Some auto accidents are relatively simple and clear cut cases of obvious neglect by one particular driver, but others are not so simple and often get very complicated when multiple parties are involved. Multiple parties also means multiple insurance companies, with all of them usually trying to deflect fault for the accident away from their client. This is done for a variety of reasons, but all are an attempt at reducing the total payout for the insurance company. Fault is always a central issue in an Arizona auto accident because the state does not use “no fault” insurance law. Anyone in Arizona has the right to sue a negligent driver for full damages following a crash, and often this can include punitive damages when the act was intentional or involves a trucking company that requires drivers to skirt the rules and regulations of the highway. Whether or not to hire an attorney depends on the material case facts of the mishap, but injured plaintiffs who handle their claims personally are rarely compensated equitably or fairly.
What an Auto Accident Attorney Can Do
Attorneys are officers of the court just like police and prosecutors, and they also have the right to investigate all aspects of a car wreck involving their clients. This includes crafting a version of events that is most advantageous to their client with respect to fault determination by the state or claims of the defending insurance company. Pure comparative negligence law is the state standard, meaning that even drivers who were largely at fault for their own accident injuries can still be compensated in an amount that discounts the level of their comparative negligence. This is an area of negotiation that the insurance companies always try to control, and having your own legal team is important for an accurate determination of personal fault. An attorney can also investigate the citation history of a driver or their employer when a commercial vehicle is involved, which can then be made part of the record. This is the beginning of establishing an additional punitive damage request as well when an attorney feels confident they can win the award in jury trial.
Determining Pain and Suffering Settlements
The first component of an auto accident case will usually be directed at replacing a vehicle or providing a rental car until the personal vehicle is repaired or covered by compensation. Medical bills may be submitted initially as well, but do not be surprised if the responsible insurance company defends against the diagnosis or requests a second opinion from a doctor they commonly use for rebuttal purposes. The diagnosis and prognosis of the second opinion doctor is used to limit the amount of discomfort and pain claims associated with recovering from the injury or dealing with it long-term. This is by no means a scientific calculation process, and having your own aggressive personal legal representative team means your non-economic allowance in the settlement will be more significant than a novice injured plaintiff can negotiate. Auto accident attorneys are trained professional negotiators just like insurance claims agents or corporate attorneys, and you will need protection from excessive defensive claims.
Going to Trial
Trying an accident case is an area of law where an experienced trial attorney excels the most. Cases can go to trial by the request of any involved party, including the plaintiff, and often occurs either when the defense thinks they can win a acquittal or the plaintiff attorney thinks they can win a punitive damage award from a sympathetic jury. They are common in cases where the defendant is a corporation or the respondent negligent driver was impaired or acted intentionally. It always take an aggressive trial attorney who is diligently focused on making their client financially whole when the insurance company has acted in bad faith or the negligent party was guilty of gross negligence. Product liability claims can also be a component of any auto accident case, and these claims are often fought sternly by manufacturers when the particular defective product malfunctions in an isolated situation.
It is always important to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney following an accident because injury claims can be much more valuable than the injured victim understands. A solid attorney will pursue all avenues of recompense in an effort to win the client a maximum award or settlement.