Phoenix Car Accident Attorneys
Auto accidents are some of the most common types of matters that our personal injury team handles. With offices throughout Arizona and across the Southwest, our law firm brings the resources and personal touch you can depend on for responsive and attentive legal guidance.
The Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team invests in your case. We are compassionate, dedicated and experienced advocates litigating cases that involve injuries ranging from minor damages to fatalities. We manage all legal aspects of your case and remain in constant contact with you. Our innovative legal services are customized to your case and fully supported in aggressive pursuit of your best possible outcome.
Our Phoenix-based car accident lawyers take the appropriate critical steps swiftly and in accord with your unique situation.
Over 40 percent of car accidents result in an injury. That is about 35,000 car accident injuries in the Phoenix area alone. Many injury victims are unaware of the full value of their accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured, you should always seek immediate medical attention and consult a personal injury attorney with substantial knowledge and litigation experience. Our attorneys can help you pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other losses. What is your case worth?
Arizona Auto Insurance: Beware of Common Traps
Insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind when you are trying to recover damages after your auto accident. Insurance companies make money by taking premiums paid by drivers and then paying out as little as possible if those same paying customers are injured in an auto accident. This oftentimes means that legitimate claims for auto accident injuries may be drastically minimized in their severity or value.
The Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team has experience negotiating fair settlements with insurance companies as well as litigating our clients’ cases against insurance companies in court.
In the state of Arizona, Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-4135 and Section 28-4009 require that every motor vehicle must be covered by an insurance policy that includes liability coverage of the following amounts:
- At least $15,000.00 per person
- At least $30,000.00 for two or more people
- $10,000.00 per occurrence for property damage.
Drivers in Arizona are not legally required to carry uninsured or underinsured liability coverage. However, Arizona Revised Statute Section 20-259.01(A)-(B) requires that insurers make available by written offer and by the request of the insured shall include within the policy uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured liability coverage is important because it covers you if you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have auto liability insurance. Additionally, underinsured liability coverage is important because if you are severally injured in an accident and the at-fault driver only has the state minimum insurance requirements their policy may not be enough to cover your damages. If you have underinsured liability coverage than your own insurance will cover (up to your limits) the gap in the amount of damages.
What to do After a Car Accident: First Steps
No one plans on being in a serious car accident; however, statistics from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis show that a person living in Arizona has a 1 in 3,327 chance of being involved in a fatal car crash. All car accidents are unique; nevertheless, this list incorporates important steps to take in common scenarios.
Stay at the Scene
If you are in Phoenix, or anywhere in The Valley, it is important that after an accident you stay at the scene and give your name, address, vehicle registration number and drivers license information to any person that was injured or had their property damaged. However, you should not admit liability or apologize at the scene. Immediately after an accident people may be disoriented and fault may not be determinable without further investigation.
If anyone involved in the accident has been injured call for medical assistance immediately. If you are able, give “reasonable assistance.” This may mean calling for an ambulance. However, do not move an injured person after the collision unless there is a fire and they are in danger.
Call the Police
In Phoenix, if you are involved in an accident in which there is injury or death, state law requires you to notify the Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa Sheriff’s Department or the highway Patrol immediately.
Talk to Witnesses
Ask every witness what he or she witnessed. Get their names, phone numbers and addresses. Ask if they would be willing to have you record their answers on your cell phone. Witness recollection can be lost very quickly; therefore, it is important to get witness statements as promptly as possible.
Take photographs of the accident scene with your phone. Take photographs of the vehicles, the people involved, your injuries and the area surrounding your accident. Photographs could prove invaluable is court or in settling your claim.
Keep Track of Medical Treatment
If you believe that you have been injured in an auto accident it is imperative that you see a medical professional for your own health and to document your injuries. Keep all bills and records from your medical visits. Note any doctors, therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors and other medical professionals that you receive treatment from, and all referrals to other caregivers.
