Being involved in a car accident in Phoenix can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, especially if you believe you may be partially at fault for the collision. However, it’s important to remember that you still have rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation. From understanding Arizona’s comparative negligence laws to navigating the insurance claims process, our attorneys will provide the guidance you need and protect your interests.
Comparative Fault for a Car Accident in Arizona
ARS Section 12-2505 asserts that car accident victims have the right to seek compensation for their injuries, even if they bear a share of responsibility for the collision. Arizona uses the principle of comparative negligence.
This means if you are 20% at fault, you can still recover 80% of the damages. Because Arizona uses “pure comparative negligence,” you aren’t barred from filing a lawsuit if you are 50% or more at fault.
Reporting the Accident and Seeking Medical Attention
After a car accident, your immediate priority should be your safety and well-being. If you are involved in a collision, it’s crucial to call the police and report the accident. The police report will document the details of the accident, which can serve as valuable evidence when determining fault.
Additionally, seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not manifest immediately; a medical professional can properly assess your condition and provide necessary treatment. Remember, documenting your injuries and seeking medical care strengthens your case and prioritizes your health.
Collecting Evidence to Support Your Claim
To build a strong case, gathering evidence that supports your claim and helps establish the other party’s negligence is essential. Here are some key steps to take.
- Take Photos: If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. These photographs can provide valuable visual evidence of the circumstances surrounding the collision.
- Obtain Witness Information: Gather their contact information if witnesses were present at the scene. Eyewitness testimonies can support your version of events and prove the other party’s negligence.
- Preserve Medical Records: Keep a record of all medical treatments, diagnoses, and expenses related to your injuries. This documentation will be important when calculating the damages you are entitled to recover.
- Police Report: Obtain a copy of the police report filed at the scene of the accident. The report often includes the officer’s assessment of fault, witness statements, and other relevant details that can strengthen your case.
Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Car Accident in Phoenix
Insurance companies may try to minimize liability and payout by assigning you a higher percentage of fault. It is crucial to be cautious when communicating with insurance adjusters and to avoid admitting fault or providing recorded statements without legal counsel.
Remember, insurance adjusters are trained to protect the company’s interests, not necessarily your best interests. Having a car accident lawyer by your side can help level the playing field and protect your rights.
Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to secure the best possible settlement on your behalf. They will argue for a lower percentage of fault to minimize the impact on your recovery.
Going to Court: When a Settlement Cannot Be Reached
In some cases, reaching a fair settlement agreement may not be possible. Your attorney may recommend taking your case to court if negotiations break down. A skilled litigator will present your case to a jury, providing evidence of the other party’s negligence and advocating for your right to compensation.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers
Navigating the legal process can be complex, especially when you believe you may be partially at fault for the car accident in Phoenix. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can greatly benefit your case. A skilled attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and advocate for the compensation you deserve.
You can focus on your recovery while your lawyer ensures all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time. Remember, you don’t have to face this challenging situation alone.
Call our firm at 480-405-5010 for a free consultation. Our experienced Phoenix Injury Lawyers are here for you.