Nestled in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, Goodyear is a city that’s growing fast and becoming increasingly popular with families. While this is great for the locals, a growing city and community also means an increase in traffic. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reported that there were nearly 95,000 car accidents in burgeoning Arizona cities like Goodyear in 2015. Though you may pride yourself on being a safe and conscious driver, you can’t account for every individual on the road. Accidents caused by distracted or reckless drivers happen every day, resulting in life-changing personal injuries, stressful medical expenses, and extensive property damage.
You shouldn’t have to face the consequences of a car accident that occurred due to no fault of your own. That’s where a seasoned Goodyear Car Accident Attorney can help. Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law has represented a number of car accident victims in Goodyear, Arizona, and the surrounding area. He can use this expertise and his legal resources to help you recover damages for your auto accident.
Whether you were rear-ended by a teen texting while driving or had a serious collision with a commercial truck driver exhausted from too much time spent on the road, a car accident attorney can support your no-fault claim in court or negotiate a fair settlement with the other party’s insurance company. No matter if you decide that a negotiated settlement or a traditional lawsuit is right for you, it takes time to gather evidence and build a foundation for a strong case. Contact Nathaniel B. Preston shortly after your auto accident and he can begin investigating your case to increase your chances of receiving compensation for your damaged car as well as any resulting injuries, such as:
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Whiplash injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Organ damage and/or internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
What are common causes of car accidents?
Even with today’s modern cars designed to help prevent accidents on the road, car crashes and truck collisions still occur every day due to driver error and reckless driving practices. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the most common causes for car accidents and how they can affect your lawsuit or settlement.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the most common causes for car accidents in the United States is driver error caused by distracted driving. Many people who have been behind the wheel for years feel that they can drive while talking on the phone, texting, applying makeup, or blasting loud music. Since they’re accustomed to driving, the don’t think these common distracting factors will affect their ability to drive. Unfortunately, this type of multi-tasking while driving is one of the largest causes for car accidents in America.
At the time of the accident, it may be difficult for you to tell if the other driver was on the phone or applying mascara before the crash occurred. That’s where a lawyer can help. They have the resources needed to fully investigate the situation and determine if distracted driving played a part in your car accident. If so, then the other driver may be liable for the resulting damages and the medical expenses associated with your personal injuries.
If the other driver wasn’t distracted, but knowingly ignored the rules of the road, then they could be held responsible for your personal injuries and damages to your car. Reckless driving behavior includes ignoring street signs, driving through red lights, or excessive speeding.
In their investigation, your dedicated Arizona lawyer may collect witness statements, gather accident reports from the police, or gather video footage in order to prove that the other driver was being reckless at the time of the incident. If there are photos of both vehicles at the scene of the accident immediately following the crash, this can also help the police determine how fast either car was driving and if speed was a factor when it comes to the accident.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can greatly reduce a driver’s reaction time, making it difficult for them to follow the rules of the road, stop in time for road signs and lights, and stay within the confines of their lane. Their actions could cause a major car collision resulting in immense property damage, personal injuries, or even wrongful death.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the irresponsible decisions of a drunk or impaired driver, then a lawyer can help you hold them accountable for their actions. You can recover damages for your losses with the help of an auto accident lawyer.
Additional Causes for Car Accidents
Even when you follow safe driving practices, there are some conditions that increase the chances of there being a car crash or truck collision. If the roadway is poorly maintained, it may be difficult for either party to safely stop in order to avoid the accident. Similarly, weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, or fog, may make the roads slick and impair the vision of both drivers.
If, in addition to these external factors, the other driver was also driving recklessly, speeding, or texting while driving, then it can be easy to determine fault for the resulting car accident. These types of cases can be complex, however, so your attorney will be able to provide you with the best advice for your individual circumstances.
What is a no-doubt liability car accident case?
There are certain types of accidents in which fault is almost always attributed to a specific driver. These types of car accidents traditionally don’t result in a legal battle, as it’s very clear for the insurance company to determine who is at fault. Even so, there are exceptions for no-doubt liability cases, so you may want to have a legal professional review your case to ensure you fully understand whether you could be held at fault for your car accident.
The most common types of no-doubt liability cases involve:
When one driver hits another from behind, then the accident is usually considered their fault. It doesn’t matter how slowly the other driver was going or if they stopped abruptly. If someone rear-ends another car, it’s considered their fault for not putting themselves in a position to stop safely.
There are some cases where the liability for the rear-end collision becomes more complex. If the first driver did not properly maintain their car, and their taillights or brake lights were broken prior to the incident, then they would be considered partially at fault. Due to this, even though it’s traditionally considered a no-doubt liability case, you should still contact a lawyer if you were rear-ended. Having a legal representative available to dispute incorrect claims and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company if they don’t accept fault can increase your chances of reaching a fair car accident settlement.
Another example of a no-doubt liability case is when one driver is going straight down the road and another makes a left turn that resulted in the collision. Since the driver who was going straight had the “right of way”, then they aren’t usually liable for the resulting damages.
As with rear-end collisions, there are exceptions to this rule. If the driver who was going straight was speeding excessively or running a red light, then the driver making the left turn can argue that they are not responsible for the incident.
Regardless of the cause of your car accident, you need hard evidence in order to prove that you should not be held responsible for the resulting damages or personal injuries. That’s why you should contact a Goodyear car accident or personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your crash or collision to start the investigation process for your lawsuit or settlement.
What should I do when I’m injured after a car accident?
While recovering damages for your car or personal property is important, your highest priority after an accident is to ensure you and any car passengers are safe.
Call an Ambulance & the Police
Immediately following your accident, you should call emergency care professionals to the scene if you or any passengers have suffered serious injuries. Your local emergency care providers can ensure everyone receives medical attention as soon as possible.
