Arizona Car Accident Rights, Liability, and Lawsuit
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 937 traffic fatalities in Arizona in 2008. In addition, there are also many more Arizona auto accidents that occur that cause car accident injuries within the state. If you are involved in one of these Arizona auto accidents and you are injured, it is essential you know your rights to recover.
Your Rights in An Arizona Auto Accident
Arizona is a comparative fault state. This means that whoever is at fault for the Arizona auto accident is responsible for paying for damages that result from it. This is good news if you are hit or injured by someone else, since you have the legal right to be put back into the situation you would have been in, but for the accident.
Liability for an auto accident is based on who was the cause of the accident. Comparative fault is used in Arizona, which means that fault can be apportioned to different individuals. In other words, if you are in an Arizona auto accident and the other party was 60 percent responsible, you can still sue for your damages- however, your recovery will be reduced by the 40 percent of responsibility that is yours.
How Do You Recover?
The way in which you recover damages for your car accident injuries varies depending on the situation. For many people, the first step is to contact your own insurance company. Your insurance company will be responsible for negotiating with the other party's insurance company and the two companies together will make a determination of fault in light of evidence including the testimonies of the involved parties and any police reports.
You may be offered a settlement by the insurance company for your car accident injuries and for any property damage arising out of the Arizona auto accident. If you were at fault for the accident, any property damage will have to be paid for by your collision coverage from your own insurer. If you were not at fault, then compensation for your car accident injuries from the Arizona auto accident will come from the other party's liability insurer.
The damage award you are offered from your insurance company will be sent in a settlement agreement or letter. Alternatively, if you know how much your damages are, you can send a demand letter to the responsible insurance company requesting a set amount of compensation.
It is essential that before you send a demand letter or agree to any settlement, that you consult to an Arizona auto accident attorney. Once you settle or agree to a payment from the auto insurance companies for your car accident injuries or other damages arising from the auto accident, you are barred from any further recovery from the vehicle accident. This means you should not agree to anything without speaking with an Arizona auto accident attorney who can advise you as to whether you are getting the recovery you deserve.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you are injured severely, if a death results, or if the insurance company does not offer you what you believe to be a fair settlement, you are entitled in Arizona to sue in tort. This is true no matter what amount of damages you suffer, since Arizona is not a no fault state. This means that whether you suffer $10,000 in auto accident injuries or $100,000 in car accident injuries, you can still file a lawsuit and have your day in court .
To file a lawsuit, you must bring your claim within the statute of limitations. For an Arizona auto accident, you have two years from the date of the car accident injury to file your claim. If the auto accident injuries were such that you were unaware of them immediately, then you have two years from the time in which you became aware of the auto accident injuries to file suit.
Proving Your Case
In order to win a lawsuit for auto accident injuries and recover damages, you must prove that the other driver was negligent or that he breached the standard of care required of all drivers. A reasonable person standard is used. You also must prove that his negligence caused the accident, and that your injuries resulted from the Arizona auto accident.
What Damages Can You Recover
Arizona allows you to recover for property damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress that results from your Arizona auto accident and from your car accident injuries.
If you are looking for an Arizona auto accident attorney, Wattel & York can help. As one of the leading personal injury and property damage law firms in the United States, Wattel & York has collected over $10 million for clients between 2008 and 2010. Wattel & York can help you with any accident injury case, as well as with property damage claims or diminished value claims. Not only can Wattel & York bring a personal injury lawsuit for you, but their history of taking on some of the largest companies in the insurance industry helps to ensure that you will get a fair deal when settling with insurance companies. Wattel & York investigates accidents thoroughly exploring all potential causes and making sure you know the full extent of your injuries to receive fair compensation.