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Car Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
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Top Car Accident Lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona for Your Legal Needs
Driving in Phoenix, AZ, often feels like second nature, but it might be the riskiest activity you engage in daily. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, you need a top Phoenix car accident lawyer to fight for your rights. In the worst of times, you can count on us to be at our best.
Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Team
With over 30 years of experience, Marc Lamber and the dedicated team of Phoenix auto accident attorneys at the Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers prioritize helping every client obtain justice and recover the deserved compensation.
Innovative Legal Approach
Our Phoenix car accident lawyers offer an innovative and skilled legal approach. We conduct thorough investigations of each claim to gather and preserve critical evidence, build strong liability claims, and work with experts when needed. This allows us to understand all critical details of an accident and present the strongest possible arguments to insurance companies.
Committed to Winning Your Case
The combination of our experience, litigation skills, and legal knowledge allows us to negotiate agreements to settle claims for maximum compensation in most cases. If an insurance company refuses to fairly settle, our Phoenix car accident attorneys have the experience and skills to take cases to trial and fight for our clients. With our reputation and lengthy successful case record, many insurance companies recognize the benefit of settling rather than risking a loss at trial. Yet, we’re unafraid to fight for your rights at trial if necessary.
Personalized Legal Assistance in Arizona
Your Phoenix car accident attorney at the Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers will take the time to listen to your concerns, understand your accident, and identify the losses you’ve suffered. We will take all necessary steps to recover the compensation you should be entitled to.
Car Accident Statistics in Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona, accounts for a majority of all motor vehicle collisions annually. In the most recent report from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Phoenix accounted for nearly half of all accidents in Maricopa County. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) found driver error to be a contributing factor in 94% of these accidents, indicating the importance of legal recourse in such situations. See NHTSA Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study.
Why Hire a Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer
When people are injured or killed in car accidents in Phoenix due to negligent or reckless actions of others, they are entitled to pursue compensation by filing injury lawsuits against the at-fault parties. Working with an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers will greatly increase the chance that you will recover full compensation for your losses.
Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Phoenix, AZ
Post-accident procedures can be overwhelming, particularly when dealing with injuries. To protect your health and rights, there are crucial steps to follow, including stopping at the scene, calling 911, being mindful of what you say, taking photographs and video, talking to witnesses, and promptly seeking medical attention.
Legal Consequences of Leaving an Accident Scene in Arizona
Pursuant to Arizona’s revised statutes, specifically ARS § 28-663, Arizona law mandates all motorists involved in a car crash to stop and exchange information. Failing to comply carries serious penalties, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, based on the severity of the accident and involved injuries. Even if you were not at fault, leaving the scene could result in a minimum prison sentence of 2.75 years up to a maximum of seven years.
Importance of Immediate Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Seeking immediate medical attention is essential for your health and your accident claim. Many injuries may not show immediate symptoms but could be serious. Prompt medical care helps to establish a causal link between your accident and injuries, further reinforcing the strength of your claim.
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FAQs: Car Accidents Lawyer Phoenix
Experiencing a car accident can be overwhelming and devastating, especially when it leads to personal injuries or loss of a loved one. If such an unfortunate event is caused by another individual or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Navigating through the aftermath of a car accident in Phoenix, Arizona can be complex, and you may find yourself with numerous questions about the claims process and what to anticipate. To help you better understand your situation and options, here are some frequently asked questions about car accidents claims in Arizona.
Q: Who will be responsible for paying my medical bills? What do I do with the bills that I receive?
A: It is common for people to incur substantial medical expenses following accidents. You might be left facing mounting medical bills combined with income losses, causing your financial circumstances to be impacted. Who will be responsible for paying your medical bills when you have been injured in an accident will depend on whether you were at fault or if another driver or party was at fault for your accident. If you were at fault, your own medical insurance will pay for your medical bills. In that case, you will be responsible for paying your deductibles and copays. If another party was at fault, his or her insurance company will be responsible for paying your medical expenses out of the bodily injury coverage on the policy.
If you have an accident with an uninsured motorist, you can submit your medical expenses to your own uninsured motorists/uninsured motorists coverage through your own policy as long as you have it. Since the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy will not pay damages for your medical expenses until your claim is resolved, you will not need to do anything about your medical bills when you receive them. Your accident attorney in Phoenix can talk to your doctors about your claim. In most cases, doctors will agree to wait for payment until your claim is resolved. You can also submit the medical expenses to your own health insurance company for payment. Your company can then go after the at-fault party’s insurance company for recovery of its expenditures once your claim is resolved.
