Car Accident Lawyer in Surprise, Arizona
In the United States, there’s a car accident every 6 seconds. Even if you’re a careful driver and take care to follow the rules of the road, others may not be as responsible when they get behind the wheel. While not every fender-bender requires the services of a lawyer, there are a number of scenarios when contacting a car accident attorney is the best move to protect your interests.Whether the accident totaled your car or left you with injuries that prevent you from getting back to work, you shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of another. Reach out to a local Surprise attorney today to see if you have a strong personal injury or auto accident case. An attorney can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your damages.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost work wages
- Lost wages for future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress caused by the accident
The first step to holding the negligent parties responsible is to consult an experienced legal representative about your case to determine if you’re entitled to compensation.
Common Causes for Car Accidents
Every car accident is different and there can be any number of causes. No matter if you’re a safe driver, you can be blind-sided by a number of dangerous and reckless driving actions that can lead to catastrophic accidents. Accidents can be caused by speeding drivers who can’t stop in time to avoid crashing with another car; or even drivers distracted by applying makeup or talking on their cellphones. Environmental factors outside of your control can also result in a collision or fender-bender. Poorly maintained roads are often dangerous for drivers and driving during a thunderstorm can also lead to accidents.
Other types of auto accidents are caused by:
- Drivers ignoring Street Signs
- Failure to Yield
- Heavy Interstate Traffic
- Drunk Drivers
- Tire Blow-Outs
- Multi-Vehicle Collisions
- Intersection Crashes
If there’s clear evidence that another driver was texting while driving, listening to loud music, or eating a meal right before an accident, then they may be liable for any resulting damages or personal injuries. In the flurry of the moment, this type of evidence may be hard to notice, but an experience lawyer will have the resources you need to investigate the situation and determine if that distracted driver was at fault for your auto injuries.
Driving while under the influence is always a dangerous decision. Drugs and alcohol can greatly affect a driver’s reaction time and make it more difficult for them to notice their surroundings. This is especially dangerous while driving, as you need to be alert to notice changing street lights and signs and to prevent easily avoidable accidents. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and the other driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs, then they need to be held accountable for their actions. An auto accident lawyer can help you recover damages for your losses following the collision.
Ignoring street signs, running red lights, or driving dangerously over the speed limit are all actions that can lead to a tragic car crash. Let your local Arizona seek justice for you for your car accident lawsuit.
What are common car accident injuries?
Beyond the damage to your car, a car or trucking accident can result in serious injuries for all of the passengers involved. While it’s always important to take certain precautions – such as buckling your seatbelt and using your headrest properly, following a collision with another car, you may still suffer from life-changing injuries.
One of the most common types of car accident injuries is also one one the most serious. A high-speed collision can cause drivers and their passengers to hit their heads against the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows. This type of trauma has a number of effects that range from concussions and vision problems to skull fractures, heading loss, or long-lasting cognitive issues.
Back & Spinal Injuries
Another common injury following an accident is back damage or pain. These issues vary in severity, ranging from minor back pain to significant spinal cord or nerve damage. Accident victims could lose sensation in their arms, or lower body. Some experience muscle weakness or become permanently paralyzed.
Neck and Chest Injuries
In a crash, the sudden movement of the head and neck (commonly known as whiplash) during the collision can cause serious damage to the neck muscles. For major auto collisions, the resulting blunt force trauma can lead to broken ribs or damage to the passenger’s internal organs.
Whether the accident just causes property damage or it leads to the wrongful death of a loved one – many drivers experience emotional pain and suffering following a car accident. Some victims require psychological counseling and treatment may be necessary for them to recover.
No matter the cause, if you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the reckless actions of another person, then you and your family shouldn’t have to shoulder that emotional burden on your own. A seasoned auto accident attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What should I do after a car accident?
The first moments following a car accident can be frightening and disorienting. You may not know what to do right after you accident. Luckily, our firm has worked on a number of car accident cases and can share that information with you.
Call an Ambulance
Following your accident, your first priority is to find out if you, your car’s passengers, or the other driver has any serious injuries. If emergency medical care is needed, then contact your local emergency care providers so anyone in need can receive medical attention as soon as possible.
Call the Police
Then, you should call the police. They’ll let you know if you should move the cars away from the road. Once the authorities arrive, they will take statements from all parties involved. It’s important that you tell the officers the truth about all the facts surrounding the accident. Changing your story at a later date can make it difficult to work with your insurance company and could hurt your case if you decide to file a lawsuit for your personal injuries and property damage.
Get the Investigating Officer’s Information
While his or her report of the accident won’t be available right away, you should get the investigating officer’s contact information. Once their report has been filed, it becomes public record and you have a right to get a copy of it. This could be useful for your case in the future.
Exchange Insurance Information
After a car accident in Surprise, Arizona, both drivers should exchange their insurance information, as well as their name and phone number. Check the date of their insurance ID card to confirm that they currently have coverage.
