Chances are if you traveling on Arizona roadways on any given day, you will have been involved in or seen a motor vehicle accident. During 2014, Arizona drivers were involved in nearly 110,000 accidents resulting in more than 700 deaths and more than 34,000 injuries. Even property owners were not spared damage in car accidents; more than 74,000 accidents involved only property damage.
The Causes of Arizona Car Accidents
These statistics are sobering; taking a look at the causes of car accidents will make us all think carefully the next time we get behind the wheel of our cars. While causes of some accidents are not readily known, there are some very high numbers reflecting a driver simply did not obey basic traffic laws. Some of the citations issued after a car accident include:
What Car Accident Victims Need to Know
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, all drivers are required to maintain a certain level of insurance. Drivers are required to maintain coverage that provides $15,000 for bodily injury per accident and $10,000 for property damage. However, while these insurance limits may seem sufficient, patients who were admitted after traumas in Arizona during 2011 were facing an average hospital bill of $72,000. This means victims of car accidents are facing serious deficits between what an insurance company will pay, what is owed for medical bills and allows for no compensation for wages that are lost after an automobile accident.
It is also important to keep in mind that since insurance company’s goal is to protect their bottom line, they are probably going to fight to keep the amount they pay towards your claim as low as possible meaning you will be facing even more significant financial losses.
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Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Under Arizona law, in order to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate that the other driver was responsible for the accident that caused your injury. Keep in mind, personal injury statutes were designed to hold those who acted in a careless manner accountable for their actions. Additionally, in some cases, both you and the other driver may be partially responsible for the accident; for example, if you were struck by a drunk driver but you were traveling faster than the speed limit, it may be proven you were 10 percent responsible for the accident that caused your injury. In these cases, Arizona laws allow for a reduction of any final award under what is known as “shared” or comparative fault statutes.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, your Arizona personal injury attorney will need to obtain specific information from you including:
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The Economic Impact of Auto Accidents
There are always economic losses when someone is involved in an automobile accident. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the average cost per victim is:
Dealing With the Insurance Predicament
Most of us have a reasonable expectation that if a driver who causes an accident is insured, the insurance company will deal with us fairly. However, this is not always the case. Keep in mind, if your expenses after an accident exceed the amount of insurance coverage, you could still be facing significant losses even if the insurance company did not fight your claim. Insurers are going to fight claims simply because they want to protect their bottom line. The less they pay out in claims, the better their bottom line. Even when an insurer is willing to pay a claim, the potential is they will offer a settlement for far less than your losses leaving you to pick up the difference.
Whenever you get in your car, there is always a chance you could be involved in an accident. When accidents occur, and someone else is responsible for you being injured or losing a loved one, they must be held accountable for their actions; you should not have to suffer under the financial burden that is created by their negligence. You have rights when you are injured and it is up to you to ensure those rights are protected.
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