Drunk driving, making wrong turns, and texting while steering rank among the top five causes of car accidents globally. Families end up losing breadwinners due to death or severe physical disabilities. Many survivors end up spending plenty of time and money on surgeries as a result of long-term injuries.
Urban areas have more incidents due to the increased traffic brought about by diversified commercial activities. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s 2015 report on Drunk Driving Fatalities indicates that DUI accounts for 29% of the total number of fatal car crashes in America. If you have recently been in a car accident, you may wonder what you should do in order to move forward. While an attorney at Warnock MacKinlay Law would be more than happy to provide insight into your specific case, here are answers to drivers’ commonly asked questions related to car accidents in Phoenix:
Another driver hit my car. What should I do after the car accident?
The first thing to do is obtain the name, address and insurance details of the driver involved. Contact the Phoenix police and present your case. Visit a hospital and have the doctor compile a medical report, which you can use to file a lawsuit. Contact your insurance company within 24-hours and report the accident.
What compensation can I claim from the guilty driver?
The court calculates compensation based on the severity of your sustained injuries. If the injury renders the victim blind, immobile or disfigured, the guilty party will pay a high settlement. In drunk-driving cases, the offender may be required to foot the victim’s hospital bills.
Can I file a lawsuit if the at-fault driver is a minor?
The city of Phoenix allows 16-year-olds to drive motor vehicles through the provision instruction permits and graduated drivers’ licenses. Since the current laws protect minors from lawsuits, you can take the teenager’s parents to court and claim for compensation.
What happens if the guilty driver lacks insurance?
Phoenix laws state that one can only seek compensation from insured parties. If the culprit works as a driver, you can claim compensation from the employer’s insurance company. The same case applies if the guilty party claims to be driving a borrowed or rented motor vehicle.
Sometimes, the offender may lack any insurance coverage be it from an employer or parents. Paying for an uninsured motorist coverage premium covers you from such incidents.
Can I claim compensation on behalf of the injured passengers?
You can only demand compensation on behalf of minor passengers. If the children are unrelated to you, parents or guardians can file a lawsuit on their behalf. A guilty party would compensate injured passengers if the accident arose out negligence or reckless driving. Some insurance companies offer passenger covers for public service operators.
Whom do I hold responsible if the car that hit me got hit by another motor vehicle?
Driving on slippery roads can cause skidding due to loss of traction between the tires and the road surface. An out-of-control vehicle can charge into another, leading to a series of car accidents. As the distressed party, you should collect the registration number and personal details of the car that hit you. Your insurance company will investigate the nature of the accident as you wait for compensation.
Will I receive compensation for goods damaged during the car accident?
Unfortunately, most motor vehicle insurance contracts only cover injuries and death. However, the guilty party’s insurance company may pay for your vehicle’s damages. Insurance companies offer different contracts for goods on transit. Companies that purchase comprehensive insurance packages can claim compensation for its driver’s injuries as well as damaged goods on transit.
Will the guilty party pay for the rental car I’ll use after the accident?
Arizona state laws require the insurance company representing the guilty driver to provide the car accident victim with a rental car. If the repair takes longer than anticipated, the victim will hire a rental at the expense of the irresponsible driver’s insurance. This includes the fixed rental costs, maintenance, and fuel costs.
Will I receive compensation if I had an expired driving license?
The law views license expiry and car accidents as two separate and unrelated offenses. You’ll still receive compensation from the offender’s insurance company. However, the defendant’s lawyer can successfully convince the judge to award you reduced compensations due to intentionally driving with an invalid driver’s license.
Is it necessary to take pictures of the accident scene?
Taking images of the accident allows you to gather enough evidence necessary for filing a lawsuit against the offender. It also helps your insurance company carry out faster investigations because police officers may take 24-48 hours to re-visit the accident scene. Make sure you capture all tire marks visible on the road.
Should I get in touch with the offender’s insurance company?
Insurance companies always protect the interests of their clients. This helps them avoid paying out claims and protect their clients from severe legal consequences. After reporting an accident, a claim adjuster from the defendant’s insurance company may request a meeting in order to hear your side of the story. No matter how polite they may sound, avoid sharing your account of the car accident over the phone or email.
Claim adjusters know how to trick victims of Phoenix car accidents into giving information that discredits previously recorded statements. In this situation, provide the claim adjuster with your lawyer’s email or phone number.
Should I only disclose major injuries to the doctor?
An impact injury occurs whenever the driver’s body part bleeds, swells, or gets disfigured as a result of smashing into the steering wheel, dashboard, windows, or the windshields. Penetrating injuries occur whenever the impact forces glass or other sharp material inside the body.
You ought to report even the slightest pain you experience to your doctor. This pain could be an indicator of a serious internal injury that could be fatal if neglected.
Victims of Car Accidents Should Consult with a Skilled Phoenix Attorney
If you are looking for legal representation, following a traffic incident, Warnock MacKinlay Law is your solution. Book an appointment today and have your Phoenix car accident issues solved in no time by a team of dedicated lawyers.