Arizona Auto Accidents at a Glance
Unlike a lot of metropolitan areas in the country, the Valley was built for cars. Our tidy grid system and city sprawl is designed for auto transportation. After all, who would want to walk anywhere in 115-degree heat? However, more cars on the road means more chances for car collisions and therefore more risks for injury.
Out of the 129,750 crashes in 2019, over 28% resulted in injuries. Put another way, that’s one person injured in an auto accident every 9 minutes and 46 seconds. The number of overall auto accidents rose from 2018 to 2019, and the amount of money lost due to these crashes is a staggering $18 billion. Clearly, vehicle collisions have a devastating effect on Arizonans’ health and finances.
Looking at the entire state’s crash statistics is overwhelming. It can also numb us all to the individual cost of a single accident. At Perez Law Group, PLLC, our car accident lawyers are disheartened to see that auto accidents have such an impact, physically and economically, on Arizona as a whole. But we aren’t numb to each individual’s unique accident experience. When you walk through our doors, we treat you as if you’re the only car accident injury in the entire state. You are our number one priority. The cost of your crash, injuries, property damages, and personal loss is what matters to us when we take on your case. And because of that, we won’t receive our compensation until you do.
What Auto Accidents Qualify for a Claim?
Many car accidents are minor and don’t require the involvement of a lawyer. When insurance companies work well together, bills and repairs are paid, fair settlements are offered, and an auto accident claim is not required. However, victims often underestimate what they deserve after a collision and insurance companies like to keep it that way. Knowing when to contact a car accident attorney can save you money, headaches, and even gaslighting or bullying tactics from the other party.
Some signs it’s time to contact a lawyer include:
- Your injuries altered your quality of life or resulted in lost wages
- The insurance company refuses to pay fair damages to cover your expenses
- You’re being bullied or gaslit by the insurance company or the other party
- You have continued pain and consequences from your injuries
- The other motorist was uninsured or underinsured
- The accident resulted in the death of a loved one
Auto accident claims aren’t just to recoup the cost of damages to your vehicle or your medical bills. Crashes can change your life, sometimes making it hard to return to a job or leaving you in mourning for changed life circumstances or a lost loved one. A car accident lawyer doesn’t just think in terms of what you physically lost, but also what you lost emotionally and psychologically. We even account for the time and energy you must spend to deal with the accident, negotiating for compensation for your lost productivity.
When is it Negligence?
All auto accident personal injury lawsuits must prove negligence. Negligence means someone else is responsible for an accident when that person’s action or inaction resulted in another person’s injuries and property damages; the injuries and damage wouldn’t have happened if that first individual had acted with reasonable care. Reasonable care is when a driver acts the way a normal, unimpaired person would under those circumstances.
Lack of reasonable care (negligence) covers several scenarios, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Failure to obey road signs
- Illegal turns
- Sleeping at the wheel
- Wrong-way driving
Negligence isn’t restricted to the driver of a vehicle. Many auto accidents are caused by other factors. In fact, some car crashes involve only a single vehicle; 14.38% of 2019 car accidents involved single vehicles and 35.24% of all fatal crashes involved only one car. In many single car crashes, negligence still plays a role. Likewise, lack of reasonable care can be a factor in multi-car crashes without any driver being a fault. These situations include:
- Mechanical failures
- Tire or car part defects
- Hazardous road conditions
- Improper or unseen signage
This is called third-party negligence. Despite none of the drivers being liable, the accident still represents someone’s failure to act with reasonable care. That negligence is in another party failing to properly maintain a road, install a car part, or design a vehicle. A skilled Glendale, AZ auto accident lawyer can evaluate your accident to determine who might be negligent, including possible third parties.
Are My Injuries Severe Enough?
We often encounter clients who wonder what injuries are considered severe enough to warrant a claim. Americans like to be perceived as tough, individualistic, and independent. Our sports culture has espoused the virtue of playing while hurt, and our healthcare system has led many to avoid doctors as long as possible to prevent large medical bills. These factors, as well as others, can contribute to auto accident victims believing their injuries must be truly debilitating before contacting a lawyer.
In reality, you don’t need to have broken bones to be considered injured “enough” for a claim. Severe bruising, soft tissue damage, and lacerations don’t show up on X-rays but affect your quality of life following an accident. Whiplash is a common injury in vehicle collisions, and one that a victim may not feel until 24 to 48 hours after the accident. For some, whiplash can cause the whole body to stiffen up, reducing range of motion and leaving a victim immobile and in pain for several days. Hernias, torn or strained ligaments, and severe sprains can take weeks to heal, while strained or pulled soft tissue can also put pressure on nerves, leading to acute pain. All of these injuries negatively impact your life, and if they were caused by another driver’s carelessness, you deserve compensation.
More severe injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, or paralysis obviously cause dramatic changes to the everyday life of auto accident victims. If it weren’t for the other driver’s action or inaction, that change in life would not have occurred. That represents an imbalance. While car accident attorneys can’t turn back the clock to prevent the tragedy, they can aggressively pursue compensation to make your new life more manageable and even the scales.
Damages for injuries can help pay for:
- Emergency expenses
- Doctor’s visits
- Medical equipment
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Outpatient facilities
- At-home care
- Lost wages
Don’t downplay what you’re feeling. Call Glendale, AZ’s Perez Law Group, PLLC today to speak to a car accident lawyer.
What if an Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement?
Insurance representatives will often offer car collision victims a settlement that seems generous but is less than what the case is actually worth. They are skilled in sleight of hand, hoping to distract you with a sum of money while you sign away your right to pursue any legal action if that settlement proves insufficient. The paperwork to receive the settlement may include subtle wording that will make it challenging to receive further payment to even repair your vehicle, much less pay for long-term medical care or replace lost wages.
Perez Law Group, PLLC’s auto accident attorneys have seen behind the curtain, know how the trick works, and won’t let you fall for it. We know what your injuries and damages are worth through experience in case valuation. Once we determine what your injuries, property damages, lost wages, and other expenses add up to, we will fight with an insurance company to make sure you receive that amount. That includes reading over any settlement offers, counteroffering if necessary, and even pursuing a lawsuit. In many cases, an auto accident lawyer calling out an insurance company’s tactics will result in a fair settlement out of court.