CAR ACCIDENT FAQS

ANSWERS FROM OUR PHOENIX CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

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    Does filing a claim mean that I will have to go to court?

    Not necessarily. Whether or not you go to court after you file a car accident claim will depend on how the other driver's insurance company responds to the claim. If, for example, the insurance company agrees to pay the full amount of what we - as your attorneys - believe to be the worth of your case then it will not be necessary to take the case to court. If, however, the insurance company is unwilling to pay you what you are rightfully due, then we can take your case to court to seek maximum compensation for your accident. While most car accident cases can be settled out of court, you can trust that the law offices of Friedl Richardson will be on your side if trial becomes necessary.
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    Should I release my medical records to the other driver's insurance adjustor if they are asking for them?

    No. You are under absolutely no obligation to release your medical records to another person's insurance company, despite what they might tell you. Only in very rare cases should you sign a medical record release, and signing this type of release should only be done after you have consulted with a qualified legal professional. At Friedl Richardson, we can meet with you to review the details of your case and to help determine if signing a medical record release would be beneficial. We can also take over all communications with the other driver's insurance company so you don't have to worry about getting tricked into doing anything that could hurt your ability to obtain maximum compensation for your accident.
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    Can I be held liable if I was rear-ended?

    Typically, the driver who is rear-ended in a car accident is not the driver who will be held at fault for the collision. Even if you came to a sudden stop, thus causing the car behind you to rear-end you, it is unlikely that you will be held legally responsible for the collision. All drivers are expected to drive safely, and safe driving practices entail maintaining a following distance that allows for enough time to stop before hitting the car in front of you.
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    How is fault determined?

    Fault in a car accident can only be determined once carelessness has been determined. In other words, the driver who is found to be careless in his or her ability to follow the rules of the road will be held legally responsible for any accident that results from his or her carelessness. Liability in a car accident can rest with the driver, the car manufacturer, and a host of other parties involved in save driving practices.
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    Am I required to notify my insurance company of the accident even if I wasn't injured?

    As an insured individual, you have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company and you are expected to adhere to this duty. It is typical of most insurance companies to require their policyholders to report any accident in which they are involved and to make this report promptly. Your insurance provider needs to gather basic information about the accident in order to address the issue appropriately, and you are responsible for providing them with this information. Remember, however, that you are not obligated to make any statements regarding who might be at fault for the accident – this kind of information should be saved for your attorney to handle.
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    Am I required to notify the other driver's insurance company of the accident?

    No. In fact, notifying the other driver's insurance company could end up hurting your case. All communications with the other driver's insurance provider should be made by the car accident attorney who is representing your case.
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    What do I do if the other driver's insurance company denies liability?

    It is very common for the other driver's insurance company to deny liability because it is one of the easiest ways for the insurance company to avoid making payment on the claim that you have made. It is our job as your attorneys to prove that the other driver was at fault.
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    Can more than one driver be held at fault for the car accident?

    Who is held at fault for an accident is determined by who was acting carelessly when the accident occurred. Accordingly, it is possible for more than one person to be held at fault for the car collision in which you were involved. We caution you to not accept responsibility for your accident prematurely. Even if you believe that you might be partially at fault for the collision, it would be wise to first speak with a lawyer about your situation. Sometimes, what you think might have been your fault is actually the fault of a defective car part or flaw in the road design.
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    How much does it cost to speak to you about my accident?

    At Friedl Richardson, your first consultation with a Phoenix car accident lawyer is offered completely free of charge. You can contact us by filling out a free case evaluation form on our website or by calling us at 602-553-2220.
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