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Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers

Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers

“David was referred to us after our car accident, and the minute I stepped into his office I felt welcomed.” — Jennifer

Car accidents are a leading cause of unintentional injury and death in the United States. For most Arizona drivers, getting into an auto accident is a matter of when not if. In fact, in 2019, there were nearly 130,000 car accidents in Arizona alone. Over 900 of these collisions were fatal, while about 37,000 caused injuries. Unfortunately, a serious car accident can cause lasting injuries that dramatically affect your life.

At Shapiro Law Team, we’re passionate about helping those injured in car accidents, along with their families. We work tirelessly to recover compensation for your injuries and fight for justice on your behalf. While we understand that money won’t fix everything, we hope a fair financial recovery can help you and your family move forward. If you’ve been in a car accident in Phoenix, contact our lawyers for free today.

Why Clients Choose Shapiro Law Team

  • We’re a full-service personal injury law firm that offers comprehensive legal care. Our car accident attorneys handle your case from start to finish, even if that means going to trial.
  • We have years of experience handling car accident claims involving negligent or reckless drivers as well as claims involving government negligence and auto defects.
  • We have a long history of obtaining top results for our clients in Arizona. This includes a $2.75 million award for a trucking collision and $1.75 million for a motorcycle accident.
  • We don’t ask our clients to pay legal fees unless we’re successful in securing financial compensation on their behalf. Our Phoenix car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.

When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

It might seem easy to accept a low settlement offer from an auto insurance company, but you shouldn’t do this. Many car accident survivors with serious injuries don’t fully understand their rights or the value of their claim. They fall for bad faith tactics from insurance companies, like lowball settlement offers and wrongful claim denials.

Catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, and expensive losses deserve attention from a skilled personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to aggressively negotiate your claim for fair results. Don’t settle for less. Work with an attorney to achieve maximum compensation.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Phoenix, AZ

Every truck accident, motorcycle accident, fender-bender, and vehicle collision has a cause. One of the first actions you or your car accident lawyer should take is to identify the root cause. Causation can point to the identity of the defendant, or liable party, in your car accident case. It could also determine whether or not you have grounds to file a claim against another person or party for negligence. The lawyers at Shapiro Law Team have experience with various car accident causes:

  • Driver negligence. Driver error is the cause behind most vehicle collisions in Arizona. Common mistakes include driving while drunk, drugged, drowsy, or distracted. Other errors include speeding, reckless driving, tailgating, red-light running, illegal passing, and failing to yield the right-of-way. If another driver negligently or recklessly caused your collision, he or she may owe you compensation.
  • Vehicle owner negligence. A car, truck, bus, or motorcycle that doesn’t operate properly due to maintenance problems could point to the owner’s liability for a related crash. If a commercial trucking company doesn’t adequately inspect, maintain, or repair a truck, for example, its brakes could fail or another part could break down and cause an accident.
  • Defective car parts. A motor vehicle relies on hundreds of parts working together smoothly to ensure safe operation. When a part like a tire or an engine contains a defect, the vehicle may be unable to operate properly. The manufacturer or distributor may be liable for a car part that contains a manufacturing, marketing, or design defect and causes a collision.
  • Dangerous roads. In some car accident cases, the vehicle and driver are both sound but the roadway is not. Road defects like loose rubble, debris, potholes, missing reflectors, unsafe construction zones, obscured signs, and broken traffic lights could contribute to preventable car accidents in Phoenix. The city or state government could be liable for these types of crashes.

Whether you know what caused your Phoenix car accident or you need a lawyer to investigate further, contact Shapiro Law Team. We can look into the cause of your car accident and let you know if you have grounds for a claim. We may offer to take over insurance company negotiations or take your claim to trial in Maricopa County.

Frequent Car Accident Injuries

A vehicle collision in Arizona can inflict serious, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries on the victims involved. The forces exerted on vehicle occupants in the average car accident are enough to break bones, injure soft tissues, and cause various other injuries.

Attorney David Shapiro got into personal injury law out of a passion to help people with serious and life-changing injuries. He built his practice on the belief that no victim should have to accept an injury without a fight. Our plaintiff’s firm accepts car accident cases involving many types of injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Herniated disks
  • Bone fractures
  • Broken ribs/chest injuries
  • Muscle sprains or strains
  • Joint and ligament injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Fatal injuries

Some auto accident injuries will cause lifelong symptoms for victims. A spine injury, for example, could cause paralysis below the point of injury. A brain injury could also permanently affect how a survivor thinks, behaves, and moves. Catastrophic injuries can cause millions of dollars in lifelong medical costs, as well as lost wages and reduced earning capacity due to one’s inability to return to work.

