Car accidents cause significant physical trauma to victims and emotional trauma to victims and their family members. But, what many don’t realize is the tremendous financial strain they put on the injured and their loved ones. The aftermath of a car accident can be turbulent, chaotic and frightening for many. There may be a number of questions for which you may not have answers right away.

Here are answers to some of the questions you may have if you have been injured in an Arizona car accident.

Do I need to hire a car accident lawyer?

It really depends on the nature of the accident and the types of injuries and damages you have sustained as a result of the accident. If you were not injured in the car accident, but your vehicle was damaged, you may be able to sort it out on your own by talking to the insurance companies. However, if you and/your passengers have been injured in the crash, the matter becomes more complicated.

As an injured victim, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. It is important to remember that insurance companies have trained employees and high-priced lawyer and experts who will work against your best interests so they don’t have to pay you. Most car accident claims are settled out of court. But you need an experienced Arizona car accident lawyer on your side who will negotiate and battle it out with the insurance companies so you can get maximum compensation for your losses.

What should I do after a car accident?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, there are several steps you can take. When the accident occurs, stop immediately and remain at the scene. Wait for officials arrive and cooperate with the investigation. Check to make sure if you or your passengers have been injured. If that’s the case, call 911 right away and get the medical attention, care and treatment you need.

Obtain a copy of the police report as well as the name and badge number of the investigating officer. Make sure that your account of the incident gets into the police report. Secure as much evidence as possible from the scene of the crash including photographs of the vehicles involved and your injuries.

You should also try to get information from other parties involved in the crash including driver’s license, insurance, vehicle plate number, addresses, phone numbers, email, etc. It would also help to get contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the collision. Having an independent party corroborate or verify your account can really help bolster your car accident claim. Contact an experienced Arizona car accident lawyer who will fight for your rights every step of the way.

What damages can I seek for injuries and damages sustained in a car crash?

If you have suffered injuries in an Arizona car accident and have sustained financial losses as a result of those injuries, you may be eligible to receive compensation. The value of your claim will depend on the nature of your injuries, extent of your losses and the degree of negligence on the part of others involved in the incident. Here are some of the damages to which you may be entitled:

  • Medical expenses: This includes any type of medical bills incurred as a result of injuries relating to your car accident including emergency transportation costs, hospital bills, doctor visits, cost of surgery, medication, medical equipment, etc.
  • Lost income: If you have lost work time and wages as you are recovering from your car accident injuries, you are entitled to seek compensation for lost wages. If you have lost your job or ability to earn a livelihood because of your injuries, you can seek compensation for lost future income and loss of earning capacity as well.
  • Rehabilitation costs: These are often payments many accident victims pay out of pocket because they are not covered under their health insurance policies. You may seek reimbursement of these costs as well.
  • Permanent injuries and disabilities: Unfortunately, car accidents often result in injuries that leave individuals permanently injured, disfigured and disabled. Your claim can include compensation for these types of losses.
  • Pain and suffering: Needless to say, car accident victims suffer tremendous physical pain and mental anguish. Experiencing a car accident is a traumatic event and the emotional scars persist long after the physical scars disappear.

Should I settle quickly with the insurance company?

Rushing into a quick settlement is not a good idea if you have sustained injuries in an Arizona car accident. While we understand that you want to put this unpleasant episode in your life behind you as soon as possible, rushing into a settlement could jeopardize your claim and your chances of getting fair and full compensation for your losses. Do not sign any settlement agreement unless you have thoroughly discusses all of your options with your personal injury lawyer.

The insurance company only cares about closing out the claim with minimum payout or no payout. They are not looking out for your best interest. Once you sign an agreement, you lose your right to pursue further compensation. For example, if you need a surgery or additional rehabilitation later for your injuries, there is no way you can recover those amounts of money once you have signed the agreement. Talk to your lawyer before you sign your rights away.

What should I do about my social media accounts?

If you have a pending injury claim, our Arizona car accident lawyers would advise that you shut down all your social media accounts until your claim has been settled. Do not post any comments, photos or videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, other blogs or sites. What you post online can and will be used against you. Don’t assume that your sites are private.

What do I have to pay an Arizona car accident attorney?

At the Pew Law Center, our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing until we recover compensation for you. Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers will hold your hand through what can be a tough and challenging process and help you secure maximum compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have sustained. Call us today for a free consultation and thorough case evaluation.