As you may already know, Arizona law entitles Gilbert motor vehicle accident victims to compensation for their losses. These losses can cover anything from medical expenses to lost wages and pain and suffering. However, it is up to the victims to fight for their rights and obtain that compensation. The best way to do that is by working with a Gilbert car accident attorney. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that not hiring one is a way to save money. On their own, they commit mistakes due to which some even lose their right to compensation. Indeed, it is possible to lose your law-given right. We will review the most common scenarios in the following lines.
Scenarios When You Could Lose Your Right to Compensation and How an Auto Accident Attorney in Gilbert, AZ, Can Help
1. Assuming Fault for the Accident
You would be surprised how many drivers apologize and declare themselves at fault after car crashes. When they get out of the vehicle and see the damages and injuries, they feel the need to express their regrets.
If they do it as the police officer takes notes or writes their accident report, it may cost them their compensation. Under Arizona laws, each party is responsible for a share of the accident damages equal to their share percentage. Usually, the at-fault driver or their insurer reimburses accident victims.
If, as an accident victim, you assume fault, and the circumstances allow it, you could lose serious money. It is better to remain quiet and focus on observing, gathering evidence, and proving your innocence. Having a Gilbert car accident lawyer on your side will help as well. The latter will teach you what you should and should not say and do.
2. Signing Right Waivers
If the driver at fault for your accident notifies their insurance company on time, an insurance adjuster may come to the scene. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, they may ask you to sign various documents.
Do not sign anything without reading and consulting an auto accident lawyer. One of those documents could stipulate that you are giving up your right to compensation. Once you sign it, any accident claims become useless.
Ask them to leave the documents with you, so you may review them with your car accident lawyer. If they refuse or act strangely, you can be sure they were up to something. Whatever they want you to sign can wait. You should not make decisions while still in shock after the accident and unsure of the consequences.
3. Waiting Too Long to Claim Compensation
Many accident cases get dismissed because the claimants waited too long to file their injury claims. Arizona Statutes §12-542 allows two years for car accident injury claims. The term begins on the day the accidents occur.
However, it refers to civil trials, not insurance claims. Usually, the best strategy for accident victims is to seek compensation from the insurer of the at-fault driver. Only if the insurance company denies their claim or the driver is uninsured should they consider a lawsuit.
Under the circumstances, the compensation claim should be filed much sooner, as soon as possible after the accident. Thus, if it is denied, the claimant can still seek compensation in court.
If the two-year deadline for your case is about to or has already passed, you should not give up. Consult an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. There are few exceptions to the rule an experienced car accident attorney may pursue after the statute of limitations expired. This is especially true if the accident left you disabled or you discovered your injuries late.
Warning: Do Not Accept Settlements Out of Fear of Losing Your Right to Compensation
If the defendant to your claim senses that you fear losing your right to compensation, they may take advantage. They usually offer low settlements and pressure you to accept. You should consult a car accident attorney first.
A settlement offer is a sign that your case is solid and your claim is worth more. A lawyer can help you negotiate a better deal. If you refuse the settlement and the defendant does not offer better terms, there are ways to appeal their decision. A Gilbert car accident lawyer will tell you exactly how much your case is worth and whether a settlement is worth accepting.
Protect Your Right to Compensation by Consulting a Gilbert, AZ, Car Accident Lawyer Today!
At Warnock MacKinlay Law, we have helped many accident victims obtain the compensation they deserved. Our car accident lawyers have helped them avoid the above mistakes and obtain fair settlements. We can help you too! Call 480-800-8399 now and schedule a free consultation!