7 Steps to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault
Fault is an important matter in a car accident case in Arizona. Like most states, Arizona uses a fault-based insurance law, meaning the person or party at fault for causing the crash will be liable for damages. If you were not at fault for a car accident, take certain steps to protect yourself from liability. Otherwise, you could end up paying for a crash you did not cause.
Ensure Your Safety
After any car accident in Arizona, take immediate steps to ensure your personal safety. Move out of the roadway and to a safe shoulder or parking lot. Move your disabled vehicle, if possible, and put on your hazard lights to prevent further collisions. Check yourself and others for personal injuries. If you see any injuries, you must notify the police of the car accident.
It is mandatory in Arizona to report a crash to the police if it causes injuries, deaths, more than $1,000 in property damage or if it involves a broken traffic law. It is wise to call the police even for a minor accident for documentation purposes. The police can provide a report with pertinent information related to your collision, such as the date, time and the other driver’s information. Calling the police about an accident that was not your fault could help you collect evidence of the other driver’s liability. The police may cite the other driver for a moving violation such as running a red light, for instance, providing evidence of that driver’s fault.
The more information you collect about your car accident, the stronger your case will be. If you can, gather evidence while still at the scene of your Phoenix car accident. This includes photographs, video footage and eyewitness statements. Collecting evidence while still at the scene of the accident can make for a stronger liability claim against the other driver. If you need to go to the hospital immediately after your wreck, send a trusted friend or family member back to the scene to collect evidence for you.
Be Careful What You Say to Others
Be cautious of what you say to other people after a collision. Saying the wrong thing to the other driver, the police, an insurance company or others involved in your case could make it more difficult to recover compensation. Be especially careful not to hint that you were responsible for the crash. Do not say you are sorry to the other driver, for example, as this could be perceived as an admission of guilt. Instead, wait for a full investigation to determine fault for the collision.
Go to the Doctor
Someone else causing your car accident in Arizona will make that person financially responsible for your losses, including the full value of your medical bills. It is important to visit a doctor in Phoenix immediately after a car crash for a strong claim to medical damages. Without a hospital visit, you may not have medical evidence supporting your injury claim. Request copies of your relevant medical records to serve as evidence.
Call Your Insurance Company
Call your auto insurance provider to make an initial claim, even if you were not at fault. Your car insurance company can help you with the claims process, such as going up against the other driver’s insurer on your behalf. Your company may offer immediate benefits to help you pay for your losses while you wait for the insurance process to finish. Then, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Request a Legal Evaluation
If you were not at fault for a car accident in Arizona, you should not have to pay for your vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages or other losses. Receiving full and fair compensation, however, may require assistance from a Phoenix car accident attorney. The other driver’s insurance company may try to take advantage of you or allege your fault for the wreck. Your lawyer can help you combat arguments and fight for maximum compensation.