Tucson Car Accident Attorneys
While many Arizonan residents try to drive as safely as possible and avoid injuring others, a handful of bad apples can easily spoil the bushel. It doesn’t matter if you a driving down the I-10 or Broadway Boulevard; everyone is capable of being involved in an accident. While some accidents may seem mild, serious ones are often the result of a negligent driver who acted recklessly, such as by texting while driving, speeding, or being otherwise impaired.
If you or a loved one was involved in a Tucson auto accident, then you are likely worried about how to cover your medical expenses, property damage, and time off of work. However, if the driver who hit you acted negligently, then you may be eligible to recover compensation from their insurance company. To do so, you will need the legal aid of a skilled and knowledgeable team of Tucson car accident attorneys. The Husband and Wife Law Team are fully prepared to review your case and discuss your options in a free consultation, whether you were hit while in a car, riding a bike, or taking a walk. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call our Tucson office at (520) 624-4228.
After a serious auto collision, you and your passengers are likely dealing with costly injuries and a great deal of pain and suffering. While you may not want to deal with insurance policies, they are there for a reason. If the other driver caused your accident, then you are well within your right to file an insurance claim against their policy. You may also be able to utilize your own insurance policy to cover medical expenses, property damages, and other costs.
As a practical matter, filing an insurance claim is not a complicated process. In most cases, it is as simple as a phone call to set up the claim. The problem is that some insurance companies will take advantage of this situation and try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay you. During the first few calls with an insurance adjuster, they may seem friendly and truly sympathetic to your situation. However, they are trained to, and often required to, minimize the compensation they pay accident victims. This means they will probably try to gather information about your case and injuries before you contact an attorney. Therefore, although setting up an insurance claim can seem simple, it can also be a mistake to set one up without first talking to the best Tucson auto accident lawyer that you can find.
After receiving emergency care for your injuries, you will want to contact an attorney as early as possible. This will give your attorney the chance to review the details of your accident, the other driver’s insurance policy, and the immediate costs of the collision. In the short-term, we can explain the best options available to you and how to pursue a claim. But in the long-term, we guide you throughout the claims process as you recover, keeping track of how the accident has injured you and the financial costs you have suffered. This way, when it comes time to negotiate with the insurance company, we can have a strong case for full and proper compensation.
You do not want to go into the claims process too late, as you only have two years to file an auto accident claim in the state of Arizona. That means if you pass this date, you are essentially foregoing the right to file a claim or lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company. Your attorney will need as much time as possible to investigate your case and works towards your best possible outcome.
A key element of all auto accidents claims is negligence. Negligence refers to when an individual does something that they would normally not do, often resulted in someone becoming injured. When applied to car accidents, driver negligence can take many forms, the most common being violating traffic laws. Under normal circumstances, a law-abiding citizen would never drive over the speed limit, text and drive, operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol, or drive through an intersection without stopping at a red light. That is why, when a driver commits one of these actions and injures someone else, they become liable for their injuries.
Common forms of driver’s negligence include:
- Distracted driving, including talking or texting on a phone, eating food, or arguing with passengers
- Driving while impaired, including using prescription medication, alcohol, or illegal drugs
- Fatigued driving, or driving without taking a break or resting
- Illegal turns
- Dangerous left-hand turns
- Ignoring traffic signs and lights
- Failing to repair vehicle issues, such as damaged tires, headlights, or brake lights
All drivers on the road have a general duty of care towards everyone around them. They must drive safely to avoid colliding with pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers, while also keeping themselves safe. When they break this duty by driving negligently, an injured party can file a claim against their insurance policy for compensation.
While driver’s negligence may seem obvious to you after an accident, proving it in an auto accident claim is a different story altogether. Insurance companies will require hard evidence demonstrating that the other driver is at fault for your injuries. Without the right evidence, they may claim that you caused the accident or that your injuries are unrelated, and thus they do not have to cover them.
Most of your evidence will come in the initial events after your car accident. After receiving medical attention, you will want to contact the police to have them review the scene of the accident and investigate what they believed caused it. In some instances, like if you are seriously injured and rushed to a hospital, you can file a report at a later date with the local police or online to give your side of the story. Police reports can go a long way to explaining how an accident occurred and who was at fault.
After a police report, your medical records will play a huge role in demonstrating how your injuries were caused. They will also demonstrate the extent of the damage of the accident and explain how much compensation you are owed from the at-fault insurance company. Alongside your medical records, you will want to hang onto any hospital bills, invoices, and receipts, even if it is for something as simple as medication.