The Phoenix car accident lawyers at Shapiro Law Team aggressively negotiate for maximum compensation for badly injured crash victims. We understand serious injuries and sympathize with those who must live with them. We can fight for maximum compensation for past and future losses.

How to Prove Negligence in Car Accidents in Phoenix

Sustaining an injury in a car accident in Phoenix is one thing, but proving the negligence of the other party is another entirely. There are four elements of negligence that a car accident victim or their attorney must prove to secure compensation for what happened:

  1. Duty. Any injury case revolves around proving that the person who caused the injury (the defendant) owed a duty of care to the injury victim (the plaintiff). Every driver on the roadway owes a duty of care to other drivers, passengers, and bystanders around them. This duty of care involves operating your vehicle safely and within the parameters of Arizona law at all times.
  2. Breach. When a duty of care has been established, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached this duty in some way. In other words, they need to show that the driver operated below an acceptable standard of care period for car accident cases. This often involves proving that the defendant broke a traffic law which caused the accident.
  3. Causation. When the plaintiff establishes that a breach of duty has occurred, they must show that this breach directly caused the incident.
  4. Damages. Finally, the plaintiff must show that they sustained some sort of monetary loss as a result of the breach of duty. This can include medical bills, property damages, pain and suffering, and more.

Understanding the elements of negligence is crucial, but that in and of itself doesn’t prove negligence. There are various steps that car accident injury victims can take immediately following the incident, as well as in the days and weeks after, to help prove negligence:

6 Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Phoenix, AZ

  1. Seek immediate medical care. The most crucial part in proving negligence will be establishing the injuries and the severity of those injuries. Any serious car accident victim should seek immediate medical care, regardless of how minor the injury seems—or whether any are visible immediately following the accident. The signs and symptoms of many car accident injuries do not appear for hours or even days after the crash occurs, and a doctor should be the one to determine what treatment you need.
  2. Call law enforcement officials. Negligence often revolves around information in the police report that’s filled out after the crash occurs. Nearly every Arizona vehicle accident must be reported to law enforcement officials who will conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident and gather crucial information required by insurance carriers and juries.
  3. Take photographs at the scene. If a car accident injury victim or someone else can safely do so at the scene of the crash, they should use their phone or another type of camera to take photographs of everything. This includes damages to vehicles, injuries, debris, weather conditions, traffic patterns, and possible causes of the crash.
  4. Contact information of eyewitnesses. The names and contact information of any other witnesses should be obtained. This includes not only other drivers and passengers but also bystanders who saw the incident occur.
  5. Gather video surveillance. Take note of any cameras near the scene of the crash. Nearby businesses and homes may have surveillance cameras or doorbell cameras that caught some or all of the incident on film. An attorney may be able to help gather this surveillance footage to help prove liability in the injury case.
  6. Continue medical care. All accident victims should continue seeking medical care until a doctor says they’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Again, these cases revolve around the medical care that the victim receives, and discontinuing treatment before reaching maximum medical improvement could jeopardize the total compensation achieved.

Remember, you don’t have to try to gather all this information on your own. When you contact Shapiro Law Team, we make sure to get the ball rolling.

Comparative Negligence After a Phoenix Car Accident

Car accident victims often wonder if they can still recover compensation if they’re partially at fault for the incident. Sometimes, insurance carriers will lead car accident injury victims to believe they cannot recover compensation or that they should accept a lower settlement if they played a role in causing the crash.

Arizona operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that a car accident victim can receive compensation for their injuries even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, the caveat to this system is that the injury victim will receive reduced compensation based on their percentage of fault for the incident.

For example, Suppose Samantha is struck by a speeding and intoxicated driver as she tries to change lanes. As a result of the incident, Samantha sustains injuries that lead to her incurring $100,000 in medical bills. However, during the investigation, it is determined that Samantha is partially at fault for the incident because she did not use her turn signal until after she had already begun changing lanes.

As a result, it is determined that Samantha is 30% responsible for the incident, even though the driver who struck her was intoxicated at the time of the crash. In this case, Samantha would be entitled to $70,000 in compensation as opposed to the full $100,000.

Cases of comparative negligence can be incredibly nuanced, and it is crucial to work with a skilled vehicle accident attorney to help you through your situation.

Types of Car Accident Cases We Accept

It’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix who has experience handling your particular type of car accident injury case. While no two cases are exactly alike, all car accident claims abide by the same set of rules and laws in Arizona. Arizona is a fault-based car insurance state, meaning the party at fault for the crash is financially responsible for the injuries caused. The law firm you choose should have the experience, resources, and personnel to address the needs specific to your car accident lawsuit. Shapiro Law Team accepts many different types of car accident cases in Phoenix, AZ.