Call the police to the scene as soon as possible. If you or your passengers have to be taken away to the hospital or a local care facility, you’ll want the police at the scene to ensure your car is moved out of traffic safely. In addition, since you’ll be unable to gather evidence at the scene of the accident while receiving medical care, you’ll still have the information gathered by the police’s individual investigation as part of their accident report. Once filed, this report will contain details about the accident and may include who the officer felt was at fault. Your lawyer should be able to help you get a copy of this report to support your case.
Medical Care Provider
Even if you don’t need an emergency ambulance to take you to the hospital, if you suffered any injuries at all, you should still visit your medical care provider as soon as you can. You won’t know the full extent of your injuries until a medical professional is able to examine you and provide you with a report. This information can also be used as part of your car accident settlement, as it proves that you suffered from physical injuries and it shows the total cost of your medical treatments.
With that said, you should be wary of exaggerating any injuries in an effort to increase the amount of compensation you receive for your damages. This can backfire with your own insurer, causing them to refuse to pay for the total amount of medical treatment, leaving you to pay the full cost of your remaining medical expenses on your own.
What are the most common car accident injuries?
Head injuries are extremely common for victims of a car crash. High-speed collisions can cause drivers and passengers to strike their heads against the dashboard, steering wheel, or windows, leading to anything from more minor issues like temporary vision problems to more serious and long-lasting injuries like:
- Skull fractures
- Hearing loss
- Cognitive issues
Back & Spinal Injuries
If you experience back pain following a car accident, it’s important to reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible. Back pain can be an indication of a number of issues that range in severity. Back issues caused by car accidents can lead to:
- Minor back pain
- Muscle weakness
- Spinal cord damage
Neck and Chest Injuries
Commonly known as “whiplash”, the sudden movement of the head and neck during a car collision can result in severe damage to the neck muscles. For chest injuries, major car accidents could lead to broken ribs, damage to internal organs, or internal bleeding.
What is a car accident settlement?
For most car accident cases, the final decision for how much compensation is owed to either party is made outside of the courtroom. Hearings can be lengthy, and if both parties can come to an agreement without a lawsuit, then a settlement is a great solution to ensure everyone’s interests are met. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost work wages
- Lost wages for future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress caused by the accident
In a settlement, you traditionally don’t negotiate with the other driver directly. Your Goodyear lawyer will communicate with their insurance company on your behalf, using the evidence gathered for your case to prove that the other driver was liable for the accident and therefore responsible for all resulting damages. What the insurance company decides to pay is traditionally based on the following factors:
Car Accident Settlements for Personal Injuries
The compensation you receive following your car accident will be determined by the cost of your medical treatments, lost wages, and wages you may lose in the future if you cannot get back to work. During your examination, ask your doctor if they foresee you needing additional medical treatment in the future. If so, then those estimated costs can be included in your settlement, as well.
Car Accident Settlements for Damaged Vehicles
Settlements that are exclusively for damages caused to your vehicle are a lot easier to calculate than personal injury claims. You can simply provide the other driver’s insurance company with the total cost of your car repairs. These cases can still become complex if the insurance company feels the cost of repairs exceeds the value of your current car. They may try to argue that they should only be compensated for the loss of the vehicle, but not the full cost to repair or replace your car.
How soon should I settle my car accident claim?
In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company will be in a hurry to reach an agreement for your settlement. While the amount of money they offer you at first may seem tempting, it’s important to remember that you’ll only receive a single settlement award from the insurance company. This means that once you’ve reached an agreement, you can’t go back to request more money.
If you find out later that there are additional medical treatments needed or your car needs an additional part to be 100% safe to get back on the road, once you’ve agreed to the insurance company’s settlement, you’ll be responsible for those additional expenses.
This is why you should rely on the expertise of a car accident lawyer for your case in Goodyear, Arizona. They’ll know exactly what information you should gather and what questions you should ask your medical provider to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for all of your damages.
How do I win a car accident settlement?
Car accident settlements are based on the facts. Even if the other driver or their insurance company denies fault at first, if faced with the facts, then they are usually more flexible and open to providing more compensation. While your lawyer will be able to investigate your case and gather witness statements to determine liability for your case, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve immediately following the accident.
Gather Evidence & Witness Statements
A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to car accident claims, so one of the best things you can do for your case is to begin taking pictures if you’re able following the incident. Take as many photos as possible of the car accident itself from multiple angles. If there are nearby skid marks, road signs, or traffic lights, be sure to take photos of those, as well, and show where they are in relation to the incident. Don’t forget to take pictures of the damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and the final location where they ended up.
If there were any drivers on the road or passersby who stopped to assist, get statements from them right then while the accident is still fresh in their minds.Their statements could help bolster your case and prove that the other driver was at fault.
As stated earlier, you should call the police to the scene as soon as possible. With their professional accident report alongside your photo evidence and witness statements, you can prove to the driver and their insurance company that you deserve compensation for your property damage and injuries.
Even if you weren’t able to gather evidence at the scene – this doesn’t meant that you have a lost case. Your professional auto accident lawyer has the resources and experience needed to fully investigate the incident and gather evidence on your behalf.
Contact Us for a Car or Truck Accident Consultation in Goodyear, AZ
You don’t have to negotiate your settlement on your own. Let a local car accident attorney represent you and fight to get the compensation you deserve. Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law has years of experience in car accident and personal injury law. From the initial calls to your insurance company to the final negotiations with the driver, Nathaniel Preston will be on your side to ensure you recover damages for your wrecked vehicle or medical expenses. Our number is (602) 652-2009.