Q: What happens when my accident was caused by a defective part instead of a driver?
A: Some accidents are caused by defective components instead of through the fault of either driver. If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a defective part on your car or on the car of another driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the designer or manufacturer of the defective component under a legal theory called products liability. Designers, manufacturers, distributors, and others who are responsible for bringing defective products to the market may be liable under a products liability theory as long as you were using the product as it was intended and were injured as a result of its defect. Some common examples of defective parts that have resulted in injuries and fatalities include defective airbags, defective tires, defective steering, defective brakes, and others.
Q: I was hit by a commercial truck. Who is responsible?
A: In a trucking accident that is caused by a commercial truck, multiple parties may hold liability. In addition to the truck driver, the driver’s employer may also be liable. Trucking carriers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their drivers, meaning that the carrier will likely be responsible for paying damages since it will have a liability policy with much higher limits. Truck drivers and trucking carriers are not the only potentially liable parties, however. Depending on what happened, multiple parties could have contributed to the accident. These parties might include the parties who were responsible for maintaining and repairing the truck, the distribution companies that loaded and secured the truck, municipalities, and contractors that are responsible for maintaining the roads, truck leasing companies, and others. Your attorney at Lamber Goodnow will conduct an in-depth investigation so that he or she can identify all of the parties that might hold liability for your accident. Identifying and naming all of the potentially liable parties can provide you with more sources of recovery so that you might recover enough compensation to cover your losses.
Q: Can anyone be sued if they are responsible for causing an accident that killed someone?
A: Historically, the ability to recover compensation for injuries ended when someone was killed. This meant that families could not recover damages from the parties who were responsible for causing their loved ones’ deaths. The Arizona Legislature recognized this as inherently unfair and unconscionable. As a result, they enacted a statutory right to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Under A.R.S. § 12-611, people who would have held liability under a theory of tort law if the person had remained alive can still be sued for wrongful death. Wrongful death cases may be filed when a person’s death was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of other people or entities.
Q: Who can sue if someone was killed in an accident?
A: The law limits the parties who can file lawsuits for wrongful death. Under A.R.S. § 12-612, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the surviving spouse of the decedent, the children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, the decedent’s parents if the decedent was unmarried and had no children, the siblings, the grandparents, or the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate. When they are filed by the personal representative or executive of the estate, the proceeds from any settlement or award will be for the benefit of the estate’s beneficiaries or the decedent’s heirs.
Q: What damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: The particular amounts that might be recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit will depend on the facts and circumstances of what occurred. Similar to injury claims, the potential damages can be divided into categories of damages called general damages and special damages. Special damages are monetary amounts to compensate the family members for their actual economic losses from the loss of their loved one. These might include the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses incurred for caring for your loved one until he or she succumbed to his or her injuries
- Your loved one’s past lost income and future income losses based on a life expectancy chart, your loved one’s education and career, and his or her future earnings potential
- Loss of the value of the contributions through services that a non-working spouse made to the home and family
- Your loved one’s lost rights to an inheritance
- Property losses
General damages are damages that are more intangible. In a wrongful death case, these might include the following:
- Pain and suffering that your loved one experienced after his or her injury up until he or she died
- Your emotional trauma experienced from seeing your loved one die
- Your grief
- Loss of consortium for spouses
- Loss of guidance for children
Punitive damages are generally not recoverable in wrongful death cases.
Q: Will the damages that I receive in a wrongful death lawsuit be subject to the debts of my loved one?
A: Whether the proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit may be reached by the creditors of your loved one will depend on the party who brings it. Under A.R.S. § 12-613, proceeds from wrongful death claims cannot be used to pay the debts of a decedent when the lawsuits are brought by and for the immediate family members of the decedent. However, when the claim is brought by the personal representative for the estate, the proceeds will go to the estate. The creditors are then allowed to file claims against the estate to recover the money that they are owed.
Q: My child was injured. Can he or she sue?
A: Under Arizona law, minors do not have the legal capacity to file lawsuits on their own. However, a parent or legal guardian of an injured minor can file a lawsuit on behalf of him or her under A.R.S. § 12-541. If a parent or guardian does not file a lawsuit on the minor’s behalf within the normal statute of limitations, the statute of limitations will be tolled until the minor reaches the age of majority. He or she will then be able to file a lawsuit within the prescribed statutory time period after he or she turns 18 years old. If the parents or guardians fail to file a lawsuit on behalf of the minor, and the minor fails to file a lawsuit on his or her own behalf after he or she turns 18, the potential claim will be time-barred. This means that the child will lose the ability to recover compensation for his or her injuries and losses that resulted from the accident.