Start Gathering Evidence
While a police officer and your lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault, there are steps you can take to go ahead and begin preparing your case at the scene. Neutral witnesses can be invaluable to your case. If there were any other drivers or pedestrians around that stopped during the accident, gather their names and phone numbers as soon as possible. You or one of your passengers should start taking pictures immediately following the accident. Take both close-up and far away shots to properly document the full extent of the damage to your vehicle.
Beyond the damage to your car, you’ll want to take pictures of the surrounding area from all angles. Take photos of any street lights or stop signs surrounding the accident, and if there were skid marks left by you or the other car, snap photos of those, as well. The goal is to set the scene of the accident for anyone who is not there, such as your insurance agent or lawyer.
Memories fade and evidence gets overlooked. That’s why it’s important to start the investigation process as soon as possible and to provide your lawyer and insurance company with any evidence you may have collected at the scene.
Who should I call after a car accident in Surprise, Arizona?
You’ve called the police, documented the scene of the car accident, and collected the insurance information from the other driver. What should you do next? Once the dust begins to settle after your auto incident, there are a number of parties to call to ensure your best interests are met.
Call a Car Accident Attorney in Surprise, Arizona
While an attorney isn’t necessary for every minor fender-bender, there are a number of scenarios where you may want a legal professional to represent you. For the best in Arizona legal representation, reach out to Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law. With a knowledge of auto accident and personal injury law, a lawyer will help ensure you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company, acting as a liaison to keep the lines of communication open and negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to working with your insurance company, a lawyer can represent you if the negligent driver or their insurance company is proving difficult to work with. Their insurance provider may not agree that their policyholder is at fault for the accident or the reckless driver may deny that their actions led to the accident. An attorney uses their resources to show how the other driver’s actions directly lead to the collision. Building this type of case takes a substantial amount of time, so you’ll want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so they’ll be readily at hand.
Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible, you should call your car insurance agent to file an accident report. You should also contact the other driver’s insurance provider. Then, both insurance companies will begin to investigate the issue to determine who was at fault for the car accident.
Medical Care Provider
The most important thing you should do following a car accident is to take care of yourself and and any loved ones or family members who were with you at the time of the collision. You have the right to seek medical care for all passengers involved in the accident – and you should exercise it.
With that said, you should also be wary of exaggerating your injuries in an effort to receive more compensation for your damagers. This can raise a red flag with your insurer and they may decide not to pay for all of the medical treatment you requested for your minor injury. This means that you could end up responsible for paying for any additional medical costs that they feel went above and beyond the actual medical treatment you needed.
What is a car accident settlement?
The most traditional way for a personal injury or vehicle damage claim to be resolved is through a settlement from the insurance carrier of the driver who is at fault for the accident. What they decide to pay is usually based on a number of factors to determine how much compensation they should have to award the other driver. These factors include the following:
Considerations for Settlements Involving Damaged Vehicles
Settlements that are exclusively for damages caused to your car are a lot simpler to calculate than others. You’ll usually be able to recover damages for the cost to repair or replace your car. The only exception to this is if the cost to repair the car exceeds its value. The repair or replacement cost is based on the depreciation of your current car – not the cost of a new vehicle. So you could be compensated for the loss the vehicle, but this doesn’t mean you’ll receive enough to purchase a replacement car.
Considerations for Settlements Involving Personal Injuries
Personal injury settlements are traditionally negotiated separately from the compensation for your damaged vehicle. The damages you’re awarded following the car accident will be determined by the cost of your medical treatment, existing lost wages, and future lost wages. If your doctor foresees that you will need additional medical treatment in the future, the estimated costs can be added to your settlement, as well. You can also receive compensation for any pain and suffering caused by the auto incident.
It’s important to keep in mind that you will only receive a single settlement award from the insurance company. If you’ve already settled, but you discover additional damages or injuries in the future that were directly caused by the accident, then you can’t go back to the insurance company later to request more money. So while the other driver’s insurance company may be in a rush to settle their case, you should make sure you reach out to your car accident lawyer to discuss ways that you can ensure you receive full and fair compensation.
Reach Out to Us for a Car Accident Consultation
Following a car accident, you’re bound to have a lot of a questions about what to do next. Who is responsible for paying after a car accident? Who should I contact first? The good news is, you don’t have to go through this dark time in your life on your own. An experienced car accident lawyer can help clarify the process for you. Whether you’ve walked away from the car accident with major vehicle damage, or you’re now suffering from personal injuries, as your legal representative, Nathaniel B. Preston will be on your side from start to finish of your auto accident case in Surprise, Arizona.
Dealing with the other driver’s insurance company can be exceedingly difficult. Their goal is to protect themselves – not to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages or injuries. Through investigations and case preparation, your legal advocate can negotiate on your behalf and increase your chances of recovering damagers for medical care, lost wages, or property damage. Let us start by evaluating your claim. Contact Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law for a consultation for your car accident settlement or lawsuit. Our number is (602) 833-0933.