Your life can be irrevocably altered in a split second in a car crash. You may need medical care, and you may need to take time off from work. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may be able to recover compensation by bringing a personal injury lawsuit. Often, a careless driver was at fault for a car accident, but the insurer for that driver may look for ways in which the accident was your fault. It is important to consult an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer before talking to an insurance adjuster for the other driver or another potentially responsible party. Attorney Freddy Saavedra can assert your right to damages.
Asserting Your Rights After a Car Accident
In order to hold a driver responsible, you will most likely need to prove the driver’s negligence. You will need to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, the defendant breached the duty of care, causation, and caused you damages. Drivers can breach the duty of care in many different ways, including by speeding, weaving, texting while driving, tailgating, driving aggressively, drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, failing to obey traffic signals or signs, and driving while overly fatigued. For example, if another driver is speeding and runs a red light and T-bones your car in an intersection where you had the right of way, it is likely that you can hold the other driver liable under a theory of negligence.
Arizona follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that a defendant may assert that you were partially or fully responsible for your own injuries. The defendant will need to establish that your conduct met the elements of negligence. The jury can evaluate the arguments and evidence, determine your total damages, and assign both parties a percentage of liability. Your total damages as a plaintiff will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the damages are $100,000, and you were 25% responsible, you can recover $75,000 from the defendant driver. A skilled car accident attorney can help Phoenix residents preserve their right to damages against allegations of comparative negligence.
There are more complicated car accidents in which another driver’s liability is not clear. Sometimes it is necessary to bring in multiple parties to share responsibility for injuries sustained in a car accident. Other potentially responsible parties could include the owner of a road, a car manufacturer, multiple drivers, or a repair person. Arizona follows the rule of several liability. Under this rule, you need to be sure to bring in every party potentially responsible for the accident and collect damages from each of them based on that party’s proportion of fault. Each of the parties is liable only for the damages allocated to the defendant proportionate to his or her degree of fault, and separate judgments are entered against each of the defendants.
Statute of Limitations
You only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages after a car accident. Similarly, you only have two years from the car accident to sue for wrongful death if somebody died in the car accident. You should consult a Phoenix car accident attorney promptly because most claims are barred after the two-year window passes.
If you can establish liability, you should be able to recover damages. Damages are usually compensatory and can be made up of both intangible and tangible losses. The tangible losses are fairly straightforward; often, they are documented in writing. They can include medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, and property damage. Intangible losses can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment of life. The amount of damages will depend on the strength of the evidence in your case and your attorney’s ability to build persuasive arguments for you.
Consult a Trustworthy Phoenix Attorney Following a Car Crash
Often, insurers for the responsible party look for ways in which an accident victim was to blame for his or her injuries. While an adjustor may seem friendly, they are not on your side. It is vital to consult an experienced car accident lawyer in the Phoenix area before negotiating with insurers if you have suffered injuries in a crash. Freddy Saavedra represents accident victims throughout Maricopa County. Call us at 602-753-8917 or complete our online form for a free consultation.