Arizona typically sees 100,000 car accidents or more per year. According to reports, over 150 people are injured in auto accidents daily statewide, resulting in an average of 55,000 injuries annually. With numbers like that, it is no wonder that people seek out accident lawyers in Arizona daily.
Despite an apparent need for car accident or personal injury attorneys, many people hesitate to look for legal counsel too soon. Many people fear a lawyer may be too expensive, and they might figure since a case is civil, they can handle negotiations and a potential trial alone. Both assumptions are incorrect and can ultimately lead to more costly missteps and the possible loss of any settlement or award.
There are a number of reasons for and advantages to calling a lawyer after an accident. Along with educational and professional insight, attorneys are highly skilled and have the experience to provide clients with the best opportunity for a favorable legal and enforceable outcome.
4 Reasons To Call Accident Lawyers in Arizona Immediately
A personal injury attorney, especially one versed in auto collisions or your specific accident or injury, is one of your strongest tools in the legal fight to come. Insurance companies and defendants do not want to pay you for damages, and even when they are willing to pay, the payment is often far less than you need.
Hiring a personal injury attorney early in the litigation process, preferably before it begins, allows your lawyer to decipher all the critical elements of the claim. The more information legal professionals can gather before meeting with opposing counsel, the better. Additionally, if you work with a law firm, your attorney has access to research tools and investigators. However, when it comes to hiring an attorney, four reasons outweigh all others.
Most people wait to hire accident lawyers in Arizona because they worry about expenses. While criminal defense attorneys or lawyers for other private matters can charge a hefty hourly rate or retainer, personal injury attorneys do not work on the same scale.
Most personal injury lawyers work with a contingent fee arrangement, meaning the client will not pay for services rendered unless and when the attorney achieves a positive result, either a settlement or award. The fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or award, and it will be worked out at the beginning of the professional relationship.
Fees typically range from 30% to 40%. Most attorneys reserve higher rates for more complicated cases or those going to trial.
Many accident victims believe they need to wait to file a claim until all medical assessments are complete. Some people think they need to wait until all injuries are healed. While it is good to receive all pertinent evaluations, you do not need to complete treatment or have a completed diagnosis or recovery plan before filing.
Your attorney’s job is to review your injuries and compare them to similar damages from past cases. While your injuries might be far from healed, past cases and medical insight help your lawyer determine appropriate compensation for your case.
Attorneys want to ensure you are financially whole with a settlement or award, so they will examine and research all past and future medical expenses related to your accident. To help streamline the research, your attorney will also help you collect medical records and accident reports.
Accident lawyers in Arizona understand that controlling the narrative is as important as arguing the facts of the case. Too many accident victims talk openly about their accident and their injuries to family, friends, co-workers, and insurance adjusters. Claimants must realize that opposing counsel can use anything they say.
While it is natural to want to share your story, you must stick with the facts in your case. If you must tell your friends, tell them you were in an accident, and you are currently undergoing medical assessments. Do not share specifics about injuries. Do not say that you feel guilty. The other side can twist anything you say to suit its needs.
Your attorney is the only person you should feel free to speak with. Hiring a lawyer early can help because it provides you with a sounding board, and it allows your attorney to help you control what is shared with minimal legal repercussions.
The primary reason to hire a lawyer immediately is to set the stage to your advantage. The more time you give attorneys, the better they can prepare for settlement negotiations or a trial.
Think about it: If you call an attorney right after an accident, legal professionals can begin tracking accident damages and injuries immediately. Additionally, they can contact witnesses when the accident is still fresh in their minds. Finally, the firm’s investigators have the chance to review a fresh scene. The more time a lawyer has to work on your case, the more likely a positive outcome becomes, whether that’s a settlement or judgment.
Advantages of Calling Accident Lawyers in Arizona
With the understanding that going it alone is a significant litigation misstep, the logical decision is to hire accident lawyers in Arizona. While an accident victim might not reside in the state, if the accident occurred in Arizona, the state’s laws affect the claim. Since you will need to argue the claim in Arizona, it is best to work with an attorney who understands the local liability and fault definitions. Out-of-state attorneys may not have as much familiarity with the laws governing Arizona.
Additionally, while you may want to hire a lawyer from your home state, you also need to consider the restrictions of a lawyer’s license. Most attorneys have a license to practice in a specific state, not multiple.
Aside from hiring a resident attorney for state knowledge and licensing, there are at least five other reasons to hire a seasoned accident attorney in Arizona to argue your claim.
Hiring a local attorney early allows the legal professional time to preserve and obtain the evidence necessary to prove liability or fault in your claim. Additionally, with early insight into the accident, your lawyer is more capable of handling the accident and police reports.
