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What Is the Deadline for Contacting a Car Accident Lawyer in Surprise, AZ and Seeking Compensation for Injuries?

Did you incur injuries in a traffic accident in Surprise, AZ? Unfortunately, you are not the only one. The Department of Transportation reports 1,387 accidents in the area in 2017 alone. Out of them, 352 resulted in injuries to no less than 510 people. Arizona laws give you the right to seek compensation for your injuries. To protect this right, you should contact a Surprise car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Why Contact a Surprise Car Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible?

There are strict time limits car accident victims must comply with. We will review them in the following lines. Leaving deadlines aside, it is important to keep in mind that each case takes preparation.

In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you need to document those injuries and related expenses. You also need to prove that the defendant to your compensation claim was at fault for it. This takes solid evidence, and acquiring it takes time and in-depth investigations.

Some deadlines may seem permissive but you should never wait until the last minute. The sooner you get in touch with a Surprise car accident lawyer, the better. Most of the evidence for a car accident is available at the scene and for only a limited period afterward.

Brake marks and oil leaks fade away. Gas stations or businesses having surveillance cameras delete their recordings periodically to avoid running out of storage space. Witnesses forget details or may change their addresses and phone numbers.

You should not risk for something like that to happen. Moreover, you have nothing to lose if you contact a Surprise car accident lawyer immediately. On the contrary, they will review your case, let you know where you stand, and guide your steps. They will not rush things but rather wait until they have a solid case and real chances to win. Now that you know how important timely action is, let’s review the official deadlines.

Time Limits for Contacting a Surprise Car Accident Lawyer and Seeking Compensation for Injuries

There are different time limits for contacting a Surprise car accident attorney. These limits depend on the type of action and other case specifics. We will review the scenarios available in the following lines:

When to Contact a Surprise Car Accident Lawyer for Filing a Civil Lawsuit

Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-542 allows two years for civil actions referring to injuries. The deadline starts running on the day the injuries occurred. Thus, if your accident occurred in July 2017, you have until July 2019 to file a civil lawsuit. Of course, you should consult a Surprise car accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will need time to organize their strategy and follow procedures.

Even if the two-year deadline has already passed, an experienced Surprise car accident lawyer may still be able to help.  There are some exceptions to the rule they could pursue:

  • The discovery rule. For injuries discovered later, the two-year deadline starts running on the discovery date.
  • Minor plaintiff. If the accident victim is a minor, the countdown begins when they become of age.
  • Disabled plaintiff. If the plaintiff incurred injuries that prevented them to take legal action, the countdown begins at their recovery.

Of course, all these exceptions need solid supporting evidence. Also, keep in mind that these deadlines apply to civil lawsuits only. Most car accident lawyers see court trials as a last resort. They prefer to seek compensation from insurers first. Insurance claims follow different rules, and their filing should take place much sooner.

When to Contact a Surprise Car Accident Lawyer for Filing an Insurance Claim

Although there are no clear deadlines for insurance claims, their filing should occur much faster. The best approach is to contact a Surprise car accident lawyer right from the scene. Most insurance companies give their clients a “reasonable time” window to file compensation claims. For them, reasonable equals a few days, weeks at most. This approach benefits the claimant as well. 

On one hand, the sooner the process begins, the faster the claimant can get their compensation. On the other hand, negotiating and reaching a settlement takes time. Moreover, there is no guarantee the negotiations will evolve into a settlement. Experienced Surprise car accident attorneys prefer to leave time for filing an appeal or even a lawsuit.

When to Contact a Surprise Car Accident Lawyer for Injury Claims against the Government

In Arizona, accident claims against the government are subject to different time restrictions. Section 12-281 allows 180 days for filing the Notice of Claim. This basically means announcing the agency concerned of your intentions.

Some agencies have their own procedures claimants must follow. Consequently, most auto accident lawyers will want time to familiarize themselves with those procedures. They will also want time to gather and organize the necessary evidence. If you want to obtain the compensation you deserve, you should give your lawyer time to obtain it.

Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced Surprise Car Accident Lawyer Now!

It really does not matter when your accident occurred and how much time you have left. It is in your best interest to schedule a review of your case as soon as possible. At Warnock MacKinlay, we offer free case reviews. You can receive free advice from a dedicated and knowledgeable Surprise car accident lawyer. Make the appointment online or by calling 623-299-2747 now!

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