Phoenix Car Accident Attorney
For over 25 years, the attorneys of Cruz & Associates have worked to protect the rights of Phoenix car accident victims. Arizona accident laws are complex, but our bilingual staff have both the knowledge and experience to help you receive fair compensation, all while treating you with the respect and dignity you deserve.
At Cruz & Associates, we believe in protecting accidents victims in Phoenix from unscrupulous insurance practices. Insurance adjusters fear working with our car accident attorneys because we prepare from the beginning to do whatever it takes to ensure all the facts come out in your case. Our attorneys have a proven track record of success, winning our clients millions of dollars in compensation for auto accidents over the years. When you’ve been in an accident in Phoenix, Cruz & Associates is the best neighbor you can have.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix Car Accident Attorney?
Insurance adjusters know they can dramatically lower the amounts they need to pay in compensation if they can convince victims not to put an attorney to work on their case. After an accident, you may be traumatized and unable to clearly see ways in which the insurance company manipulates the situation to their advantage.
As an accident victim, you are likely unfamiliar with all the aspects of the law that apply to your case in the way your attorney will be. While no two cases are the same, our attorneys have significant experience handling car accident cases and understand exactly what your rights are.
The attorneys of Cruz & Associates are skilled negotiators and have a track record of not backing down when dealing with insurance companies. You can be sure that insurance adjusters do not have your best interests at heart. Your attorney represents you and your interests and will help make sure that insurance negotiators don’t take advantage of you after your injury.
In the event that you do not receive a fair settlement offer, your case may need to go to trial. Your attorney will prepare and present the facts of your case in a way that makes it clear that defendant owes you compensation. Our attorneys are not afraid to go to trial and have the advantage of years of experience in the courtroom. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to taking cases to trial.
Common Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can transform your life in the blink of an eye. Car accidents are so common we regularly consider them to be just a part of life. In almost every case however, a responsible driver’s reasonable care could prevent the devastating consequences of an accident. All drivers have a duty of care when they get behind the wheel. If they fail in this duty, our legal system holds them responsible.
Car accidents almost always result in injuries that need medical attention. Injuries can range from minor bruises and cuts to life-altering brain trauma or paralysis. Injuries to the soft tissue supporting the neck are common in car accidents. The forces at work in an accident can throw the weight of the head forward and back rapidly, resulting in whiplash. This injury results in a stiffness in the neck, making it difficult or impossible to turn the head easily. Headaches, back pain, problems with balance and many more difficulties often accompany a whiplash injury as well.
The trauma of a car accident often causes injuries to the chest. This can result in bruised or broken ribs. A broken rib can puncture a lung or inflict damage to other internal organs resulting in life-threatening injury and internal bleeding. Those with heart problems may suffer a traumatic cardiac arrest. These injuries require immediate medical attention to save the accident victim’s life.
Back injuries are also common in a car accident. A herniated disk can result from the forces at work on the spine in an accident. This results in a great deal of pain, often leaving the patient unable to return to work until the damage has healed. More severe injuries may affect the spinal cord. This can result in temporary or even permanent paralysis. In less severe injuries to the spinal cord, the victim may experience weakness and loss of control over limbs affected by the damage.
Head injuries can range from relatively mild concussions to serious brain injury. A concussion can give the victim headaches, including migraine headaches that may last a lifetime, difficulties with memory and concentration, and heightened sensitivity to lights and sound that can make even simple tasks almost unbearable. Severe brain trauma can result in personality changes, memory issues, struggles with speech, and even difficulty performing simple hygiene tasks. Sufferers often require care around the clock and may need assistance for life due to their injuries.
Other common injuries include:
- Fractured bones in the hands, feet, arms, and legs.
- Disfiguring scars.
- Torn and damages ligaments, especially in the knees.
- Severe emotional pain and distress.
How Common Are Car Accidents in Phoenix?
In 2016, there were over 37,000 fatalities from auto accidents nationwide, an increase of over 5% from the previous year. In Arizona, there were 100,000 crashes that resulted in over 950 fatalities and over 56,000 injuries.
Maricopa County saw the greatest numbers of injuries and fatalities in the state. There were 479 fatalities in the county, accounting for just under half of the number of people killed in car accidents in Arizona. Over 40 thousand people suffered serious injuries in the county, which is over 71% of the injuries for the state.
Phoenix had almost 43,000 accidents. Over 200 people died on Phoenix roads and over 19,000 suffered serious injuries. Tragically, in Phoenix, 93 of these deaths were alcohol related, as well as 877 of the injuries. These numbers have all increased over 2015 numbers and show no signs of relenting in the coming years.
What Types of Damages Am I Entitled to After a Car Accident?
In Arizona, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries after an accident. Medical expenses are often a terrible burden after a serious injury; they may include hospital bills, doctor’s bills, prescription medication, and even specialized medical equipment you may need at home while recovering.
Lost wages due to missed time at work can put a strain on families attempting to pay the mortgage or rent, cover utility bills, and just meet the everyday demands of life. The law entitles you to compensation for these costs if someone else’s negligence caused them. You may also be eligible for compensation for the pain and suffering you experience due to the accident. While putting a dollar amount on your pain is impossible, having the negligent party pay for their actions may prevent another from suffering in the same way.
If a loved one dies in an accident, you may also seek compensation for the loss of affection and companionship your loved one’s absence brings.
What Laws Affect My Auto Accident Injury Claim?
One of the most important laws affecting your claim is the statute of limitations. This law places a limit on the time you have available to file a claim after your accident. Failing to file before the deadline may result in a denial of your claim, even if it would have merited compensation based on the evidence. In most cases, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. If your claim is against a municipality in Arizona, you have only 180 days to file the claim.
Arizona law uses comparative negligence to help decide awards when more than one party might be at fault for an auto accident. This states that you are eligible for compensation even if you were partly responsible for the accident that resulted in your injury. If the courts find you partly to blame for your accident, they may reduce the total compensation you receive proportional to your share of the blame. For instance, if the total compensation you seek is $100,000, but the courts found you to be 10% at fault, your compensation would be 10% less, so your award would be $90,000.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
The most important thing to do immediately after an accident is to stop and remain at the scene. The law requires you to stay at the scene of an accident until the police arrive and get the evidence they need for a report. Always call the police to come to the scene of an accident. This protects you by having an objective report of the scene and the facts involved. Should the other driver later claim injury or damages, the police report can back up your side of the events.
If you believe that the accident caused your injury, seek medical attention immediately. However, even if you don’t feel hurt, you should see a doctor soon anyway. Often, the symptoms of injuries are not readily apparent to untrained personnel until hours after an accident. Having a medical exam will protect you from greater suffering from delaying treatment, as well as establish that the injuries you suffered were a result of the accident.
Always exchange information with the other driver including:
- Contact information.
- Name and contact information of the auto insurance company.
- Insurance policy number.
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle, as well as the license plate number.
If you can take photographs of the accident scene, this can provide valuable evidence of the exact conditions of the time of the accident.
Call Cruz & Associates Today
After a car accident, you need someone representing you who puts your interests first. Our attorneys are available anytime, day or night, because we understand that your need for legal counsel doesn’t always occur during regular business hours. We provide a free consultation and will advise you on what fair compensation you may be entitled to after an accident. Call Cruz & Associates today and let us begin working to get you the compensation you deserve to get your life back on track.