In Arizona, car accident lawsuits (brought by an injured plaintiff against one or more negligent defendants) are rather common — reflecting the relatively high frequency of motor vehicle accidents in the state overall, and to an extent, indicative of the significant, potentially life-altering damage that a car accident can inflict upon the victim. According to a recent report conducted by the Arizona Department of Transportation, for example, there were 126,845 total motor vehicle crashes in the state of Arizona for 2016, with 962 fatalities and 56,636 injuries. Causes of injury were varied, with a significant proportion of accidents accounted for by driver intoxication, among many other factors.
If you have been injured due to the fault of another — whether a driver, manufacturer, or public/private landowner — you may be entitled to recover damages to compensate you for your injuries, pursuant to Arizona law. It’s not always easy to understand whether you have an actionable car accident injury claim, however. What may seem to be a dead-end claim to the layperson may actually be worth litigating. A skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer will be able to assess your injury claims and determine whether you have an actionable claim through which you can recover.
For example, suppose that you are injured in what first appears to be a straightforward car accident lawsuit. The defendant-driver injured you in a rear-ending incident at a stop sign. Further investigation reveals that your airbag failed to deploy, thus resulting in injuries that could have otherwise been prevented. Your case may therefore involve multiple defendants, including the airbag manufacturer, and may involve product defect claims, too. An experienced car accident attorney will parse the incident and your various claims and help you move forward with an effective legal strategy.
In Arizona, as in other states, you have a limited period of time during which you can file your claims against the relevant defendants. As such, it’s critical that you consult with a qualified injury attorney as soon as possible. Here at Hirsch & Lyon, we are dedicated to our clients and committed to litigation on their behalf. Our attorneys are not only experienced, but have a track record of success in obtaining compensation for our clients (with over $100M in damages recovered for our clients and their families). To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call (602) 535-1900 today.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are a number of different acts of negligence (and negligent failures to act) that can contribute to a car accident. These acts include, but are not necessary limited, to:
- Driving while exhausted
- Unlicensed driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to inspect vehicle
- Improper cargo loading
- Car defects
- Creation of road hazards
- And more
Car accidents are quite variable. Some car accident cases may occur on the highway and involve multiple other vehicles, while others may involve pedestrians in a private parking lot area. Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our Phoenix car accident attorneys have experience litigating car accident lawsuits that involve:
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Vehicle rollovers
- Multivehicle accidents
- Wrongful death
- And more
Arizona Comparative Fault
Arizona implements the doctrine of pure comparative fault — otherwise known as pure comparative negligence. So, what is pure comparative fault, and how does it affect a plaintiff’s car accident claims?
In Arizona, pure comparative fault is a means by which the court can allocate liability among multiple parties, including the plaintiff. Many cases are complicated by various factors, and do not implicate just one party — in fact, multiple parties may each have contributed to the accident at-issue by engaging in negligent behavior. Each faulty party will be assigned a portion of the total fault.
The concept of “pure comparative fault” can be confusing without some additional context. Let’s walkthrough a quick example for clarification.
Suppose that you are injured in a car accident on the highway. The defendant-driver was driving while distracted, and was talking on their mobile phone at the time — their negligence led to a collision with you on the highway. The facts reveal that you might be partly to blame as well, because at the time of the collision, you were speeding. Had you not been speeding, you may have been able to brake or turn in time to avoid a collision with the defendant-driver.
Application of Arizona pure comparative fault will require that the court assess each party’s respective fault contribution. Ultimately, the court may find that the defendant was largely to blame for the accident. The court may — after presentation of the facts — determine that the defendant was 80% responsible, and that you were 20% responsible. Under a pure comparative fault system, the fact that you contributed to your injuries does not prohibit you from recovering damages. Instead, your damage recovery will simply be reduced to match the actual liabilities. Here, if your claim was worth $500,000 in total, you would only be entitled to recover $400,000.
When multiple parties are at-fault (i.e., multiple drivers in a car pileup on the highway), each party will have a fault percentage assigned to them. Each party will be held liable for their percent contribution.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon Today
Hirsch & Lyon is a Phoenix-based injury firm that has focused entirely on providing top-tier legal advocacy for the victims of car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. The attorneys at Hirsch & Lyon have over 65 years of combined experience, with a long track record of success in obtaining favorable results for clients, whether through settlement negotiations or at trial.
At Hirsch & Lyon, we understand that client engagement is crucial to success. Our staff is available 24/7 to respond to any questions or concerns you may have. For your convenience, we are also available to make hospital and home appointments. As we are confident in our ability to serve our clients, we provide legal services at a discounted rate (our contingency fee is 25%, and up to 30% if the case proceeds to trial, plus costs). When you win through Hirsch & Lyon, you keep more of it for yourself!
Call (602) 535-1900 or contact us online to setup a free consultation with a Phoenix car accident lawyer today. Our attorneys will assess your claims and help you navigate the challenging landscape of car accident litigation.
Phoenix Car Accident FAQs
Q: What recovery options are there if the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured?
A: If the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured, you can make a claim against your own insurance company (you can stack your own coverage on top of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, for example). Alternatively, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to file a claim against other liable parties who contributed to your injuries.
Q: What is the statute of limitations deadline for a car accident claim?
A: In many cases, the statute of limitations for any Arizona personal injury lawsuit — including car accidents — is two years from the date of injury, though in some instances, the statute of limitations period may be different depending on the defendant(s), among other factors. For example, if you have been injured by a public entity or public employee (i.e., a bus driver), you’ll have to serve a claim within six months of the date of injury. If you fail to serve a claim before the applicable statute of limitations deadline passes, you will be prohibited from recovering for your claims under Arizona law. The computation of the correct statue of limitations for your case can be complicated. Do not rely on this information; but instead contact an attorney to confirm the statue of limitations for your specific case.
Q: What compensation is available in the event of a car accident?
A: You can claim both economic and non-economic damages for injuries suffered in a car accident. These include damages for wage loss, medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, quality of life deterioration, and more.
Q: Do I need an attorney?
A: If you’d like to recover in full for your injuries, it’s very important that you consult with a qualified Phoenix car accident attorney. Your attorney will provide a range of services — from investigation of the facts, opening up negotiations with the responsible parties, filing your claims, handling communication with other parties, including insurance providers, and much more — that are invaluable as you begin the process of litigation.
Q: What should I do after a car accident occurs?
A: If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, your priority should first be to seek emergency medical aid. Once you have been provided adequate medical care for your injuries, you should follow-up on your care and have qualified physicians assess your injuries in full. Further, after your immediate medical needs have been met, it’s critical that you consult with an attorney so that your claims can be litigated.
Q: How long do I have to report to insurance?
A: Arizona law does not require you to report your car accident to the insurer, but your insurance contract will likely require you to do so within a specified period of time. Generally, you’ll have a few days to report the accident to your insurer. Your insurance provider is not your ally, however, so don’t accept a settlement offer until you have consulted with an attorney.
Q: Do I need to file a report?
A: If you or someone else involved in the car accident has suffered an injury, then one of the drivers involved in the accident will have to report it to the relevant law enforcement authorities.