This week, we've got more frequently asked questions about car accidents to share with you. Car accidents bring about so many questions that it's difficult to answer all of them in one blog post. In an effort to create a guide to help you navigate the aftermath of a car accident, part II will cover questions about proving fault after a car wreck, potential compensation, and other details you need to know post-accident.
Every accident is different. If you still have questions about yours, give us a call or send us a text at (602) 345-1818. You can also fill out our online contact form, and we will reach out to you to set up a free initial appointment to discuss the details of your case.
Liability in a Car Accident
Liability is a huge part of your car accident claim. What happens if you are in a car accident that wasn't your fault? What about if you were in a wreck that was your fault? How does your level of fault impact your potential legal compensation after an automobile accident? We're covering everything liability in this section.
Is Arizona a No-Fault State?
Arizona is an at-fault state, meaning the party who is responsible for the crash is responsible for the financial implications of it.
Is New Mexico a No-Fault State?
Like Arizona, New Mexico is also an at-fault state. The liable party will be responsible for paying for the damages incurred by the accident.
What Happens If You Are At Fault in an Accident in Either Arizona or New Mexico?
Both Arizona and New Mexico adhere to Pure Comparative Negligence, which provides an opportunity for partially at-fault drivers to seek legal recovery. The percentage of fault you played in the accident, will determine the percentage of legal compensation you're eligible to receive. For example, if a plaintiff was rewarded $100,000 in damages, and they were found to be 20 percent liable, they'd receive $80,000 in compensation from the defendant who was found to be 80 percent responsible for the wreck.
As you can imagine, proving your percentage becomes increasingly important in these types of accident cases. Consulting an injury lawyer is advisable to help you get the compensation you need to recover.
How Is Fault Proven in a Car Accident?
How to prove fault in an accident depends on your specific case. Sometimes “no doubt” liability comes into play, as is the case with rear-end collisions. Sometimes you'll rely on official police reports or car accident forensics if liability is contested. We've compiled some resources for you, depending on the facts of your car accident.
To prove your level of liability in an accident, your accident lawyer will collect evidence to present to the insurance company. Some of that evidence may include:
- Official police reports
- Accident reconstruction analysis
- Eyewitness reports
- Video footage and photo evidence of the accident scene
- Electronic crash data
- Medical records and bills
If the insurance company is refusing to offer a reasonable settlement, your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit to get you the compensation you deserve.
Can Anyone Other Than the Drivers Be Held Liable in an Accident?
The part held liable in an accident depends on the specific facts of the incident. For example, in a crash involving a semi-truck, multiple parties could be proven to be at fault. Similarly, if a bus or other commercial vehicle is involved in the crash, parties other than the driver could be held responsible for the incident. A Phoenix truck accident lawyer can help you navigate these potentially complex situations.
Potential Compensation After an Accident
Depending on your accident, you may have compounding medical expenses, car repair bills, and other financial implications, all while being unable to go back to work. The financial stress that can arise after an accident can be exasperating. While your legal remedy will depend on the specific facts of your case, we'll walk you through some general notes regarding compensation after a car accident. Your car accident lawyer will help you get a closer idea of your potential compensation based on your case details.
What Can I Be Compensated for After an Auto Accident?
After a car accident, you have the right to collect damages from the at-fault party to make you “whole” again. Depending on the case, you may seek economic, non-economical, and sometimes punitive damages. Some examples of recoverable damages in a car accident lawsuit include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Transportation expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medication expenses
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Severe physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What If the Other Driver Has No Insurance?
If the at-fault driver has no insurance, you may have to turn to your own insurance policy. While uninsured motorist insurance is optional in New Mexico and Arizona, we highly recommend you get it. Uninsured motorist insurance can be essential to your financial recovery after an accident with a person who has no insurance.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
In this section, we'll discuss what you need to know to take potential legal action after a motor vehicle accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
In Arizona, you have two years to file suit after you've been in a car accident. The clock starts on the date of the accident, or the day you discovered injuries from the accident.
In New Mexico, you have three years after the date of the accident or the discovery of the injury to file suit.
However, there may be exceptions to these timelines. If you are in an accident with a government employee in Arizona, your statute of limitations greatly decreases to just 180 days after the accident date. In New Mexico, you'll have two years to file suit against a government employee. If you are seeking property damage only, you'll have four years from the date of the accident.
Should I Hire an Accident Lawyer?
It's a good idea to consult a vehicle accident lawyer. This will ensure that you don't miss any important deadlines while going back and forth with the insurance company. A lawyer will also handle communications with the insurance companies, negotiate your settlement offer, and know when it's time to take further legal action via a lawsuit if the insurance provider is refusing to offer a reasonable settlement.
If you've been hurt in an accident, and you don't know how you'll pay your growing medical bills, give us a call or text today at (602) 345-1818, or fill out our online contact form.