Ask A Car Accident Injury Attorney
In our years of experience, we have seen all types of car accident cases. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding insurance and other matters that are important to injury victims in Arizona.
Do I Need Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Yes! Statistically, there are thousands of drivers operating motor vehicles in Arizona without insurance. Trusting that other drivers will carry insurance coverage is unwise. Maximizing the amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is inexpensive and can help you avoid financial disaster if you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident or were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian.
Should I Talk To The Other Insurance Company?
No. You have no obligation to speak with the other insurance company. Despite what the other insurance company may say to you, they cannot do anything to you if you do not speak with them.
The other insurance company is not on your side and will use your words against you. The other insurance company’s main focus is to gain as much information as possible that they can use to defend against your claim.
More than other types of crashes, trucking accidents tend to involve complex insurance and liability matters. If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident of any kind, we can handle the insurance mattes while you focus on your health and family.
Should I Provide A Recorded Statement After An Accident?
No. Just as you have no obligation to speak with the other insurance company, you also have no obligation to provide a recorded statement to the other insurance company.
A recorded statement can be used by an insurance defense lawyer to cross examine you and contradict things you said in the recorded statement. There is no benefit to you to speak with the other insurance company or to provide a recorded statement.
Is It Okay To Speak With My Insurance Company After An Accident?
Yes. Your own insurance company may want to speak with you after an accident, and some insurance policies may require you to cooperate with your own insurance company.
However, we still recommend that all communications with insurance companies, including your own insurance company, go through an experienced car accident injury attorney.
What Information Should I Gather After An Accident?
- Call 911 if you or anyone else is injured.
- Even if nobody is injured, the accident should always be reported to the police.
- Take photographs of all of the vehicles involved in the accident from multiple angles.
- Exchange information (full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number, types of vehicles involved, and location of accident) with the other driver.
- Take down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Obtain a copy of the accident report or accident information exchange form from the police officer.
What Is The Value Of A Car Accident Injury Claim?
The value of a car accident injury claim varies due to many factors, including injuries, medical expenses, future medical treatment needed, disfigurement (scarring, burns, etc.), wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, number of parties involved, and many other factors.
Also, the value of a car accident injury claim is largely dependent on the amount of insurance coverage available. Unfortunately, the majority of Arizona drivers are underinsured or uninsured. That means it is extremely important to explore all avenues of potential recovery such as medical payment coverage, UM/UIM coverage (uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage), and coverage for third-party negligence, to name a few.
Hiring an experienced car accident injury attorney after an accident is the most important thing you can do to ensure that you are fairly compensated after a car accident and to ensure that all avenues of potential recovery have been explored.
Who Is Responsible For A Car Accident With Injuries?
There are many factors that lead to car accidents in Arizona. Here are some examples of times when others can be held legally accountable for their negligence while operating a motor vehicle:
- Distracted or fatigued drivers
- Drivers who speed or don’t follow the laws of the road
- Drunk drivers or drivers under the influence
- Third-party negligence (like hazardous road conditions or restaurants/bars that overserve alcohol to somebody involved in an accident)
How Long Do I Have To Make A Personal Injury Claim?
For a negligence claim, you generally have two years following the date of the accident. However, there are unique deadlines that can alter that timeline.
Of particular note, if you were injured by someone working for a city or state agency in Arizona, you may only have 180 days following the incident to present and preserve your claim.
Acting quickly to retain a personal injury attorney and preserve your claims is critical. The Arizona personal injury attorneys at SG Law, PLLC can provide further clarity if you have case-specific questions.
What Are Medical Liens? And Do They Affect My Claim?
In Arizona pursuant to A.R.S. § 33-931 medical liens are statutory liens that are enforceable against a third party settlement. What that means is a healthcare provider, such as a hospital or an ambulance, may be entitled to recover the difference between payments made by a health insurance company and the total charges billed by the healthcare provider.
For example, if you were involved in a car accident and were treated at a hospital for injuries you sustained in the accident, the hospital’s total bill may be $10,000, but your health insurance company may only pay $1,000. The hospital in that scenario could then file a medical lien for $9,000. You are then legally responsible for satisfying that lien out of the proceeds from your settlement.
In some instances, healthcare providers will assert liens for more money then is even available due to insufficient insurance coverage. There are statutory requirements for a lien to be enforceable but, in general, most medical liens must be satisfied or agreed to be satisfied before an at-fault insurance company will settle your claim.
At SG Law, PLLC, we handle and negotiate our clients’ medical liens at no cost. Our main goal is to ensure that our clients receive the maximum recovery possible, and we will do everything in our power to reduce the amount of medical liens that must be paid out of a settlement. We have even had some large medical liens completely waived because they were not properly filed.
This is an area of law where, especially in Arizona, it is hugely important to hire an experienced car accident injury attorney who is familiar with the nuances of medical liens.
Contact SG Law, PLLC For A Free Consultation
We understand that this is a difficult time for you. We are here to help. For a free consultation, please call SG Law, PLLC at 480-865-1745 or complete our contact form. We represent clients in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale and throughout Arizona.