Although the number of traffic accidents in Arizona seems to be slowly dropping, the number of traffic fatalities is on the rise. Moreover, traffic participants have become more aware of their rights and options. Instead of settling for the derisory compensations insurance companies offer, they hire Arizona car accident lawyer services.
At Warnock MacKinlay Law, attorney Nathaniel B. Preston is receiving an increasing number of cases. Car accident victims from all over the state reach out to us. We have handled all types of car accident cases, in various areas.
Unfortunately, our experience has confirmed the conclusions of Value Penguin’s 2018 study on the most dangerous highways in America, regarding US-93. The 200 miles of road connecting Wickenburg to the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge is indeed dangerous. We cannot say for sure that it is the most dangerous in the country but it surely sees the most accidents in Arizona.
Many of the car accidents we handled occurred on US-93, especially on the Mohave County stretch. Interstate 10, U.S. 60, Interstate 17, Interstate 19, and Arizona State Route 87 are just as dangerous in our experience. But why do so many accidents occur?
Common Arizona Car Accident Causes and Contributory Factors
In Arizona, car accidents are frequent on all types of roadways, from freeways to country roads. There were 127,064 of them in 2017 alone. They took 1,000 lives and caused injuries to 55,474 people. Here are some of the factors that led to these dire statistics:
- Speeding is the most common traffic law violation in Arizona. It usually causes rear-end collisions. The higher the speed an accident occurs at, the greater the impact force and the worse the injuries and damages are. In 2017, speeding-related accidents took 285 lives.
- Impaired driving is more frequent than the authorities would want to see as well. It accounts for 4% of collisions and took 435 lives in 2017. The sad part is that all of these deaths and the numerous other injuries could have been easily prevented.
- Reckless driving is at its highest in Arizona and a frequent cause of accidents as well. Some drivers tailgate or take dangerous turns while others listen to loud music, talk, or text on their phones. Most of them realize the consequences of their actions when it is too late.
There is one more contributing factor behind the deaths and injuries in Arizona traffic collisions. Drivers and passengers do not wear seatbelts. These restraining devices could have saved 230 lives in 2017 and prevented or minimized even more injuries.
At Warnock MacKinlay law, we have been able to confirm these statistics first-hand. Many of our clients contact us from the accident scene or from their hospital beds. While this helps their case and gives us more time to prepare their claim, it also faces us directly with tragic accident consequences.
Many of the car accident victims we work with have no idea of what Arizona laws stipulate for cases like theirs. When you call our offices, we explain everything during the first consultation that we provide, as you may already know, for free. We will review the most important car accident laws below as well.
Laws that Arizona Car Accident Lawyer Nathaniel B. Preston Explains to His Clients
1. Hit-and-Run Law
Hit-and-Run accidents are subject to Arizona Revised Statutes sections 28-662 and 28-663. According to it, all drivers involved in accidents should stop at the accident scene or as close as possible. If there were no injuries, they should take measures to clear the road and prevent other accidents. If anyone was injured, they should request medical assistance and help out in any way they can.
Another important duty is to exchange information. The most important details drivers should share are:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Vehicle registration and insurance details
- Driving license information
Finally, accidents exceeding $1,000 worth of damages or involving injuries should be reported to the police. A law enforcement officer will likely come to the scene to investigate. The accident report they prepare is usually the most important piece of evidence in cases like these.
2. Statute of Limitations
Arizona Revised Statutes section 12-542 refers to time limits. It leaves car accident victims two years to claim damages in civil court. However, at Warnock MacKinlay Law, our auto accident lawyers advise clients to act much sooner. Here is why:
- Insurance companies usually have contract stipulations that oblige clients to report incidents within days. Delays could mean a breach of contract and the loss of insurance-related rights.
- Insurance claims are often the standard procedure in car accident cases and these could take months. Any Arizona car accident lawyer will advise clients to file their claim early and leave time for a lawsuit.
- With time, evidence and witnesses are more difficult to come by. It is better to act while evidence is still available and the memory of the event is still fresh.
3. Insurance Law
Arizona law requires all motor vehicles operating on the state roadways to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage requirements are as follows:
- $10,000/event for property damage per event
- $15,000/person for personal injury
- $30,000/event for personal injury
Many Arizona insurers offer packages that include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This comes in handy when the party at fault is uninsured. It allows victims to seek compensation from their own insurers.
4. Comparative Negligence Law
Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-2505 covers comparative negligence. According to it, drivers who are partly at fault for their accident can still seek compensation. If they do, their compensation will be reduced according to their fault percentage.
Thus, even someone who was 60% at fault may seek compensation. If they do, they will only recover 40% of their losses. The tricky part is that, if another party incurred damages as well, they will be responsible for 60% of those damages.
5. The Burden of Proof
Arizona law requires accident victims to support their claims with evidence. Thus, someone seeking compensation for their accident will need to prove that:
- The party at fault owed them a duty of care and breached it. For example, they should have obeyed traffic laws and they did not.
- Their breach of duty led to the accident
- The accident caused the claimant’s injuries and property damage, which justify the claimed compensation
Proving all these aspects is not easy. In fact, many claimants fail to obtain the compensations they deserve due to lack of evidence. At Warnock MacKinlay Law, attorney Nathaniel B. Preston often conducts his own investigations. He likes to support his claims with overwhelming evidence and, thus, force the defendants to pay fair compensation.
The compensation amount should cover all the losses a car accident victim incurred. These may vary according to case specifics. Here are some types of damages our car accident attorneys often recover for their clients.
Types of Damages Arizona Car Accident Lawyers May Recover
Car accident damages usually fall into three categories:
1. Economic Damages
These refer to financial losses and are usually easy to calculate and prove. Common examples include:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Value or cost of repairs for other assets damaged in the accident (dashboard camera, laptop, smartphone, etc.)
- Medical bills and treatments
- Wages lost by missing work
- Lost earning capacity in case of victims left disabled
- Disability adjustments and home care
2. Non-Economic Damages
Quite often, car accidents have consequences that are more difficult to quantify. Their victims develop post-traumatic-stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. Some are left disabled and lose their ability to enjoy life or get abandoned by their spouses. There are also victims who go through tremendous physical pain and suffering.
All these losses are subject to compensation as well. Proving them is the tricky part, and that is where an Arizona auto accident attorney can help. They will use psychological evaluation, witnesses, expert testimonies, case precedents, drug leaflets, and medical procedure descriptions, etc. They will not rest until they get the compensation their client deserves.
3. Punitive Damages
The goal of these damages is to punish the party at fault and discourage similar behaviors. They are rarely claimed in car accident cases as they require extensive liability evidence. To obtain them, the claimant will have to prove that the party at fault acted intentionally or was extremely reckless.
It is important to note that there are no limits to the compensation an accident victim can obtain. The amount usually depends on case specifics, the evidence provided, and, implicitly, the skills, experience, and commitment of their lawyer.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Warnock MacKinlay Law Car Accident Attorney, Nathaniel B. Preston!
Were you the victim of a traffic accident that caused your injuries and property damage? Then you probably want to know how much your claim is worth and how to obtain it. Nathaniel B. Preston at Warnock MacKinlay Law can help. He will answer your questions and provide the advice and assistance you need.
All you have to do is schedule a consultation. You can do so by filling in the online contact form or calling our law offices in Phoenix at 602-652-2009. Since the first consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. If you let him, our Arizona car accident lawyer will make sure you win the compensation you deserve!