When we think of a car accident, the easiest picture that comes to mind is usually two cars ramming into each other on a street or highway. However, the scenario becomes slightly different when a car accident happens on private property, where the scenario may now involve ramming into a fence, a building, or even a car parked in the garage.
While body injuries may or may not be involved, such an accident can undoubtedly be devastating for both the property owner and the person who caused the damage. In this type of scenario, engaging the insurance company can be challenging without competent Phoenix injury lawyers. That said, if you are involved in a car accident on private property, here’s how to handle it.
Whose Responsibility Is It?
On a public road, in the case of crashing or destroying public property, the driver is almost always at fault, even if the weather conditions were not favorable at the time of the crash. However, on private property, you may not necessarily or completely be at fault. Yes, careless driving, tailgating, accommodating distraction, could be the cause of crashing into a person’s private property. However, a lack of proper/visible signage to properly direct drivers may also lead to confusion.
Many times, the property owner may be accountable as well. It’s one of the reasons you need an experienced attorney to help with your case. For example, if there’s a blind spot or a significantly narrow corner due to a flawed design, while you may be partly liable, the property owner may have to take some of the blame.
What to Do After the Accident
It’s important to do the following things after a wreck on private property in Phoenix.
Call the police:
When accidents happen on a public road, the police and ambulance service are naturally your first point of call. In many cases, both injuries and damage to the car may be involved, so a police report of the accident is a crucial element in getting compensation when you are not responsible for the crash.
The same should apply when there’s a crash on private property, especially when there’s going to be a huge dispute between you, the other party, or when the property owner doesn’t want to be cooperative. While the police don’t have automatic jurisdiction on private properties, they can still help with an incident report. An incident report is more of a simple version of a police report, which is better than nothing when it comes to proving who is at fault.
Take photographs of the scene:
Before the police arrive, it’s not a bad idea to capture the situation of things at the scene of the accident before people start moving things, or the environment becomes “contaminated.” Photographs have been known to help in determining who is responsible, especially when both parties involved in the accident have to reposition their cars to ensure the normal flow of traffic.
Seek medical attention:
When you sustain injuries, you should seek medical assistance immediately, which should be done within 72 hours of the incident. Not just because it is necessary for your safety, but you could also limit the amount of compensation you will get for your injuries.
Contact a lawyer & your insurance company:
All car or vehicle owners are required to carry insurance coverage for both damages to property and injury. In Arizona, drivers are expected to be insured to the tune of $15, 000 in property damage liability, which usually covers other means of movement like motorcycles, golf carts, and mopeds. Depending on your policy, your insurer should naturally protect you and pay for the damages to the other party if you are at fault without any out-of-pocket cost on your side.
Still, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to fall on the adversary side when issues of this nature happen. They sometimes try to pay them the smallest amount possible. Is it legal? Well, they find a means within the law to get away with it. It’s all a strategy to minimize their financial involvement in your case. So, it’s best to first call your attorney before notifying your insurance company. An experienced attorney will help you deal with your insurance provider and ensure that you get the best outcome.
Let Us Assist You With Your Claim
If you are involved in an accident on private property, you may find that you need help to resolve the claims involved. It’s always the best option to seek the assistance of Phoenix injury lawyers to help you get the best outcome for your case.
Even if it looks like your insurance company covers the damage incurred, that does not automatically mean that you have got the best outcome out of the situation. Many insurance companies are typically known for looking to save as much money as possible when their clients present claims. More often than not, that means that you may only get a settlement far less than the amount you deserve.