There are times when a case is so straightforward and simple that people don't need to hire attorneys. Frequently, we've told people during initial consultations that they don't need an attorney and, simply, give them step-by-step instructions on how to proceed without us. However, there are times when clients definitely need to hire an injury lawyer, and their cases have been negatively impacted because they waited too long or never hired one at all. To set the record straight on when and why you need an injury lawyer in AZ and when you don't, we've written this blog.
If you believe you need to consult with an accident attorney after reviewing this blog, give us a call or text at 602-345-1818 to set up your free initial consultation. We'll review the facts of your case, then advise you on the best course of action – whether we think that includes us or not.
Everyone Isn't in Agreement About Liability
Sometimes fault in an accident is clear cut – when someone crashes into you from behind or runs a red light and hits you – but sometimes fault is difficult to prove. In these cases, it's in your benefit to hire an injury lawyer in AZ. Your lawyer will help prove who was at fault by gathering evidence, which may include:
- Police reports
- Traffic data
- Photographs and videos from the scene
- Car accident forensics evidence
- Accident reconstruction analysis
- Eyewitness reports
- Medical reports
Depending on your case, your lawyer may collect various forms of evidence to prove where liability falls.
When Fault Is Divided Among Multiple Parties
Arizona and New Mexico both adhere to the “pure comparative negligence” theory, which means that fault in an accident can be shared between and among parties according to the percentage of fault that each party is determined to have had in the accident. This allows even at-fault drivers to seek compensation that will help them recover after an accident.
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.
Dividing fault among drivers can be a complex process. As such, it's essential to have an injury lawyer in AZ to help prove you had as little fault as possible in the accident, allowing you a greater settlement amount.
You Were Injured and Have Increasing Expenses
If you sustained injuries in your accident that have caused you substantial medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc, proving the impact of these injuries and calculating a settlement total will come into play. Typically, in these cases, continued medical attention is needed, which can cause the medical bills to pile up. To make matters worse, sometimes people are out of work for long periods following an accident. Monitoring and calculating these aggregate expenses is necessary for a proper physical and financial recovery. Frequently, non-monetary damages may be factored in, too. These include items like emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, severe physical pain, and more. If you've suffered emotionally, be sure to seek professional medical help and let your car accident lawyer know.
You Have a Pre-Existing Injury That Was Aggravated By the Accident
Pre-existing injuries can throw another complication into the case. Generally, insurance companies will not compensate you for injuries sustained prior to the accident, however, if that injury was worsened by the accident, there may be an exception. Differentiating the timeline of these injuries can be extremely difficult.
The key is proving that the pre-existing injury was, in fact, made worse by the car accident. Some evidence that might be helpful includes:
- Medical records from before and after your accident, including X-rays, MRIs, prescriptions, etc
- Statements from your doctor about the treatment of your injuries before and after the car accident
- Expert statements from professionals who have reviewed your medical records, injury, accident details, etc
For more information about car accident cases with pre-existing injuries, check out this blog post.
The Insurance Company Is Being Shady
Insurance companies don't have a track record of always being completely fair and just. In fact, often, we've experienced the opposite is true. An insurance adjuster's job is to pay you as little as possible in a settlement, and they are experts at doing this. If you are noticing certain tactics being used by the insurance company, call a lawyer immediately. Some of the tactics to look out for are:
- Huge delays in the investigation of your insurance claim
- Inadequate investigation of your insurance claim
- Lowball settlement offers
- Insurance claim denials
- Taking an enormous amount of time to approve your claim
Having a Lawyer Will Increase Your Settlement
If you are experiencing any of the above situations, it's time to schedule a free initial consultation with our injury lawyers in Arizona or New Mexico. Having an attorney on your side will increase your settlement, ensuring that you have the funds to make a thorough recovery and get your life back on track. To schedule an online or in-person appointment with us call or text 602-345-1818 or fill out our online form.