Additionally, keep a written record of how your injuries have impacted your daily life in order to prove pain and suffering. Include items such as: difficulty with sleep, difficulty performing daily household activities, inability to drive a car, inability to exercise, missed work, how the injuries have affected your relationships, mood and any other important change caused by the accident.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Car Accident Case?
If you have been injured in the auto accident, it may be in your best interest to contact a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. Studies from the Insurance Research Council and the All-Industry Research Advisory Council suggest that auto accident victims that hire a personal injury attorney receive 40 percent higher settlements than those who chose not to hire an attorney. Additionally, the study found that insurance payouts are 3.5 times higher for clients who have hired an attorney than for those without one.
An experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney will be able to walk you through your unique situation and assist you in getting the damages you deserve. The Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team works quickly to preserve evidence, record witness information, investigate the scene of the accident and collaborate with expert accident reconstructionists. We are industry leaders, and we are determined to hold responsible parties accountable in any type of auto accident involving negligence of another party. The sooner you speak with us, the sooner our team can go to work for you
Common Phoenix Car Accident Laws
Obedience to Traffic Control Devices
Section 28-644: A driver must obey traffic control devices applicable to the driver, unless directed by a traffic or police officer.
Section 28-693: A driver who drives in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving, and can be fined and imprisoned.
Reasonable and Prudent Speed
Section 28-701(a): A driver shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances.
Driving on Right Side of Roadway/Shoulder
Section 28-721: Drivers must drive in the right lane of roadways with the following exceptions:
- When there is an obstruction in the right lane
- When passing another driver in the same direction
- Upon a roadway restricted to one way traffic
- Upon a roadway with three marked lanes for traffic
Passing On the Left
Section 28-723: Driver proceeding in the same direction must pass to the left at a safe distance and shall remain in the passing lane until it is safe to return to the right lane. Drivers being passed must not increase the speed of their vehicle until their vehicle is completely passed by the overtaking car.
Passing On the Right
Section 28-724: Drivers may pass on the right under the following conditions:
- When the driver about to be passed is about to make a left turn. However, the driver attempting to pass on the right must not do so without driving off the pavement of main-traveled portion of the roadway.
- When the roadway has two (2) or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.
- On a one-way street where the roadway is free from obstructions and wide enough for two or more lines of moving vehicles.
Following Too Closely
Section 28-730: A driver must not follow another driver more closely than is “reasonable and prudent,” having due regard for the speed of other drivers and traffic conditions along the roadway.
Negligence in Arizona
Most auto accidents in which there are injuries hinge on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence refers to when a person fails to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would under the same circumstances. Under Arizona law, negligence is broken down into four elements:
- Duty: the at-fault party owed some type of duty to you. For example, in an auto accident they owed a duty to pay proper attention and drive prudently.
- Breach: the at-fault party breached their duty owed to you by failing to exercise reasonable care. For example, in the auto accident they did not pay proper attention or drive prudently.
- Causation: the at-fault party’s actions were the cause of your injury. For example, because the driver did not pay proper attention or drive prudently they rear-ended you as you were lawfully stopped at a red light, causing you to break three ribs.
- Damages: there is some way in which you may be compensated for your injury. For example, you may get your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering for your broken ribs.
At-fault drivers in Phoenix may also be found liable under the legal theory “negligence per se.” In tort law the rule of negligence per se states that if a defendant’s actions violated a safety statute, for example traffic laws, then the court will consider the actions negligent without asking whether a reasonable person would have done the same thing.
In Arizona negligence laws follow the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under Arizona Revised Statute Section 12-2505, an injured party is allowed to recover even if they are found to be up to 99 percent at fault. The victim’s damages will be reduced by the amount in which they are found to be at fault. However, if a plaintiff intentionally caused or contributed to an injury then they are barred from recovery.
Arizona Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum period, which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim.
Arizona Revised Statute Section 12-542 establishes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage claims. If the victim fails to settle their claim or file a lawsuit within this prescribed time period they will be barred from pursuing the negligent driver for their damages.
Arizona Accident Reports
Just as an accident victim in Phoenix has a legal duty to report an accident to police if there has been injury or property damage, police officers have laws and duties to follow as well.
