Car Accident Attorney Phoenix, AZ
A Car Accident Attorney in Phoenix, AZ at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC understands that in most scenarios car accidents end up being very serious. You may suffer from lacerations, bruising, and whiplash. Other times, you may have gotten into a minor fender bender that did little to no damage to your car or the other driver’s car. What should you do when this is the case? Should you report the accident to the police or to your insurance company? Should you get the help of a car accident attorney?
Speaking with a Phoenix, AZ Car Accident Attorney from our law firm can be helpful in these situations because you may not be sure what the best thing to do is after a car accident that does not result in an injury right away. It is important to take note of whether your car was damaged during the fender bender even if it only suffered from minor scratches. Just because it may not seem like there is damage immediately, does not mean you shouldn’t report the accident.
Should I speak with local law enforcement about the accident?
There are many different factors that can help you determine if you should report the accident to local law enforcement. For example, even if the accident was a fender bender and only caused minor injuries, there are many states that require you to report an accident regardless of the severity of the injuries. In addition, even if someone was not injured in the accident and there is only vehicular damage, you may still need to report it. Depending on your state, you will need to report the accident if the property damage is at or above a certain amount. A Phoenix Car Accident Attorney can give you more information about the laws for Arizona.
What is the most important thing to do when I am at the accident scene?
The most important thing you can do before contacting anyone else is to gather the information of the other driver and anyone else who was involved in the accident. A Car Accident Attorney in Phoenix recommends obtaining information such as:
-The phone number
-Their insurance information
-Their driver’s license information
In some cases, the other driver may be uncooperative because they do not want to report the accident to law enforcement or to their insurance company. Especially when this is the case, you should call local law enforcement so that you can get this information from the other driver in a peaceful way.
Should I report the accident to my insurance company?
Regardless of who your insurance is with, every insurance policy in the United States requires drivers to report an accident—no matter how small the accident is—once it has occurred. If you choose not to report an accident, even as small as a fender bender, you may find that you are suffering from penalties later. It is also best to speak with an insurance agent as soon as possible to report your side of the story. You may have spoken with the other driver and come to a verbal agreement on what happened, but that does not mean anything to an insurance company.
What Expenses Can You Claim in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Most people will go through their life without having to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, some will, and when this happens, questions may arise. As a car accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ, one of the most common questions we receive is regarding what expenses can be claimed. Unlike workers’ comp claims, personal injury claims and lawsuits allow more than just financial losses to be claimed. This guide will explain the simple answer to this big question.If you have further questions, you can consult a Phoenix, Arizona car accident attorney from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC.
The Goal of Your Lawsuit
Before you start thinking about what you can gain from your lawsuit, it is best to put yourself in the right mindset. The goal of any lawsuit is to gain what is rightfully yours. Justice being served takes the form of you being returned to the financial situation you were in prior to the injury. This may mean receiving exactly how much you paid in medical bills and no more, it may mean receiving funds to cover your lost ability to earn for yourself, or it may mean being compensated a huge amount for the exceptionally painful injury you had to experience. Personal injury lawsuits are not a method to get rich quick, but a way to receive a fair compensation for what you lost, no matter how big or small that value may be. The best way to ensure you recover a fair amount is to consult a car accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ.
Types of Damages
There are three types of damages that will determine what you can claim in your suit. They are:
- Special compensatory damages
- General compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
Special compensatory damages refer to all financial losses. If a loss has an objective and exact dollar value, such as a $1,000 hospital bill or a missed $600 paycheck, it falls into this category. These damages are intended to compensate for the exact amount of money you lost and not a dollar more. A good car accident attorney Phoenix, AZ recommends can assess the total amount of damages to ensure they are taken into consideration.
General compensatory damages refer to non-financial losses. The most common type of damage in this category is “pain and suffering.” However, it can cover any type of loss that does not have an objective monetary value. It is even possible to be compensated for a divorce if it can be shown to be the result of the injury. If you suffered in some significant way, the judge will decide what the dollar value of that suffering is.
Punitive damage refers to payment assigned to the defendant strictly as punishment. It is not compensation at all, and has no connection to what the plaintiff lost. Punitive damages are very rare in personal injury cases, but they do get assigned occasionally. To get a better understanding of the amount you should expect to receive, you should speak with a Phoenix, AZ car accident attorney from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC.
Car Accidents and the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
Car accidents can lead to injuries, and often, the extent of those injuries are not fully realized until days or weeks after the initial event. For that reason, many experts suggest that people hold off filing personal injury claims until after they know the extent of the damage and the medical costs associated with treatment and recovery. However, that begs the question of how long you have until suing is no longer possible because, unfortunately, every state places a statute of limitations on such claims, which means once you are involved in an accident, you are on a clock. To learn about the statute of limitations for your case now, call a car accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ.
Typical Statute of Limitations
Most states allow for up to two years to file a claim, but there are circumstances that may extend or shorten that timeline. However, for a typical personal injury claim, a victim can expect a minimum of one year to file. Therefore, they should contact a car accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ soon after sustaining the initial injury, so that the claim can be submitted as quickly as possible. The timeline does not include the case itself; it spans from the date of the accident to the date the claim is filed.
As stated, there are situations where an individual may have more time and not be limited to the standard statute. For example, if the injured party is a minor, then the one to two-year timeline does not begin until they have turned 18, meaning that a 15-year-old victim would actually have five years to file a claim. Also, if the injured party is in a coma or dies due to the injuries, some extra time might be allotted to allow for alternative representation.
Shorter Timelines with Public Entities
While the general statute of limitations is observed in most situations, there are times when that timeline is sped up. For example, when dealing with public entities or governmental services, you might only have three months to file a claim. Therefore, it is vital that you speak to a car accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ immediately following an incident to speed up your claims process.
For Further Advice, Call A Phoenix, Arizona Car Accident Attorney
While the statute of limitations serves a purpose, it also can make victims feel like they are being hurried through recovery. Don’t concern yourself with the bureaucracy of legal regulations. Contact a local car accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ to discuss your options for making and moving forward with a claim. They will be able to guide you through the process while making sure that your case isn’t swept under the rug because of a timing issue.
For more information on the best protocol after a car accident, reach out to a Phoenix Car Accident Attorney in AZ from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC promptly for a free case evaluation!