A car accident can cause all kinds of legal issues that need to be sorted out, but that does not mean that they are the same in every state. Every single law can change based on your location, and Arizona has its own legal rules that are not necessarily going to be used in other states.
If you suffer a car accident while in Arizona, what are the first steps to getting compensated?
Get a Lawyer
Lawyers are basically necessary if you want the best results possible, regardless of how severe the accident was. Lawyers are legal experts that know exactly what they are doing: they can find a law that supports their arguments or track down legal terms that help them. They are a must-have for any legal case.
If you have been part of an accident, a good lawyer is not just going to get you more money. They can also make it much easier to avoid traps or pitfalls that ruin your claim or issues where you might implicate yourself in causing the car accident.
A lawyer will be with you throughout all of the legal proceedings, from the moment you claim against the defendant to the moment that you are awarded damages. They handle all of the legal work that most people would not be able to complete on their own, all behind the scenes.
Know What to Say
All legal cases are based on specific terms, so it is really important to know what kind of case you are making when you try to claim damages. The specific wording you use might alter the way that the whole case is seen and using random legal words will not back up anything you are saying very well.
If you have a lawyer, this will usually come up in private: they are an expert, so they can tell you what sort of circumstances you are working under and how you should conduct yourself. If you try it all by yourself, it is easy to misunderstand what is being offered or use terms that invalidate your own claims.
Always remember that a legal case involves another party who probably has a lawyer, too. The best option is to stick to the law and to avoid going off on your own tangents that might harm your stance.
While it might not seem that important for a car accident, evidence can really change how your claim is handled when it comes to blame. In states like Arizona, pure comparative fault means that the proportional blame of each person involved can change how damages are awarded.
For example, if two parties were 40% responsible for crashing into a third person, then they would each pay 40% of the overall damages awarded to the victim. However, if the victim was 20% responsible for their own crash, they would lose 20% of their total damages proportional to how much blame they need to take for their accident.
In short, knowing who caused the accident is a vital part of avoiding lower damages if it seems like you might have been partly responsible for the crash itself. Driving while using your phone, having an expired license, or knowingly using a badly maintained/repaired car can all factor into this.
Figure Out Your Losses
After a car accident in Arizona, you might have lost a lot more than you expected. Potential earnings, property damage, physical injury, mental distress, and even psychological issues are all valid reasons to increase the damages by law. Knowing what you have been through as a result of the accident can make it easier to get fair compensation.
For example, you might have lost thousands of dollars in wages, had medical bills to pay, and even lost the ability to make money as fast in the future (if you have suffered a serious injury or your car has been destroyed). All of this really matters when figuring out just how badly you have been affected.
Once you know the general idea of what you have lost, you can translate that into asking for damages to cover it. Having proper backing behind the figure you are giving can really support your case since it shows that you know what you have lost and how much the crash cost you. Remember that this “cost” can include distress and other things that are not physical property.