Q: How are settlements for minors handled?
A: Because of the unique position that minors have, the courts of Arizona treat proposed settlements differently for minors. The courts want to make certain that the settlements are fair to the minors and that the money that is received will not be wasted by the minor’s parents, guardian, or by the minor himself or herself. Under 17B A.R.S. Rules Prob. Proc. Rule 37, when a settlement offer is proposed for a minor that the minor and his or her parents or guardian think is fair, the proposed settlement must be submitted to the probate court for a review. The probate judge will review the settlement and the evidence in the case to make a determination of whether or not the settlement should be approved. If the court does not approve of the proposed settlement, the parties will need to continue negotiating in an effort to reach a better settlement agreement that will be approved.
After a minor’s settlement offer is approved or after a verdict is awarded in favor of a minor by a jury, the money is not paid directly to the parents. Instead, a guardian will be appointed by the probate court to manage the money for the minor. The money will be held in a trust account, and each expenditure that is paid from the account will have to be requested and will have to be used to pay for approved expenses. Once the minor reaches the age of majority, he or she will receive access to the money in the account.
Q: What are punitive damages? Can I get them?
A: Punitive damages are not compensatory damages. This means that they are not damages that are meant to compensate you for your economic and noneconomic losses. Instead, punitive damages are monetary amounts that the defendant must pay in addition to your compensatory damages. These types of damages are meant to punish defendants for their wrongful actions in order to deter both them and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Because of the unique nature of punitive damages, they are rarely awarded. These types of damages are reserved for cases in which the defendants’ actions were very egregious or outrageous. Types of accidents in which they might be available might include drunk driving accidents that result in severe and catastrophic injuries or cases involving homicide by vehicle with a DUI, for example. Unless the defendant’s conduct was very outrageous, intentional, or reckless, it is unlikely that punitive damages will be available in your case. Your auto accident attorney in Phoenix at Lamber Goodnow can review your potential claim and advise you about whether they might be an option for you.
Navigating Insurance Company Tactics After a Phoenix Car Accident
In the aftermath of a car crash in Phoenix, Arizona, dealing with insurance companies can be a daunting task, particularly while also nursing injuries from the incident. Arizona is a fault-based state for car accidents, meaning the at-fault party, or their insurance company, is responsible for covering injury and property damage claims. It’s crucial to understand the motivations of insurance companies, as they often employ tactics to minimize claim payouts and protect their bottom line.
Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurer, not for you. When interacting with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or adjuster, avoid the following:
- Discussing your injuries and their severity
- Allowing the insurance adjuster to record your statement
- Signing a medical authorization allowing the insurance company to access your medical records
- Accepting an early settlement offer
You aren’t obligated to speak to or share details with the other driver’s insurance company. Before making any statements, consult with a Phoenix car accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers. Your attorney can handle interactions with insurance companies, ensuring your rights and interests are protected.
Arizona Insurance Requirements: Protecting Yourself with Adequate Coverage
Pursuant to Arizona statute, ARS 28-4009, Arizona has increased its minimum liability coverage requirements due to a recognition that previous limits were often insufficient to cover the losses of collision victims. The current minimum coverage requirements are:
- $25,000 in bodily injury/death for one person
- $50,000 bodily injury/death for two or more people
- $15,000 property damage coverage
However, these limits may still be inadequate for many injury or fatality collisions. For additional protection, consider purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This provides extra coverage if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Your Phoenix car accident lawyer will also explore other potential sources of recovery to ensure maximum compensation for your losses.
Contact a Phoenix Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a car accident in Phoenix caused by another motorist’s negligent or reckless conduct, you don’t have to face this challenging time alone. Contact the Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers in Phoenix today for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll provide an honest assessment of your case and explain the legal remedies available to you.
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Understanding Arizona’s Car Accident Laws
Arizona has specific rules and regulations when it comes to car accidents. These include timelines for filing a claim, determining fault, and understanding what compensation you might be entitled to. Familiarize yourself with these laws to ensure your rights are protected.
- Pure Comparative Negligence: Arizona follows a “pure comparative negligence” system. This allows you to recover damages even if you’re partially at fault for the accident. However, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Arizona is generally two years. This is the period within which you must file a lawsuit after the accident. If you miss this deadline, you may forfeit your right to sue and recover damages.
- Mandatory Auto Insurance: Arizona law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage. The minimum coverage requirements are $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage.
- Duty to Report: Any motor vehicle accident in Arizona resulting in injury, death, or property damage over a certain amount must be reported to the police.