We understand if you were confused after an accident and could not get ahold of an eyewitness’s contact information or take photos of the scene. However, if you do have photos, witness statements, or video footage, that can go a long way to supporting your case. Even if the accident took place days later, you may wish to visit any local businesses or homes near where the accident occurred to see if an employee or homeowner saw anything. They may even have surveillance footage of the accident.
Lastly, your vehicle—and even your clothing if you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist—can be helpful in demonstrating how your accident occurred. You will want to avoid scrapping your vehicle or having it repaired before an expert can review the damage. Even paint marks can be enough to show where a car hit you.
Accident attorneys Mark and Alexis Breyer have devoted their entire practice to representing those injured due to the negligence of others. A major portion of their practice is defending the rights of injured victims. As a service to their readers, The Husband and Wife Law Team have answered several of the most FAQs regarding auto accident defense.
Who Pays Medical Bills After an Accident?
If you are injured by a negligent driver, then that driver is legally required to cover the costs of your injuries, including injuries sustained in an accident and injuries that were aggravated as a result of the collision. These injuries are often covered under a driver’s liability policy, which may only apply up to a certain limit. In the state of Arizona, the minimum auto insurance policy must include at least:
- $25,000 for the bodily injuries of one person
- $50,000 for two or more people who were injured
- $15,000 for property damage
However, you do have other options besides the other driver’s liability policy. For instance, there is a misconception among many people that their health insurance will not cover their medical bills if they are involved in a car accident. Although every health insurance policy is different, the reality is that somebody who has been injured in a car accident and has health insurance should almost always use that health insurance in order to obtain the best possible care that they can. Your attorney can work on filing a claim to cover the remainder of your medical bills at a later date.
In addition to health insurance, your auto insurance may include a medical payment insurance or Medpay policy. This is referred to as “no-fault coverage,” meaning that no matter who caused your injuries in a crash, you can utilize this policy to cover your medical expenses. You will still want to use this policy after your health insurance so that you receive the most amount of coverage possible.
Lastly, for any additional costs, you will want to file an auto accident claim. Your claim can include more than medical bills, such as lost wages from time off of work, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical therapy, and any other costs you incurred due to the accident.
Thus, after an accident, you may be able to cover the cost of your medical treatment with:
- Health insurance
- The other driver’s liability policy
If you want honest answers in terms of how to handle your health insurance or other medical needs, do not hesitate to contact us. We will give you an honest assessment as to the best way to try to work through your insurance issues to make sure that you are fully compensated, the doctors are fully compensated, and that you get all of the medical treatment you need.
Should I Sign the Paperwork the Insurance Company Sent Me After My Auto Accident?
Every document you receive from the insurance company should be reviewed by your attorney first. These documents can poorly affect your ability to file a claim down the line if not read carefully. They may try to trick you into admitting fault, minimizing your injuries, allowing them to access your medical or financial information, or foregoing your right to file a claim or lawsuit.
Therefore, the documents that you may receive from an insurance company are probably not there to help you. Those documents probably were not sent to you in order to make sure that your claim is protected. This does not mean that the insurance company is being evil, nor does it mean that the documents that you were being presented with after a serious injury claim can never be filled out. However, the reality is that filling out any documents without making sure that the top auto accident lawyer that you can find has reviewed those documents and made sure that they are not to your detriment is a mistake.
At Breyer Law Offices, P.C. we have probably reviewed documents from just about every insurance company that writes auto accident work in the State of Arizona. Therefore, we know the difference between legitimate questions and questions that are purposely made to look legitimate when they are in fact intended to cause you problems. More importantly, we know the difference between documents that you are required to sign and those which you are not required to sign.
Should I Settle My Tucson Car Accident Case?
Many Tucson injury lawyers will focus on the fact that they will settle almost every case that they take. The reason this is done so commonly is that no one really wants to go to court, whether they are an accident victim or an insurance company. It is often much simpler, and more affordable, to negotiate a settlement.
At the end of the day, both sides do want a fair deal, but what each side considers fair will vary. Of course, accident victims will want their medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages covered. In turn, insurance companies want to avoid paying out a policy limit. If they had to do that with every case, they would eventually go bankrupt. This is why most personal injury claims, roughly nine out of ten, are settled out of court.
However, it is important to be very careful when looking for a lawyer who will just promise to settle a case. The insurance industry is extremely sophisticated. They know who the top lawyers are. More importantly, they know that the best car accident lawyers will take cases to trial if necessary. The willingness to take cases to trial is what makes the settlement value greater for anybody represented by that lawyer.
