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The effects of a car accident can be devastating, from property damage to serious injury, and sometimes even worse.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in Scottsdale, a personal injury law firm serving Scottsdale or Maricopa County can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Car after road accident in Scottsdale

From the mountains to the mesa, Arizona highways see 179.7 million vehicle miles every day, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

And all those miles can lead to mistakes.

Car wrecks are fairly common in Arizona, and while these auto accidents can be devastating, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath alone.

A top Scottsdale car accident attorney can offer sound legal advice and help you receive fair compensation for your experience.

Who’s At Fault For A Car Accident In Scottsdale, AZ?

Determining the at-fault party in a car crash may seem simple, but the term actually has some significant legal considerations.

The persons considered at fault are deemed those responsible for causing the accident — or creating the conditions that helped lead to the incident. And these parties are responsible for paying any damages.

But in personal injury cases, fault is also determined on a spectrum, which includes:

  • Negligence: The failure to take proper care
  • Wanton or reckless behavior: Exhibiting irresponsible behavior
  • Intentional misconduct: Purposely behaving in ways that are dangerously irresponsible

These varying levels roughly coincide with how much intention was behind the behaviors. And a personal injury lawyer can use the information to determine the amount of damages on the table.

Is The At-Fault Driver Always Liable In A Car Accident?

At-fault drivers are generally considered liable in an Arizona auto accident. But they’re not the only parties potentially involved.

Individuals, corporations, or government agencies can all be held responsible for paying damages.

Fellow motorists do shoulder the blame for causing an accident most of the time. Still, pedestrians or bicyclists who were involved may be found liable, too.

If poorly designed or malfunctioning vehicular equipment created the conditions that led to the crash, auto manufacturers can also be brought into these cases.

And government bodies can also be held liable, in cases where poorly maintained or badly designed roads led to the incident.

Keeping roads free of sharp turns, bad signage, cratering potholes, poor lighting, and other dangerous conditions is considered the responsibility of these agencies.

For your particular case, a Scottsdale auto accident attorney can help determine any parties who may have contributed to the crash.

What Are Your Legal Options After An Arizona Car Accident?

Even if you’ve been involved in one of these unfortunate situations, you don’t have to consider yourself a car accident victim. There are several legal options you can pursue.

Filing a personal injury claim is most people’s first course of action. Still, these can be complicated matters, and the years of experience cultivated by top law offices can help ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

Property damage, medical bills, and other pain and suffering are all under consideration during the claims process. It’s these injuries that help determine the ultimate settlement.

But even if the amount of compensation can’t be agreed upon, it’s not the last option you have. In these situations, you can instruct your legal team to file a lawsuit against any liable parties.

A free consultation with a personal injury attorney will help provide the legal advice you need to determine your best course of action.

Steps To Take After A Scottsdale Car Accident

Regardless of how you choose to legally deal with the accident, there are a number of steps you can take to help make the process as smooth as possible, and help you build the best case for compensation.

1. Gather Evidence

Gathering evidence is a crucial first step toward filing a personal injury claim.

“Evidence” is a broad term that can include any number of documents, such as:

  • Dates of any doctor’s appointments
  • Bills related to any medical expenses or medications
  • Medical records detailing injuries or doctor’s visits
  • Bills related to alternative forms of transportation
  • Bills related to vehicle repairs
  • Damage estimates related to your vehicle
  • Communications with insurance companies
  • Photos of any personal injuries
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • The police report

Your car accident lawyer will further advise you about which types of documents will be most helpful in your case.

2. Consult A Car Accident Attorney

If your car accident case involves property damage or personal injury, it’s highly recommended to hire legal representation.

Good lawyers tend to have years of experience and high success rates with these types of cases. Plus, they can help ensure things go as smoothly as possible during this emotionally difficult time.

3. Negotiate A Settlement Offer

Negotiations can go relatively quickly when all parties involved have experienced lawyers, and it’s not uncommon for cases to settle out of court.

If the legal teams involved are unwilling or unable to reach a mutual decision, you won’t be able to negotiate. But you can still bring your claim to court, where a judge or jury will get to weigh in on the matter.

What Types Of Damages Can You Claim In An Arizona Personal Injury Case?

Auto accidents are traumatic experiences that can cost far more than money.

In personal injury cases, the law attempts to assuage these other considerations, with damages covering everything from physical difficulties to emotional distress.

Medical Bills

Any medical treatments or attention required in the wake of the crash is generally considered a medical damage.

This varied list of costs can include:

  • At-home medical care
  • Rides to and from the hospital
  • Therapy or rehabilitation bills
  • Ambulance rides
  • Surgery and hospitalization costs
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Medical devices
  • Doctor visits

Lost Wages

If injuries sustained in an auto accident caused you to miss work, you may also be eligible for damages connected to your lost wages.

