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Peoria Auto Accident Attorney
It may not seem like it, but driving is likely the most hazardous activity you engage in on a daily basis. When you and your loved ones face the worst, rely on us to be at our best.
Auto accidents are a common event in Peoria, Arizona. While most collisions only result in property damage, some can be devastating, leading to injuries or fatalities. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reported that in 2020, 970 individuals were killed and 28,610 were injured in car crashes in Arizona, the latest year for which data is available. These accidents made up a portion of the 98,778 total reported crashes that year, yet still accounted for a significant number.
Despite efforts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and state and local governments, including Arizona, to reduce traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities, they continue to occur. Knowing what to do if you are severely injured or lose a loved one in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence is crucial.
At Lamber Goodnow, a Peoria auto accident attorney can assist car accident victims in seeking justice and obtaining compensation. Our goal is to help those affected by negligence recover fair compensation for their losses while holding the responsible parties accountable. A Peoria auto accident lawyer can evaluate your case and discuss your possible rights and options. If we agree to take your case, we will thoroughly investigate the incident, gather evidence, and do everything in our power to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Here is some information about motor vehicle accidents and the process of filing claims.
Applicable Laws in Auto Collision Claims
The Arizona Vehicle Code contains numerous laws intended to regulate driving behavior in the state. These laws aim to enhance safety for individuals sharing the roads and prevent accidents. When drivers violate these laws, they put others at risk of injury in car accidents. Here are some of the most common laws that our Peoria auto accident attorneys encounter when handling our clients’ car accident claims:
- Following too closely prohibited – ARS § 28-730
- No passing on the right except when the vehicle being passed is preparing to turn left, the passing driver is on a one-way street, or the passing driver is on a road with at least two lanes going in the same direction – ARS § 28-724
- Pass on the left and remain there until it is safe to return to the right lane – ARS § 28-723
- Drive in the right lane unless you are overtaking someone traveling in the same direction or when there is an obstruction, you are on a one-way street, or the road has three or more lanes – ARS § 28-721
- Maintain a reasonable speed for the circumstances while on a highway – ARS § 28-701(a)
- Reckless driving prohibited – ARS § 28-693
- Obey stop signs and stoplights unless directed otherwise by a police officer – ARS § 28-644
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs prohibited – ARS § 12-1381
Insurance Company Strategies in Peoria Auto Collisions Arizona follows a fault-based system for car accident claims, meaning that if you are involved in an accident caused by another driver, you will file your claim for damages with their insurance company rather than your own. While this approach might seem logical, the process of recovering compensation is often not straightforward.
Insurance companies aim to maximize profits, and they do everything they can to increase their profit margins. As a result, they attempt to minimize claims and the amounts they pay to accident victims. Insurance adjusters are employed by insurance companies to try to reduce the amount a claimant might receive following a car accident.
Adjusters often contact car accident victims shortly after learning about the incident. They receive training on how to interact with victims and may seem genuinely concerned about the injured person’s well-being. However, remember that adjusters work for the insurance company and their primary goal is not to protect your interests. They are trained in asking questions in a way that can trick victims into making statements that can be used to minimize the amount paid out in claims.
Insurance companies may also ask victims to sign medical authorizations, claiming they need access to medical records to verify injuries before processing the claim. In reality, the insurer will use the authorization to access your entire medical history, attempting to argue that your injuries were caused by something other than the car accident.
Another tactic used by insurance companies is to send low-ball offers to victims soon after the accident, especially when it is clear that their insured is at fault. These offers may be tempting to victims dealing with mounting medical bills and lost income. However, accepting an unreasonably low offer can prevent you from pursuing additional compensation for your losses.
These examples illustrate why it is crucial to consult with a Peoria car accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident. An attorney can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, preventing you from making mistakes that could harm your ability to recover compensation. It’s essential never to sign anything from an insurance company or speak with an adjuster before consulting with an attorney from Lamber Goodnow.
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FAQs: Car Accidents in Peoria
Car accident victims and those who have lost loved ones often have many questions about their rights and the steps they should take. Our Peoria car accident attorneys frequently address these questions to help clients understand their potential cases.
Q: What if I Think I’m Partly to Blame for My Accident?
A: Even if you believe you might be partially responsible for the accident, avoid apologizing or accepting blame from the other driver. Factors you may not be aware of could be involved, and making statements about fault can harm your claim. Allow your attorney to handle the determination of liability.
Arizona follows a pure comparative negligence system (ARS § 12-2505), meaning each person is responsible for their negligence. You can still recover compensation even if you are partially at fault, but your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
Q: What if a Failed Part Caused My Accident?
A: If a defective part caused your accident and injuries, you can pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer and others involved in bringing the part to market.
Q: Can I Sue if My Loved One Was Killed in a Collision?
A: Whether you can file a lawsuit depends on your relationship with the victim. Arizona law (ARS § 12-612) allows the following individuals to file wrongful death lawsuits:
Estate’s personal representative/executor
Q: When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
A: Arizona has statutes of limitations for car accident claims. Under ARS § 12-542, injured parties must file lawsuits within two years of the accident. For wrongful death claims, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. Claims against government agencies must be filed within 180 days under the Arizona Tort Claims Act.
It’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after receiving medical treatment. Retaining a lawyer quickly can help avoid mistakes and allow your attorney ample time to investigate your case and preserve crucial evidence.
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