If the insurance company knows that somebody is seriously injured but is represented by a lawyer who settles every case and refuses to take cases to trial, the insurance company has no incentive to make a fair offer. They can continue to "low ball" the attorney and the injury victim until the trial gets close, and the case gets settled. Instead, what is important is to hire a lawyer who is willing to take cases to trial in Arizona. A trial lawyer who has fought for clients in front of a jury offers far more value to all of his clients.
How Much Is an Auto Accident Case Worth?
Injured victims often ask this question. In fact, it's a question asked on a regular basis to any experienced lawyer in Tucson. Unfortunately, that is not an easy question to answer. We understand that people want to know whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue a claim and to know that they'd like to have some idea as to what a personal injury case is worth.
The reason this is so difficult to answer is because every case is unique. To oversimplify the matter, the value of a personal injury case is based upon what a jury would say the accident victim is entitled to.
In a fair situation, your case would match the value of your injuries. That means covering key types of damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost career opportunities
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (in cases of wrongful death)
While each of these elements can have a different price tag, compensation will ultimately come up to what a jury thinks is fair. Behind every case is the looming possibility that your case goes to trial and the jury will decide whether or not you receive compensation and how much you will receive. Thus, even your settlement offer will be based on this idea, even if you never go to court.
They will take into account your actual financial expenses, such as how much your treatment cost to how much money you lost from being out of work while recovering. Somebody who has a torn rotator cuff from a car accident and is unable to lift their arm has a very different case than somebody who suffered a very minor injury. Somebody with a brain injury from a car wreck who is unable to return to work is entitled to far more compensation according to the law than somebody who had a small headache.
The reality is that each case stands on its own merits. Until medical treatment is concluded, an honest assessment and evaluation is done, any attempt to try to tell somebody how much their injury case is worth after a car accident is merely guesswork. No two cases have the exact same identical fact pattern. Every case has different issues that could affect liability, damages, and other things that may affect the settlement value of the case.
How Can I Make an Insurance Claim If the Other Driver Did Not Have Insurance?
Unfortunately, many auto accidents include situations where the person who caused the accident did not have any insurance. This can be very frustrating for somebody who did nothing wrong and suffered a serious injury as a result of the negligence of the other driver. The reality is that there is no magic bullet that can solve this problem. Instead, finding a skilled auto accident lawyer who helps injured victims is a vital first step.
The fact that the other driver did not have insurance does not mean that there is no insurance claim. First of all, there is always the chance that the other driver refused to admit that there was insurance at the scene, but there is actually insurance available. We have seen many cases where our investigation helped uncover insurance that could help our client pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and to receive compensation for the injury they suffered even where the person who caused the accident at first denied that they had any insurance or fled the scene of an accident, making it a hit and run.
In addition to that, many of our clients have coverage they are not aware of. This is called uninsured motorist coverage. This is coverage that somebody pays for in case they are ever hurt by somebody who does not have insurance.
Uninsured motorist accident coverage claims (sometimes called UM claims) are the number one way to protect your rights if the person who caused the accident does not have insurance. The express reason that you or someone else may have paid for that uninsured motorist coverage is to protect you in case you are seriously hurt. It also protects your family and your loved ones in case you or somebody else you love is hurt as a result of somebody else's negligence. To not pursue an uninsured motorist claim after paying for that policy makes very little sense after a serious car accident. These policies also apply when you are in another vehicle.
Many of our clients are afraid to make uninsured motorist coverage claims because they are not aware of their rights. Some assume that a claim with their own policy will cause their rates to go up. However, the insurance company is not allowed to raise their insurance rates as a matter of Arizona law, so they make an uninsured motorist coverage claim.
Finding a top-rated injury lawyer that understands insurance coverage and insurance policies that can help determine if an uninsured motorist coverage claim is available is a vital first step.
In addition to filing a police report, getting medical treatment, and collecting evidence, the biggest step you can take in recovering compensation from an at-fault driver is contacting an attorney. Even if we are not the attorneys you ultimately work with, we can explain to how the claims process works, what your rights are, whether you can file a claim, and what your best options are. That being said, if you were injured by a negligent driver, the team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. is here to represent you in an auto accident claim.
We are staunch advocates for accident victims and are well-versed in getting our clients fair deals after a collision. Our lead Tucson personal injury attorneys can sit down with you and your loved ones in a free consultation to discuss your case. If we do work together, then we can aggressively pursue all forms of compensation on your behalf. To get in contact with one of the best legal teams in Arizona, call The Husband and Wife Law Team.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer