Flagstaff Car Accident Lawyer

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Flagstaff Car Accident Lawyer

Flagstaff Car Accident Attorney

In 2020, Arizonans experienced 98,778 car crashes— that’s an average of 271 vehicle accidents every day. Head-on collisions, side-impact collisions, and rear-end collisions are just a few of the types of crashes that are generally caused by someone not paying enough attention to the road. If you have been a victim of a car crash in Arizona, it might be worth contacting a Flagstaff car accident lawyer.

It’s unsettling to think about being the victim of someone’s reckless driving. However, there is comfort in knowing that if you’ve been injured in a wreck, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. Keep reading for your quick guide about personal injury cases involving car accidents.

Work With Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC

Stephen Glazer and Keith Hammond formed Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC, in 2018. The firm has an extensive background in personal injury cases. Every attorney strives to address each case with compassionate care, timely communication, and a wealth of knowledge stemming from experience in their relevant practice area.

Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC, has successfully recovered millions of dollars for their clients in over 50 personal injury cases. They are also active in the Northern Arizona community and provide scholarship and internship opportunities for students. Schedule a consultation with Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC, to understand your options for your car accident claim.

Factors That Determine a Claim

As a victim of a car accident, you should know what elements influence the damages you may be entitled to. Below are several considerations your attorney will take into consideration:

If There Are Any Negligent Parties Involved in Your Accident

Negligent driving is when a driver is careless and their behavior jeopardizes the safety of others on the road. Some examples of negligent driving include operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not complying with traffic laws, signs, or signals, distracted driving, fatigued driving, speeding, and tailgating.

The Cost of Medical Care You Received

It’s vital that you treat your injuries in a timely fashion. Your personal injury attorney will need documentation of your medical care and bills, as they will work to ensure that your compensation covers these costs.

Wage Loss

In line with looking at your medical bills, your personal injury attorney in Flagstaff will look at other sources of financial loss you experience due to your injuries. If you have to take time off of work to recover, or if your injuries cause you to lose your job altogether, you are entitled to compensation that makes up for this lack of income.

The Severity of the Injuries Incurred

Many car accident victims aren’t sure if the injuries they incurred from an accident rise to the level of compensation eligibility. However, any pain, impairment, disfigurement, long-term medical condition, or fatality resulting from an accident should be brought to the attention of an attorney.

Be sure to record any harm you received from the accident. Common injuries include whiplash, spinal cord damage, bruising, and head trauma.

Settlement vs. Verdict

While most car insurance claims result in a settlement from an insurance company, it’s important to understand the difference between a settlement and a verdict. A settlement is a fixed amount of money from an insurance company that is negotiated by your attorney and the negligent party’s attorneys. This is common in car accident cases to avoid expensive litigation fees.

If the attorneys cannot agree on a settlement amount, the case can then move to court. In this instance, a judge or a jury determines who gets what compensation. Going to trial can lead to a greater payout than if you were to take a settlement, but it could also lead to no payout at all if the court does not rule in your favor. Working with a car crash attorney can help you make the right decision for your case.

The Car Accident Claim Process and Timeline

In any car accident, you should always contact your auto insurance company to let them know that it happened. Once this is complete, your claim undergoes the following steps:

  1. Once the insurance company receives the claim, they can take up to 40 business days to investigate it:
    • They have ten days to acknowledge that they received the claim and send the policyholder forms about their injuries and damages. These forms are often called proof of loss forms.
    • The insurance company has 15 business days to decide the validity of the claim after they receive the forms from the policyholder.
    • If the claim is approved, the company has 15 additional business days to make a payment to the policyholder.
  2. If the insurance company decides to approve your claim, there is usually a negotiation period in which you and your attorney attempt to compromise on a settlement amount with the insurance company. These negotiations can take as little as a month to as long as a year.
  3. If the insurance company denies your claim or you do not agree with the settlement amount, you can appeal it with the help of your attorney. This appeal might require litigation, which could extend the length of your claim. Sometimes, the two parties reach an agreement before trial, but the court process can also make your claim take longer.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Flagstaff, AZ

While getting into an accident is overwhelming and scary, there are some key actions you can take that will strengthen the personal injury claim you may make in the future.

Call the Police

It’s imperative that the police are notified and come to the scene of the wreck. Even if the other parties involved in the accident are cooperative and provide you with their contact or insurance information, it is still necessary for the police to have a record of what happened. People can change their stories later on, so it is best practice to get the police involved to have an official account of what occurred.

Stay Composed

Yes, this is a stressful situation, which can often fuel emotional responses such as anger. However, It is vital to remain composed, even if you are deeply upset by what happened. You want to appear as a rational person.

You should also be consistent about your account of what happened, and be firm about the injuries you have incurred. Be clear about what happened from your perspective and how you’ve been affected.

Consult A Flagstaff Auto Accident Attorney

Get in touch with a Flagstaff car accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Cases need a solid foundation to be successful, so the sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner steps can be taken to build your case and strengthen your claim.

The right law firm will look at your case and determine what your claim may need to be successful, such as hiring an investigator or sending a letter to preserve evidence. They can also help you figure out how you will pay for your medical care while the case is ongoing. The attorney you choose will guide you through the entire process, so getting in contact with one soon after the incident will serve you best in the long run.

