After most car crashes, there are generally three types of compensation (also known as “damages”) you can seek. You may or may not need a car accident lawyer depending on the severity of the harm you suffered.
Property Damage Only Cases:
As a general rule, if you suffered no bodily injuries, you should be able to settle your case with the opposing insurance adjuster for about the same amount an accident attorney could get for you. In this type of case, you are entitled to money to repair or replace your car and for the use of a rental vehicle until yours is repaired or replaced. Fortunately, obtaining repair estimates for your vehicle or determining its fair market value is not complicated. For repairs, simply get quotes from reputable repair shops and compare them to the amount offered by the adjuster. If your vehicle has been totaled, determine its fair market value by checking credible websites such as Kelly Blue Book (www.kbb.com), NADA Used Car Guides (www.nada.com) or Edmunds (www.edmunds.com/used-cars). These sites provide good information for most vehicles, so you should not need to call an attorney.
Minor Injury Cases:
If the crash resulted in your suffering personal injuries, and if your injuries are minor and you fully recover in a few days, you probably do not need an accident attorney. Minor injuries are typically those that result in medical bills of less than $1,000.00. To obtain a fair settlement for your minor injury claim, gather your accident medical records and total bills (not only your out-of-pocket expenses), any prescription receipts, and any lost wage documents, and send to them to the insurance adjuster. Educate yourself before negotiating with the insurance adjuster via online, self-help resources for car accident victims. These guides can be good resources for dealing with the minor injury claims. You can also call me for free advice.
Major Injury Cases:
If you suffered major injuries, you will benefit by hiring an experienced accident attorney. Most people do not have the necessary negotiation skills, knowledge of the law, and experience in evaluating damages to obtain a fair settlement for a major injury case. So, when negotiating with an insurance adjuster, non-lawyers are at a distinct disadvantage. Do not be misled by the adjuster’s statements that hiring an injury attorney will reduce your net settlement or delay payment for your claim. The insurance industry’s own statistics do not support these claims. In 2004, the Insurance Resource Council completed a study that found that people who used an attorney received an average of 3 1/2 times more money in settlement than those who settled on their own. So, if you seek a fair settlement for your injuries, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is a must.
If you have been injured in a crash, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more under Arizona law. Auto insurance companies do not want to pay you for your losses. In any serious accident claim, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney with a track record of taking on big insurance companies. We offer a free consultation, and will evaluate your case and let you know if it is worth pursuing. If it is, we can represent you on a contingency fee basis with no upfront costs. Call us today at (480) 833-1113.