The state of Arizona has seen an increase in the number of fatal accidents on the road, and Phoenix accident attorneys have their hands full.
In fact, the statistics provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation have shown 121 more deaths in 2015 than 2014 – approximately 15.6 percent higher.
In total, there was also an increase in the number of vehicle accidents, rising up to 116,609 compared to the 109,664 in 2015.
Why the Sudden Increase?
Trends were seen in the increased numbers, and ADOT is working to raise awareness so that they can hopefully limit the number of deadly and dangerous accidents for 2016 and beyond. Reasons include:
- Accident victims were not wearing their proper safety belts, which represented a 17.7 percent increase from 2014.
- Those killed in accidents were typically exceeding the speed limits, which contributed to 25.5 percent increase compared to 2014.
- A vast majority of the deaths were related to alcohol, with a 9.7 increase over 2014’s numbers.
Steps to Take at the Accident Scene
Immediately after the crash, medical care should be sought if anyone is injured at the scene. Also, the police department must be contacted, and the accident reported. They may request that drivers exchange information, or they may have the parties wait for an officer to arrive at the scene and generate a report.
It is the law to report a vehicle accident; therefore, a person must contact them and follow their instructions even if it is a minor rear-ending and there are no apparent injuries, the police must be contacted.
Accident victims should take photographs of the scene if they can. This will help their Phoenix accident attorney with proving their claim. Even if the victim does not think they will file a lawsuit, there is no harm in collecting evidence for the unseen future.
Most importantly, never “apologize.” It is human instinct to apologize even when a person knows that they didn’t do anything wrong. However, an apology can be taken as an admission of guilt. Therefore, no one should apologize at the scene.
Immediately After the Accident
Immediately after an accident, it is important that a person receives medical attention. Minor injuries may not show symptoms, but when left untreated, the pain can exacerbate. Regardless if pain or injuries are apparent, the accident victims should not tell the police or the other driver that they feel fine or that they have no injuries. Doing so could make it harder to obtain compensation for injuries that show up later.
Shortly After the Accident
After the accident, the victim will be contacted by an insurance claims adjuster. This party will ask for an official statement, but it is important that an accident victim understands that they are not required to provide a report until they consult with a Phoenix accident attorney.
The insurance claims adjuster may offer a settlement to stop any potential claim, but an accident victim must speak with an attorney first to explore their options and ensure they are receiving adequate compensation for their current costs as well as future losses associated with the incident.
Assessing the Damages with a Phoenix Accident Attorney
After the initial consultation, a victim will go through the injuries with their attorney. They can make the process easier by keeping the following documents:
- Medical bills and statements paid (including those paid by health insurance)
- Paystubs and statement from an employer about the number of hours and wages lost since the accident
- Medical records
- Prescription records
- Extra costs associated with the injury, such as in-home care, a spouse that had to miss work, or job retraining costs
Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations
The state limits how much time an accident victim must file their claim. This is to ensure both parties have access to adequate evidence to prove their side. In Arizona, the statute of limitations limits the victim to two years from the date of the accident or when they would have reasonably discovered that the injury was related to the incident.
Settlement or Trial? Only a Phoenix Accident Attorney Can Help Predict
Every personal injury case is different, and those injured in a car accident may want to know how long their case will take. Most accidents settle out of court, and with the help of an attorney, you may be able to reach a fair settlement through negotiations and avoid trial.
However, there are always those times that insurers refuse to settle or will not offer what is considered fair. Therefore, an attorney will have no choice but to proceed to trial.
Injured in an Auto Accident? Make the First Call to a Phoenix Accident Attorney
Those injured in an automobile accident should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
The accident attorneys at Tobler Law will advocate for a person’s right to compensation. The team will meet during an initial consultation, help gather evidence, and begin the process of filing a claim and negotiating with insurance companies. With years of experience behind them, Tobler Law can deliver superior results.
Schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix accident attorney today by calling Tobler Law at 480-898-9700 or request a consultation appointment online.