  • Passenger cars
  • Commercial trucks
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Vans and buses
  • Motorcycles
  • Bicycles
  • Pedestrians
  • Wrong-way crashes
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end accidents
  • Intersection accidents
  • Rollovers
  • Texting and driving accidents

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact us to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit. We’ll review your case during your free consultation with no obligation to hire our lawyers. If we think you have a case and offer to represent you, our accident attorneys will start pursuing compensation immediately.

How Soon Do You Need to File?

In most cases, the statute of limitations on car accident claims in Arizona is two years from the date of the injury. If you don’t discover your car accident injuries until later—like a brain injury with delayed symptoms—you have two years from the date of injury diagnosis to file. However, exceptions do exist.

If the defendant wrongdoer was a governmental entity, you only have 180 days from the date of the injury to file your notice of claim under ARS 12-821.01. Additionally, if you were injured while at work, you only have one year to file your suit before your claim gets assigned to the worker’s compensation insurance company that’s paying your bills.

Due to the nuance and complexity of these claims, it’s critical to file as soon as possible after your collision. Auto insurance companies often require immediate reporting—within 24 to 72 hours of the car accident. You will then have until the end of your statute of limitations to file a civil claim for damages. You may only have 180 days from your auto accident to file a civil claim if the defendant is a government entity.

Waiting could lead to the inability to use key evidence, like cell phone records, during your claim. Acting quickly could preserve your right to seek financial compensation from the party or parties that caused your car accident.

What Are Damages? How Much Is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?

In a personal injury claim in Arizona, the word “damages” has a double meaning. It refers to both the losses you suffered in the auto accident as well as the compensation you could receive from the defendant. When calculating your damages, look at all past and future losses you may experience due to the vehicle collision. In Arizona, a personal injury claimant can seek compensation for both tangible (economic) and intangible (non-economic) damages. If you need assistance calculating your damages, contact Attorney David Shapiro.

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional injuries
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Death benefits
  • Punitive damages

Each claim is unique. What one client receives in compensation may not reflect the value of your injuries and damages. Some claimants receive thousands while others recover multiple millions. The best way to receive an honest and accurate depiction of what your claim could be worth is to consult a personal injury attorney near you for a case review.

Call for a Free Consultation

Phoenix, Arizona Traffic Accident Statistics

When we turn to data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation, we can see that there were 129,750 total vehicle crashes across the state during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were:

  • 982 fatalities
  • 53,809 injuries

We can use this DOT data to look closer at Phoenix. During that same reporting year, there were 4,526 total vehicle collisions in the city. Out of those incidents, there were:

  • 24 fatalities
  • 1,955 injuries

However, the data for Phoenix does not give us the full picture of the danger that residents in and around this area face regularly. We want to pull back a bit and look at the overall crash data for Maricopa County. During the same year of data gathered above, we can see that there were 97,105 total crashes throughout Maricopa County. Out of those incidents, there were:

  • 446 fatalities
  • 38,571 injuries

Car Accident Insurance Requirements in Phoenix, Arizona

As with every other state across the country, Arizona drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance to remain legal on the roadway. Each state is responsible for setting these minimum limits, and Arizona requires drivers to carry the following amounts of automobile insurance:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: Minimum $15,000

One thing you won’t see required in Arizona is uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Other states do require uninsured motorist coverage, but Arizona doesn’t. However, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is incredibly beneficial and relatively inexpensive. We strongly encourage all drivers to consider purchasing this type of additional coverage.

If you’re struck by a driver without insurance or a driver whose insurance policies aren’t sufficient to cover your total expenses, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help cover these additional costs.

If you’re struck by an uninsured driver or if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to handle all of your expenses, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. If the other driver didn’t have money to pay for insurance, it’s unlikely that they’ll have much in the way of resources to pay for the expenses you incur in the aftermath of a collision.

Contact a Phoenix Car Accident Attorney for Free Today

Your health, well-being, and future could depend on how you react to an auto accident in Phoenix, Arizona. Hiring a personal injury attorney from the beginning can grant you access to key resources to help you build your claim. It could also prevent you from making mistakes that would interfere with your financial recovery.

Attorney David Shapiro and his associates are here to help you understand your rights, protect them during claim negotiations, and fight for optimal results after a motor vehicle accident. Learn all the ways our law firm can help you or your loved one after a car accident in Phoenix during a free consultation. Request one today with our Phoenix car accident attorneys through our website or by calling (480) 568-1162 any time, day or night.

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