Why Accident Victims Don’t Receive Fair Compensation
The weeks following an accident are some of the most stressful a person will ever experience. In addition to painful injuries, many accident victims are feeling financial stress. They suddenly can’t work, yet their bills are still due every month like always. Rent, groceries, educational expenses—what can you do?
Helpfully, Arizona law allows personal injury victims to bring claims for compensation. In our experience, however, far too many victims do not receive fair compensation. Below, our Phoenix personal injury lawyer identifies the 5 most common hurdles to receiving full and fair compensation—and provides a sneak peek of how our lawyers respond.
The Defendant Lacks Adequate Insurance
Many defendants have no money in the bank or any other assets they could sell to pay a settlement. The only pot of money is their insurance. For example, Arizona only requires that drivers get a minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury liability coverage, up to $50,000 for multiple injuries per accident. Sadly, many injuries cost double or triple this. Add in lost income, not to mention pain and suffering, and many victims have uncompensated losses.
How we fight back: We can analyze whether to make a claim on your own Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM) and research other possible insurance policies, like business liability or umbrella coverage. We might also sue additional defendants, like a car manufacturer, to increase the odds of receiving fair compensation.
The Defendant Claims You Were Also Negligent
Arizona follows comparative negligence principles in personal injury cases. This means a defendant only has to pay compensation based on their percentage of fault. Don’t be surprised if defendants try to put blame for the accident on your shoulders. There is a strategic reason they do this: if successful, they can reduce the amount of compensation they pay you.
For example, imagine you were crossing the street when a driver made a right-on-red without checking to see if the intersection was clear. The driver pulls directly into you, sending you to the hospital. In response, the driver might claim you jumped in front of the vehicle or were crossing when the lights told you not to.
How we fight back: we fully document all accidents to show it was the defendant, not you, who is at fault. We can talk to witnesses, check for video of the accident, and use other tools.
You Wait Too Long to Sue
Arizona has a statute of limitations that gives most victims two years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries. If you don’t file a lawsuit before the deadline, you’ll lose the ability to sue—forever.
How we protect you: If you contact us right now, we can analyze what deadline applies to your case. We can also get a lawsuit filed before the deadline to protect your rights.
You Don’t Properly Document Your Accident
To bring a successful claim, you need to recreate the accident as best as possible. Doing so allows us to see who is at fault for your injuries. We end up suing this person or negotiating with them for a settlement. Without solid evidence, it’s much harder to get fair compensation. The defendant could always just deny responsibility.
Ideally, you would have documented the accident when it happened, but that might have been impossible. If you were knocked unconscious, you obviously couldn’t take photographs of the accident scene.
How we protect you: If you reach out to us quickly, we can spring into action and try to find witnesses, visit the accident scene, and search for surveillance video which might have recorded the accident. Evidence disappears the longer you wait, so contact our Phoenix personal injury lawyer today.
Insurers Engage in Bad Faith Negotiations
Sadly, insurers do not always act with good intentions. Instead, they profit when they unfairly deny claims, misrepresent an insurance policy, or refuse to even respond to your phone calls. Instead of promptly investigating a claim, they drag their heels and end up costing you time and money. These delay tactics constitute “bad faith,” and Arizona law gives you the right to fight back.
How we help: We hold insurers accountable by bringing bad faith insurance claims where necessary. We can also light a fire under them by reminding them of their duties to act fairly.
Call Karnas Law Firm, PLLC Today
Time is of the essence following a car wreck or other accident. At Karnas Law, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers know how to gather evidence, analyze the law, and demand fair compensation from liable parties. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case.