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A car accident can be a terrifying experience, potentially leaving you with severe damages to your vehicle and catastrophic injuries to yourself or loved ones. Working with a car accident lawyer to file a personal injury claim can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills and other costs. If you are looking for a car accident lawyer or legal advice in Surprise, AZ, LegalFinders can help.

Close up image of a car collision in Surprise, Arizona

If you or one of your loved ones has recently had a car accident in Surprise, AZ, you may be wondering about your next steps and whether you should speak with a car accident lawyer in your area.

Without professional legal assistance, you may receive much less than you deserve in a settlement from the insurance company.

By working with an experienced car accident attorney at a notable law firm, you can rest assured that you will receive fair compensation to help cover your medical bills or property damages.

If you are looking for the best car accident lawyer available in Surprise, AZ, LegalFinders can help you find them.

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

One of the first steps you should take after a car accident in Surprise, AZ is to determine who the at-fault motorist is.

In order to be responsible for damages, the at-fault motorist must be found responsible for the accident and also be found negligent and liable for any resulting damages.

Negligence means that while the motorist did not intend to cause the accident, it was their careless or thoughtless conduct which caused it.

Once fault and negligence have been established, liability can be determined as well. It is important to remember that the at-fault party may not be the only one that is found liable.

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

It may seem that the at-fault driver, or the driver who caused the accident, would always be found liable, but this is not the case.

An example of this would be if a person’s brakes failed due to a manufacturing or design error and they had no choice but to run a red light and hit another motorist.

This driver would likely be found at fault, but not liable, because it was not their negligence that caused the accident.

In this case, the motor vehicle company who produced the faulty brakes would likely be found liable.

This is why negligence is so important in an injury claim, as liability is often found with the party that was negligent. Multiple parties can be found negligent as well as liable.

What Are Your Legal Options After A Car Crash In Surprise, AZ?

After a car accident in Surprise, AZ, you have a couple of options. If you have sustained any injuries or damages from the accident, you may file a personal injury claim.

A personal injury claim allows accident victims to seek compensation for any injuries or damages they sustained as a result of the accident and the liable party’s negligence.

Some damages are more obvious, such as medical bills, while others are more abstract and indirect, such as loss of consortium or pain and suffering.

Most personal injury claims are settled outside of court, but this is not always the case. In the event that both parties are unable to settle, your next step is to file a personal injury lawsuit.

By hiring an experienced car accident lawyer from a reputable law firm, you’ll have the guidance and expertise from the start that you need in order to ensure a successful claim or lawsuit.

What To Do After A Car Accident In Surprise, AZ

To give yourself the best chance for securing fair compensation after a car accident in Surprise, AZ, take the following steps immediately and in the days and weeks following.

1. Collect Evidence

You will likely have a lot on your mind directly following an auto accident, but it can be in your best interest to collect as much information as possible before leaving the scene.

Important items to be collected from the accident scene may include:

  • Contact information for all parties involved in the accident
  • Driver’s license and license plate numbers for all vehicles and motorists involved in the accident
  • Insurance policy information for all drivers involved
  • Photos of all vehicles involved, from various angles
  • Photos taken around the scene of the accident, including the roadway where the accident took place and any important traffic signs or lights in the area
  • Photos of any injuries incurred from the accident
  • Eyewitness testimonials, including your own

Following the accident, you may also need to collect medical bills and records, the police report from the accident, and any vehicle repair bills or estimates.

Your personal injury attorneys can help you sort out any pertinent evidence and provide guidance in case any further information is missing or needed.

2. Reach Out To A Car Accident Attorney

It’s important to reach out to a car accident lawyer right away after an accident to ensure that you do not say or do anything that might hurt your chances for receiving fair compensation.

Once you have hired a quality lawyer, they will be with you every step of the way, from helping you to identify all damages to claim to negotiating a fair settlement for you in court.

3. File A Car Accident Claim

It’s important to file your car accident claim, along with all required evidence, in a timely manner so as not to miss any deadlines or allow the statute of limitations to run out.

By hiring a car accident lawyer, you have someone to do all of this for you, so that you can focus on recovering from the accident.

4. Negotiate A Fair Settlement Offer

Both parties must agree on an amount before a fair settlement can be reached in a personal injury case.

This involves a back-and-forth exchange between your personal injury lawyer and the lawyer of the liable party.

In some cases, both parties are unable to come to an agreement. When you and the defendant can’t reach a fair settlement offer, your next step may be a personal injury lawsuit.

5. Start A Personal Injury Lawsuit If Necessary

While most claims are settled, this is not always the case. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, the accident victims may file a lawsuit against the liable party.

Fortunately, there are Surprise car accident lawyers who are experienced in such cases and can assist you in seeking fair compensation for any damages or injuries you acquired.

What Types Of Damages Can You Claim For A Personal Injury Case?

Damages from a car accident can include much more than medical bills from injuries, as many of the damages are not quite so obvious and more indirect.

