When Should You Contact an Automobile Crash Lawyer in Phoenix?

Any time you’re involved in an automobile crash, it’s critical to know your rights. Even minor fender-benders can cause property damage, physical injury, and emotional distress. 

In the aftermath of your accident, you should be able to focus on healing and recuperating. Allowing an attorney to handle your next steps can take some of the stress out of the situation. An automobile crash lawyer can also communicate with the insurance agency and file a claim to recoup some of the damages you sustained. 

Not sure if you should pursue legal counsel at this point? Today, we’re sharing when to contact an auto accident attorney in Phoenix and why it’s a smart move to do so. 

What Does an Automobile Crash Lawyer Do?

As soon as you’re involved in a car crash, the first thing you should do is check yourself and your passengers for any injuries, seeking medical attention immediately if necessary. Then, move to a safe place to prevent further damage and call 911 to alert the local authorities of the accident. 

While you’re still on the scene, collect and record as much information as possible. This includes:

  • Contact information of all people involved
  • Pictures and videos of the scene 
  • Pictures and videos of any vehicles involved
  • Documentation of fault
  • Anything else that can be used as evidence 

Once you’ve gathered that information, it’s time to reach out to a trusted local accident attorney. While your first inclination might be to call your insurance agent, it’s important to contact your lawyer first. Despite the level of care you might need, insurance agencies will seek to provide the minimum payout possible. 

It’s all too easy to misspeak when communicating with them or say something that they could use against you and your claim. By allowing an automobile crash lawyer to handle those negotiations for you, the claims process typically goes more smoothly. This means you’re more likely to achieve the compensation you need and deserve. 

When Should You Contact One?

As soon as you have assessed your injuries and you feel physically capable to do so, you should contact a car accident attorney. It’s important to take care of this step immediately, as the hours directly following your accident are the most critical ones. 

If the accident did not result in any type of physical injury or property damage, you may be able to handle the next steps on your own. Even then, it’s still a good idea to schedule a free consultation with a legal team to determine if you need to file a claim. 

Here are the most important questions to ask yourself at this juncture. 

Is the Insurance Company Hard to Work With?

Insurance companies aren’t exactly known for being easy for claimants to work with. Even if you come prepared with tons of evidence and a solid claim, you could still receive an offer that’s much lower than it should be. 

As such, it’s natural to dread those conversations! To make matters even more difficult, if you’re in a car accident, you’ll likely be communicating mostly with the other driver’s insurance agent, not your own. 

This step might be necessary, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating or stressful. Allow yourself to heal during this time and let your lawyer handle that communication on your behalf. 

Did Anyone Suffer Any Injuries?

Any time there is a physical injury following a car accident, you need to contact a lawyer. Both major and minor injuries could lead to other issues that your lawyer can help you handle, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost time at work
  • Emotional distress
  • Financial distress

Remember: The insurance companies aren’t in the business of losing money. They may offer you a minor settlement to cover some of these costs, but it may not be enough to pay for the full extent of your suffering. 

A lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim to recover some or all of the losses that can occur after someone is hurt in a collision. They will also have an extensive network of physicians, rehabilitation specialists, and medical facilities for you to contact. 

Even if you don’t see any obvious signs of injury, keep in mind that some soft-tissue injuries can take a while to show up after a crash. That’s why it’s always important to get checked out by a physician!

Have You Established Fault?

The key to a successful car accident claim is the ability to prove fault. The insurance company will want to see evidence that clearly shows how the actions of the other driver led to or contributed to the collision. 

On your own, you may not know which details to look for. Yet, this is exactly what accident lawyers do. They’re not only skilled in finding evidence, but they also have a close working knowledge of state car crash laws. Phoenix lawyers will know all of the rules and regulations designed to protect Arizona roadways, and they can tell when a driver acts against them. 

If you know that you were not at fault for the accident, it’s in your best interest to contact your lawyer. They can help you gather evidence and build a strong case against the other driver to maximize your chances of a successful claim. 

Arizona’s Comparative Negligence Laws

As you begin to think about fault, it’s important to understand how Arizona laws work. This is a pure comparative negligence state, which means you’re allowed to recover damages even if you were 99% to blame for the accident. 

In states that follow this law, plaintiffs can still recover 1% of the damages that are assessed from the defendant. Your settlement would simply be reduced by the degree to which you were at fault. 

For instance, if the judge assigns 70% of the fault to the other driver and 30% of the fault to you, then you may only be able to recover 70% of the damages, instead of the full 100%. 

Again, your auto accident attorney will be well-versed in all of these laws. Not only will they understand your rights, but they’ll also be by your side to help you fight for them. 

Did Any Vehicles Sustain Damage?

Was your vehicle totaled in the accident? Did it sustain extensive damage? If so, you may be entitled to receive compensation that goes beyond the cost of basic car repairs. 

For instance, if your car was totaled and you can prove the other driver was at fault, the compensation from their insurance company should be enough to cover the fair market value of your car. If your car was damaged but not totaled, you should also be provided with a rental car to use while it’s being fixed. 

On your own, you may not know to ask for this type of coverage. However, experienced automobile lawyers will know how to work with the other driver’s insurance agency to make sure you receive the compensation you need to get back on the road quickly and safely. 

Choosing Your Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer

Once you’ve established that you should contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer, you might not know how to find the best one in your area. The three main factors to prioritize include:

  • Industry experience 
  • Local reputation
  • Legal knowledge and expertise 

Let’s break these down a little more.

Industry Experience

Make sure the legal team you hire has a long history of supporting cases just like yours. For instance, a medical malpractice lawyer might be expertly skilled but may not have experience in this specific niche. Hire an attorney that specializes in automobile accident cases, and ask about their win rate. 

Local Reputation

Each client’s experience will be unique, but it’s still smart to look for a lawyer that’s well-reviewed within your community. Most teams will have a separate web page dedicated to their client testimonials and reviews. You can find ours on our Results page!

Take the time to watch client videos and read their written feedback. This can give you a good idea of how your own experience might go, and what you can expect. 

Legal Knowledge and Expertise

In a similar vein as experience, you also want a lawyer who is deeply familiar with all of the laws that pertain to your car accident case. They should have a detailed understanding of what it takes to create a successful claim, and how to secure the maximum payout you deserve. 

Hire an Automobile Crash Lawyer Today

Whether you’re involved in a minor Phoenix bump-up or a major collision, it’s important to contact an automobile crash lawyer as soon as you can. This legal expert will be your primary resource as you navigate those critical next steps. 

From communicating with the insurance agency to finding fault, collecting evidence, and fighting for your rights, your lawyer will play many important roles in the coming weeks and months. 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in or around Phoenix, AZ, our team at Sweet Law is here to help. Contact us today for a 100% free case evaluation. 

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