Arizona Revised Statute Section 28-667 states that a law enforcement officer who investigates a motor vehicle accident resulting in bodily injury, death, damage to the property that totals more than $1,000, or a citation, must complete a written report of the accident within 24 hours after completing the investigation.
Additionally, Arizona Revised Statute Section 28-669 requires officers to create written reports that provide sufficiently detailed information about the cause of the accident as well as the conditions and the persons and vehicles involved.
An Arizona Crash Report is very important in a personal injury case. It will help in establishing liability for settlement purposes. Section 9 of the Crash Report is for Citation Charges. This is where the officers record any citations given and may be used to argue negligence per se. Additionally, a diagram of the accident, as well as a narrative of what happened, will be found on the report. Each section is important in determining where the responding officer’s initial determination of liability rests.
Phoenix Automobile Crash Statistics
Car accidents are all too common in Phoenix. Phoenix is the most populous capital in the United States and the center of Valley of the Sun (metropolitan area). It boasts over 1.5 million people in 2016, making it the sixth largest city in the United States. It is estimated that in 2016 Phoenix’s metropolitan area was home to over 4.5 million people. To compare, this is approximately seven times the population of the city of Seattle. With such a large, and continuously growing population, Phoenix and its surrounding areas continue to add and improve their infrastructure and freeways. However, vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities continue to be on the rise.
Phoenix has one of the most advanced freeway systems in the country. The major freeways that run through Arizona include: Interstate 40, which runs west to east across Northern Arizona, Interstate 10, which runs east to west through southern Arizona in addition to connecting Tucson and Phoenix, Interstate 8, which runs east to west between Yuma and Interstate 10, Interstate 19, which runs from Tucson to Nogales, Interstate 17, which runs from Phoenix through Flagstaff and U.S. 60, which spans most of the country.
With such a large population and extensive Interstate system, motor vehicle accidents and deaths are a major concern. Each year the Arizona Department of Transportation publishes Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, which is a statistical finding of vehicle crashes in Arizona. The finding details each type of accident, including, but not limited to: the number of vehicle collisions a day, the number of vehicle collision injuries, the number of driver and passenger deaths involved in vehicle accidents, alcohol-related crashes, crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists, accidents which occurred during the daylight and night hours, the amount of economic losses as a result of vehicle collisions and fatalities and injuries by age and sex.
In 2015, there were 811 fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes. This statistic includes drivers and passengers as well as pedestrians and cyclists involved in the accident. This number is up over 100 people from 2014, in which 709 were killed in vehicle collisions.
The number of total vehicle crashes in 2015 was 116,609. Injury crashes accounted for 30.99 percent of crashes, while fatal crashes accounted for less than one percent. Vehicle accidents involving property damage only, made up 68.31 percent of accidents. Of all pedestrian crashes, 11.44 percent were fatal, while 1.95 percent of cyclist crashes were fatal. Additionally, alcohol-related crashes accounted for 4.24 percent of all crashes and 32.80 percent of all fatal crashes. The total of vehicle crashes resulted in a $3.817 billion in economic losses to Arizona.
This boils down to approximately 146.62 people injured and 2.45 people killed in Arizona due to vehicle collisions each day; or one person injured every 9.82 minutes and killed every 9.79 hours.
Specific Types of Car Accident Cases
Please click the following links for help with your particular accident:
Every Second Counts In Auto Wrecks
We work quickly to preserve evidence, record witness information, investigate the scene of the accident and collaborate with expert accident reconstructionists. We are industry leaders, and we are determined to hold responsible parties accountable in any type of auto accident involving negligence of another party. The sooner you speak with us, the sooner our team can go to work for you.
Speak With An Arizona Car Accident Attorney Today
It is never too late to retain our services. Contact us online or call our firm at 602-274-9662 or 1-283-2652 toll free. We only get paid when and if you get paid. There are no out-of-pocket costs to you for our cutting-edge, creative legal services.
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