Common damages that can be cited on car accident claims by injury victims may include:

  • Medical bills: any current or future medical costs related to the accident
  • Loss of wages: any wages, salary, or benefits lost out on during the recovery period
  • Lost earning capacity: future wages, salary, or benefits lost as a result of the accident
  • Loss of consortium: loss of the benefits of a relationship, usually between spouses
  • Pain and suffering: mental and emotional injuries such as fear, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of enjoyment in life
  • Wrongful death: loss of a loved one due to the liable party’s negligence

Common Injuries Cited In Car Accident Cases

Injuries from car accidents can affect people both physically and mentally, and potentially for the rest of their lives.

Claims can be filed for any medical bills that arise as a result of an auto accident, even for less serious injuries.

Common injuries listed on Surprise auto accident claims include:

  • Burns
  • Sprained or broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Head trauma
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Facial injuries and scarring
  • Organ damage
  • PTSD
  • Loss of limbs
  • Wrongful death

What Causes Car Accidents?

There is not one specific cause of car accidents or truck accidents, however, nearly all of them can be linked to negligence.

Negligence can be tied to a specific at-fault driver, or it can be tied to a larger organization such as the vehicle producer or the local county road commission.

Common causes of car accidents in Surprise, AZ may include:

  • Driver error: speeding, driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Aggressive driving: tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic
  • Bad weather: snow, heavy rain
  • Poor road conditions: blockages, improper signage
  • Vehicle design error: faulty brakes, faulty airbags

What Laws Will Affect Your Personal Injury Claim In Arizona?

The following are a few Arizona laws which may affect your personal injury claim.

At-Fault Insurance Laws

Arizona is an at-fault state for car insurance, meaning that people will file insurance claims with the liable party’s insurance company in the event of a car accident.

This is different from states that are no-fault, where motorists must first file claims with their own insurance companies in order to collect damages.

Arizona Statute Of Limitations

According to Arizona State Legislature section 12-542, you have two years to file a personal injury claim after the date of an accident.

This may seem like a lot of time, but it will pass quickly.

A highly skilled car accident lawyer will ensure that your claim is filed on time and that the insurance company does not try to drag your time out.

Arizona’s Consideration Of Negligence

Each state has its own considerations of negligence. According to Arizona State Legislature section 12-2505, a principle of comparative negligence is applied in Arizona.

Comparative negligence essentially means that each party in the accident is assigned a percentage based on their level of fault for the accident.

For example, if someone runs a red light and hits you, that driver will be assigned a certain percentage of negligence and an appropriate payout will be calculated.

If, however, you were not wearing your seatbelt, you will also be assigned a percentage of negligence, and your payout will be reduced accordingly.

Motor Vehicle Accident Rates In Surprise, Arizona

Surprise is located in Maricopa County, which typically has the highest number of car crashes across all of Arizona each year according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Statistics for car accidents in 2021 in Surprise, AZ include:

Total vehicle crashes


Total injuries


due to vehicle crashes

Total crash-related fatalities


Surprise Car Accident Claim FAQs

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions that people have regarding car accident claims in Surprise, AZ.

Is Arizona A No-Fault State For Car Accidents?

Arizona is an at-fault state, meaning that people may file claims for damages or bodily injury compensation with the insurance company of the at-fault party.

In states that are no-fault, motorists must first file claims with their own insurance companies in order to collect compensation for damages.

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated For Personal Injury Claims In Arizona?

To calculate pain and suffering, a person’s economic damages are added up, then multiplied by the insurance adjusters by a factor of 1.5 through 5. This is called the multiplier method.

This is why it can be so important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer or legal team. They help ensure that no damages are missed and that you receive the highest amount of compensation.

How Is Fault Determined For A Car Accident In Arizona?

Fault is determined based on the presence of negligence in an accident.

Negligence means that while the motorist did not intend to cause the accident, it was their thoughtless, careless, or unreasonable actions that resulted in it.

Do You Have To Hire A Lawyer To File An Injury Claim In Surprise, AZ?

It is not a requirement to hire a lawyer in order to file an injury claim in Surprise, AZ after a car accident, however, it can provide many benefits.

To start, a quality car accident lawyer can act as your guide and communicator during all legal processes, from the beginning to completion of your case.

Further, hiring an attorney from a reputable law office can ensure that you build the strongest case possible and that you have someone with years of experience to represent you in court if need be.

Connect With The Best Car Accident Attorneys Serving Surprise, AZ

A high-quality car accident lawyer from a personal injury law firm can make all the difference when it comes to receiving the compensation you deserve after a car accident in Surprise.

We service all areas of Arizona including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Glendale, and Sun City. The personal injury lawyers in our network have years, and even decades, of experience.

The network of lawyers is also skilled in other accident law practice areas including motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and dog bites.

Contact LegalFinders today for a free consultation or case evaluation or to learn more about your legal options.

Article Sources

Arizona Department of Transportation — Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2021

Arizona State Legislature — Section 12-545

Arizona State Legislature — Section 12-2505