Attorneys can notice inaccuracies and have time to correct them. Time is not a friend to accident victims, and there are strict deadlines for filing. Hiring an attorney early ensures accuracy and protects victims against simple and often-overlooked filing mistakes.
Attorneys also have more knowledge of specific laws or regulations that many laypersons do not. Their education is one of the primary reasons they are essential in successful litigation.
One thing accident victims often overlook is the pressure from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Insurance adjusters often reach out to victims shortly after accidents, attempting to get a statement about the collision or event.
While the initial contact might seem harmless, the adjuster’s job is to poke holes in the victim’s story, to find weaknesses or flaws that allow for a smaller payout or limitation of liability. Despite their typically friendly demeanor, insurance employees are not your friend.
Having a lawyer can protect you against inconvenient or manipulative meetings. Your attorney should be present for every chat about the accident. If not, tell the insurance representative to notify your lawyer or request a later meeting when your attorney can be present.
Accident lawyers in Arizona are experienced in the art of negotiation. Most personal injury claims settle outside of court. However, the value of that settlement depends on the skills of your attorney.
Make no mistake: Any insurance company will make a settlement offer when faced with the prospect of negative publicity and a lengthy trial. Unfortunately, the insurer will likely offer less money for those victims who do not hire an attorney, claiming it is a fair price for the damages.
Insurers rarely make their best offer first, and they typically never offer a fair settlement to those without representation. An attorney brings both professionalism and sincerity to a victim’s claim.
Insurance companies know that represented plaintiffs have professional knowledge backing their claim. Additionally, they understand that an attorney will know the fair value for damages rendered.
Clients are more likely to receive a settlement offer that meets their expectations thanks to the knowledge and skill an attorney brings to the negotiation table. However, remember that as the client, your lawyer represents your interests. Do not be afraid to turn down an unfair offer and negotiate for more.
Attorneys can tell you when they think an offer is fair. They will also explain when they feel you are undervaluing your claim.
The advantage to having an attorney is gaining access to professional knowledge. An experienced personal injury attorney knows the value of injuries and claims. Legal professionals know when and how to keep arguing, and they are not afraid to take a claim to trial when the other side is not acting in good faith.
Finally, you should hire attorneys because of their litigation or trial experience. It is important to select a lawyer or firm with successful trial experience in the personal injury arena.
While most personal injury claims settle outside of court, it is crucial to prepare for the possibility of a trial. Any lawyer you hire should have a track record for pushing past settlements to trials, especially when fair settlement arrangements do not occur.
When a trial is a likely outcome, look to hire an attorney within a firm. Lawyers working for firms tend to have access to more tools and people, making trial preparations more thorough. Granted, there is never any guarantee of victory, but you should always work with those who increase your chances for success.
Reviewing the Statute of Limitations
While most accident lawyers in Arizona will urge their clients to file a lawsuit as soon as possible, plaintiffs have a fair bit of time before a filing becomes impossible. In Arizona, there is a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you can file any time within two years from the date of the accident.
This statute pertains to personal injury claims, which include car accidents. However, while it is possible to sue within two years, earlier is often best because it is easier to prove liability in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Despite the urge to file sooner rather than later, victims should take the time they need to receive treatment and heal. Still, remember that you can still be in treatment or recovery when you file.
Acquiring Legal Support Even When Not at Fault
Accident victims often feel that a trial or settlement negotiations should be fair, but both sides will fight with the information and skill they possess. Remember that the opposing counsel has a responsibility to fight for the interest of their client, which will often contrast your own.
It might seem fair that the at-fault party pays for damages and injuries, but fair and just does not always play a role in negotiations or a trial. Skill and knowledge are typically the only tools that matter at a negotiation table or in a court.
Therefore, if you want to give yourself the best chance at a reasonable settlement or a favorable judgment, you need to hire an attorney with the appropriate knowledge and skillset. Hiring a lawyer is likely your only recourse for leveling the playing field.
Reviewing the Lawsuit Timeline With Accident Lawyers in Arizona
Depending on the complexity of the accident claim, a lawsuit can last a couple of months or a couple of years. If the fault is cut and dry, both parties are usually more open to a quick settlement. However, when a claim is less clear, insurers and defendants are more eager for a fight, which can prolong negotiations or result in a trial.
While personal injury cases typically fall under civil actions, you should still hire an experienced attorney to assist in settlement negotiations or the potential trial. Among accident lawyers in Arizona, the MDK Law Group is an accomplished and qualified firm. Contact the offices for a free consultation and to discuss your claim.