Phoenix-Specific Car Accident Issues
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident in Phoenix can come with unique challenges. With a growing population and heavy traffic, the Phoenix area has specific issues that impact car accident claims.
- High Traffic Areas: There are a number of high traffic areas in Phoenix where accidents are more common. These might include major intersections, areas around popular shopping centers or tourist attractions, and certain busy highways. It’s also worth noting that rush hour in Phoenix, like in most cities, can significantly increase the risk of accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Phoenix is known for its high summer temperatures, which can lead to tire blowouts on hot asphalt. In addition, monsoon season can lead to slick roads and reduced visibility, increasing the chances of car accidents.
- Red Light Running: According to previous studies, Phoenix has had an issue with drivers running red lights, leading to a higher than average rate of intersection accidents.
- Unique Roadway Features: Phoenix has a number of unique roadway features, such as roundabouts, and certain freeways, like the Loop 202, which can pose unique challenges to drivers unfamiliar with these types of roadways.
National Car Accident Statistics
Understanding the wider context of car accidents in the U.S can be helpful.
- National Car Accident Frequency: In 2022, there were over 7.2 million police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. This represents a 7% increase from 2021.
- Common Causes of Accidents: The most common causes of accidents include distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and reckless driving.
- Injury Statistics: In 2022, an estimated 3.04 million people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a 6% increase from 2021.
- Fatal Accidents: The NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicates that there were 42,939 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on U.S. roadways during 2022. This represents a 10% increase from 2021.
How to Reduce Car Accidents in Phoenix, AZ
The following are some of the things that can be done to reduce car accidents:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents. Drivers should avoid using their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. If they are being used, then they should be integrated into your car systems through bluetooth and/or wifi.
- Drunk driving: Drunk driving is another major cause of accidents. Drivers should never drink and drive.
- Speeding: Speeding is a factor in many accidents. Drivers should obey the speed limit and drive safely for the conditions.
- Reckless driving: Reckless driving includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving too fast for the conditions, and driving aggressively. Drivers should avoid reckless driving.
By taking these precautions, drivers can help to reduce the number of car accidents.
Seatbelts: The Low-Hanging Fruit of Car Safety
Seatbelts are one of the most effective ways to prevent death and injury in a car crash. In 2022, an estimated 14,955 lives were saved by seat belts in the United States. However, about 1 in 10 people in the United States do not wear a seatbelt. This is a dangerous habit that can have deadly consequences.
Seatbelts work by keeping you from being ejected from the vehicle in a crash. Ejection is one of the leading causes of death in car crashes. Seatbelts also help to reduce the severity of injuries in a crash. They can prevent you from hitting your head on the dashboard or windshield, and they can help to keep your spine in alignment.
It is important to wear a seatbelt every time you get in a car, no matter how short the trip. Seatbelts are the single most effective way to protect yourself in a car crash.
As a personal injury lawyer, and more specifically, as a car accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ., practicing over 30 years, I have seen time and again, firsthand the devastating consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.
If you are not wearing a seatbelt, please start today. It is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones in a car crash.
Ready to Take the Next Step? Contact Us Today
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when trying to navigate legal complexities and insurance company tactics. You don’t have to face this alone. Contact Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers today. With our expertise and commitment, we’ll help you understand your rights, navigate Arizona’s car accident laws, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us now or fill out our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
440+ 5 Star Reviews
"My wife and I had occasion to use Mr. Lamber and his staff for a legal matter. The entire staff was wonderful. They kept us informed of every step and communicated quickly and effectively as things changed or progressed. We would highly recommend Mr. Lamber and his staff to anyone needing legal advice or assistance. They had a very high level of integrity and professionalism. It's too bad there are only 5 stars for their rating. They are excellent."
"I just got rear-ended today, but I'm thankful I found this firm. They take care of you in general, and if you don't make enough to cover your costs, they back you up 100%. Stephanie Ramos gave excellent and kind customer service by getting me in motion with the whole process. Attorney Donn Coolidge gave me the rundown of the situation very clearly, and I'm looking forward to working with him. I fully recommend this firm!"
Jonathan Carrillo Lopez
"This law firm is amazing, Marc and Jenny handled my auto accident for me. Excellent communication, they did a thorough job of handling all the details, and helped me with everything. I really appreciated their care and dedication, and I am happy all has been settled and resolved. I would definitely recommend them, and use if needed again in the future. Thanks again Jenny and Marc I appreciate y'all!"
2394 E Camelback Rd #600
Phoenix, AZ 85016