement or court award.

Call Wattel and York today!

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Online Reviews

“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

Candy J.

2/9/2020

“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

Nardeasha S.

20/20/2020

“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.

13/9/2020

“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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