Injured in a Traffic Accident? Learn What Options You Have
When you’re injured in a traffic accident, your life can suddenly change. From dealing with medical appointments, bills, time off work, and damages to your vehicle, it can be a stressful situation – especially if you’re handling it on your own.
A car accident can inflict catastrophic and permanent injuries. It could abruptly take the life of a loved one or leave you with lifelong disabilities. You need legal help to recover the maximum damages you are entitled to.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help. Your attorney can review your options with you – from filing a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident, to filing claims with your insurance company.
When to File Your Traffic Accident Lawsuit
Every state has a deadline for filing a lawsuit for damages suffered in a car wreck. These deadlines are referred to as the statute of limitations and they were created to prevent claims from being filed a long time after the wreck occurred when evidence has been lost and memories have faded.
The statute of limitations for a car accident in Arizona is found in ARS 12-542, which states that you have two years from the date of your wreck to file a claim for your injuries. Failure to file a lawsuit before this deadline means you are very unlikely to recover any compensation for your damages suffered.
Legal Options Against the Driver in Your Traffic Accident
If you are injured in a car accident due to a driver’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim against the vehicle’s operator. In your lawsuit, you can seek financial compensation for medical bills, time off work, damage to your vehicle, emotional stress, and more.
In Arizona, you must file your case within two years of the traffic accident to collect damages. If it was a fatal accident, the family has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a claim. There are exceptions to this rule, so even if the statute of limitations has passed, work with your lawyer to see if you can still file a lawsuit.
To win the case, you will need to prove the driver was negligent. The reason for negligence can vary, but some common examples can be if the driver was texting and driving, speeding, engaging in reckless behaviors, drinking and driving, and others. Negligence can also occur if the road was in bad shape and its condition led to the accident. A personal injury lawyer will help you determine if the cause of the accident can be considered negligence. In Arizona, even if you are deemed to be partially at fault for the accident, you can still seek partial compensation for your injuries.
Filing a Claim Against an Insurance Company
After your accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to offer you a settlement for what compensation they think you are owed. This is based on an adjuster’s recommendations. If they offer you a lower amount than you know you are owed, you need to work with a personal injury lawyer to get what you deserve, and possibly take the insurance company to court.
Your lawyer will know how to calculate the damages you’re owed – including your medical expenses, loss of income, compensation for suffering, future financial burdens, and more – and can advise if you are being presented with a fair offer. If needed, your attorney can also recommend when you should go to court.
Traffic Accident Lawyers Ready to Help
If you or a family member was injured in a traffic accident, contact the attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy at 602-530-8400. We care about our clients and are committed to using our skills, work ethic, and resources to help you or your family obtain compensation and justice.
At Gallagher & Kennedy, we do not believe you should have to pay for an auto accident you did not cause. If a driver or another party negligently contributed to your recent crash in Arizona, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers could help you pursue financial compensation from the at-fault party. Call our Phoenix traffic accident lawyers today for a free consultation.