Take Pictures and Document Everything!

When an accident happens, it is extremely helpful to have pictures of the incident. If it’s possible, take as many pictures as you can of both the accident and any injuries you have as a result.

Keep track of anything you receive from your insurance company, the other party’s insurance company, and any medical documentation you receive from treating injuries (i.e. bills, treatment plans, medical prescriptions, and so on).

Be sure to document your injuries thoroughly. Make a list of your injuries, take pictures of them throughout the healing process, and keep a brief journal about them. It’s helpful to jot down how pain is affecting your livelihood, how your recovery is going, and what advice you receive from medical professionals.

Seek Medical Treatment and Use Your Own Health Insurance

Do not delay seeking medical treatment. No matter the severity, get your injuries looked at in a timely fashion– insurance companies will take note of any delays in treatment.

When you do seek treatment, use your own health insurance. Do not provide the hospital with the other party’s insurance information. Their insurance will not pay as you go, and it’s best if the hospital only has your insurance information.

Make a Claim With Your Own Auto Insurance Company

Insurance companies require you to make a claim as soon as possible. Be sure to submit a claim to your own vehicle insurance within 24 hours of the accident.

What Not to Do After an Auto Accident in Flagstaff, AZ

There are a few things you should not do after a car accident to avoid weakening your personal injury claim.

Do Not Give the Hospital your Auto Insurance

The reasons for this are complex, but in short, the hospital operates in its own interest. This can harm the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries. It’s best to provide your hospital with your medical insurance only; your attorney will decide what other information to provide the hospital and other medical providers.

Do Not Give a Statement to the At-Fault Insurance Company

Instead of giving the other party’s insurance company a recount of what you experienced in the accident, tell them you are either hiring an attorney or contemplating hiring an attorney. Get the name of the adjusting agent, the claim number, and the adjuster’s contact information.

Do Not Post About the Accident on Social Media

It’s important to control how information circulates after the accident. If you post on social media, what you share online could be admissible in court. Images or statements in such a post can be misinterpreted by a jury, or contradict your claim. Therefore, it’s best to keep your experience private and discuss what happened privately with family and friends.

What Do I Do If My Car Accident Claim Gets Denied?

You have insurance to prevent the financial burden of a car accident. This can make claim rejections incredibly frustrating. If your insurance company does not accept your claim, here are some steps you can take to resolve the issue:

  • Examine the Reason for Denial: An insurance company has to provide a reason to reject your claim. Sometimes, this reason can be fixed by supplying more information, like statements from witnesses or police reports.
  • Internal Review: If you’re unable to amend the rejection, you can ask the insurance company for another adjuster to review your claim. An internal review request can be submitted by letter and is often drafted with the help of an attorney.
  • External Review: If the insurance company still does not reverse your decision, you can file a complaint with the Arizona Department of Insurance for further investigation. This entity cannot provide legal advice; they only review Arizona insurance law to determine whether your insurance company acted improperly in denying your claim.
  • Litigation: After exhausting these options, it may be necessary for you and your attorney to go to trial. This can be done via mediation, small claims court, or a trial with a judge and jury.

If your auto accident claim gets denied, seeking professional help can be crucial in getting the compensation you deserve. Contact a personal injury attorney to review your rights regarding your insurance claim.

Flagstaff Car Accident Lawyer FAQs

Q: What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Arizona?

A: How much you can receive from a car accident settlement greatly depends on the specifics of your case. Factors like the type of injuries that the victim sustained, the fault of the accident, and how much property was damaged can all impact a claim. In Flagstaff, the average car accident settlement can range anywhere from $10,000 to over $30,000. You can discuss the potential settlement amount with a personal injury attorney for a more accurate figure.

Q: Is Arizona a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

A: The state of Arizona is an at-fault state. In an at-fault state, the person deemed at fault for the accident pays for the victim’s medical expenses through their car insurance. Unlike no-fault states, you can only file injury and property damage claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This means that you also have to prove that the at-fault driver caused the accident. Proving negligence can be difficult, but an auto accident attorney can help.

Q: Can Someone Sue You for a Car Accident in Arizona?

A: In Flagstaff, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is two years from the date the accident occurred. This means that you can be sued up to two years after your accident if they want to attempt to prove your negligence. To defend yourself against misleading car accident claims, it can be helpful to contact an attorney.

Q: What Are Most Lawyer Fees for Car Accidents?

A: Attorneys in Flagstaff often charge a contingency fee for personal injury claims. This means that they are only compensated if they win your case. These fees are usually around 30-40% of the earnings they help you recover. This rate can also depend on whether the case needs to go to trial. To determine an exact rate, ask your car accident attorney during your consultation.

Contact Our Flagstaff Auto Accident Lawyers Today

An experienced personal injury attorney is vital for getting you the most compensation possible after a car accident. Keith Hammond is an accomplished attorney in Northern Arizona; with over 30 years of experience and a well-known reputation, Keith has the know-how to handle your case.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Northern Arizona, don’t wait around or suffer in silence. Reach out to Glazer, Hammond & Ruben, PLLC, and take the next step in your personal injury case.

Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC

Providing Experienced and Compassionate
Legal Counsel for Northern Arizona.

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