These payments don’t just cover the salary you lost while on medical leave, but are meant to pay for any diminished earning potential related to your absence, including:

  • Bonuses
  • Promotions
  • New accounts

Sometimes, serious injuries actually leave people unable to return to the same line of work. In these cases, you would be entitled to additional damages, related to the costs of going without a job or changing careers.

Pain And Suffering

There’s no doubt many car accidents are sources of real emotional and physical stress. And while it’s impossible to tally those costs, these damages are meant to compensate for such an unpleasant experience.

Pain and suffering is a broad category, which can include costs related to:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of the companionship of a spouse or partner

Wrongful Death

Still, nothing compares to the experience of losing a loved one.

If there were any fatalities connected to your auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation related to:

  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Loss of income or capacity to save money
  • Loss of financial support

What Are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?

Cars may be safer than ever, but they’re still big, fast, heavy machines in the hands of sometimes-unreliable human drivers.

These factors can contribute to a number of serious injuries in car accidents, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries

Arizona Laws That May Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

While there are some federal accident laws, most of the details of these cases hinge on state law.

Your Scottsdale car accident lawyer should be able to explain more about the specifics of Arizona injury laws and how they affect your personal injury claim.

At-Fault State

Arizona is an at-fault state. This means that whoever is deemed responsible for causing the accident will have to pay for the damages.

The system compares to a sister policy, called “no-fault.” In these scenarios, insurance carriers are responsible for covering the costs of their own policyholders, regardless of who is ultimately found at fault for the crash.

Comparative Negligence

Personal injury claims filed in Arizona are also subject to a rule called comparative negligence.

That means the behaviors of every party involved will be weighed, with liability assigned to any and every party found responsible.

In states with comparative negligence, it’s even possible for you to be assigned some portion of liability in your own case.

Regardless, each party found liable is responsible for paying a certain share of the total damages.

Statute Of Limitations

A statute of limitations puts a time limit on when you can officially file your claim.

In Arizona, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years, meaning you have that long after the police report is issued to file a personal injury claim stemming from the incident.

What Causes Car Accidents In Scottsdale, AZ?

In Scottsdale and far beyond, car accidents happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most common contributor to car crashes is driver error.

Distracted driving is an increasing problem on the road, and many drivers also struggle with fatigue.

Still, many times the behavior of fellow motorists is more aggressive than accidental. Dangerous, yet intentional, behaviors such as tailgating and speeding can do much to increase the odds of a crash. And of course, driving under the influence is a huge and avoidable problem.

Though, it’s not just the human behind the wheel who can influence the odds of a crash happening.

Mechanical malfunctions, like bad brakes or blown out tires, can just as easily lead to accident or injury on the road. Poor roadway conditions also often play a role, or exacerbate any potential mechanical issues a car may have.

And while bad weather is technically no one’s fault, it can also create dangerous road conditions that lead to accidents.

Scottsdale, Arizona Car Accident Rates

Arizona doesn’t regularly publish city-by-city accident information, making it difficult to assess how many accidents typically happen in Scottsdale or the Maricopa County area. But overall, Arizona is a relatively dangerous state to drive in.

In 2021 alone, the state saw more than 121,000 car crashes, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Sadly, just under 1,000 of those cases involved fatalities.

Scottsdale Car Accident Claim FAQs

Being involved in an auto accident can be a daunting situation, and beg any number of questions.

An experienced Chandler, AZ-based law firm will be able to provide more specific advice for your case, but these are some generally reliable answers.

Are Car Crashes Common In Scottsdale, Arizona?

While Arizona doesn’t typically report auto accidents on a city-by-city basis, Scottsdale’s population of nearly 300,000 makes it likely that many residents there are involved in car accidents at some point.

Arizona is also one of the deadlier states to drive in as a whole, with 2020 seeing 967 fatal car crashes throughout the state — enough to place it within the top 10 in the nation that year for fatal accidents.

Do I Need An Auto Accident Lawyer To File A Personal Injury Claim?

In Scottsdale, Arizona or anywhere else, you are never required to obtain legal representation.

But the skills and know-how of an experienced lawyer can make all the difference in your case and help a complicated and emotionally taxing situation go more smoothly.

How Much Is The Average Personal Injury Settlement From A Car Accident?

This answer depends on the details of your case. Average settlements can vary widely. Your lawyer will be able to better help determine the amount of damages you could potentially seek.

Reach Out To Contact The Best Scottsdale Car Accident Lawyer

Motor vehicle accidents are the source of so much suffering. But you can find legal restitution for your suffering.

A top Scottsdale car accident lawyer can help provide the legal services and advice you need to get the compensation you deserve, and get through the situation as best as possible.

With LegalFinders, you can schedule a free case evaluation today, have a Scottsdale personal injury attorney examine your situation, and get on your way toward building the strongest case possible. Connect for a chat to learn more.

Article Sources

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) — Arizona Crash Facts 2021 

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) —  Fast Facts from ADOT

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) — Fatality Facts 2020

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