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It is an unfortunate fact of life: at some point or another, you may be involved in a serious car accident. If you or a loved one is injured in a collision, you are encouraged to contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer. According to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an estimated 6,734,000 police-reported auto accidents in the U.S. in 2018, resulting in 36,560 fatalities and 2,710,00 persons injured.

A car crash can take just a few seconds to unfold. That said, in the moments and days that follow an accident, you may be wondering what you should do next. While each accident situation can vary, here are a few things to remember:

Call the police.

Even in accidents in which there appear to be no serious injuries, the police should be notified as quickly as possible. Resist any offer by the other driver merely to “exchange identification information.” You’ll need a police report for insurance purposes. What may at first appear to be an amicable situation can later turn ugly. The police are specially trained to make an initial investigation. Use them.

When the police arrive, be clear and specific in your statements.

The officer arriving at the scene must rely upon the witnesses to set the scene. Be courteous, clear, and as specific as possible about how the accident unfolded. If you don’t know the answer to one of the officer’s questions, say so—don’t guess. You may also find it helpful to speak with a Phoenix car accident lawyer prior to giving any statements to the police.

Take photos.

Nowadays, most of us carry a smart phone with us. They have excellent cameras. If you have one, use it. Document the damage to all vehicles. Take photos of signposts and other identifying landmarks. If you have injuries, take photos of them as well. Recognize that you are not allowed to interfere with the police in their investigation, but you can make a record of the event as best you can.

Get medical attention for any injuries.

Recognize that in many cases, injuries sustained in car accidents may not be immediately apparent. If you have suffered a cut or broken bone, that is usually obvious. However, bear in mind that a host of medical issues may not manifest themselves until much later. Unless you are certain that you have not sustained injuries, you should seek medical attention at a nearby emergency room, urgent care center or your family physician. This is particularly important if you struck your head or if you have any lapse of memory regarding the circumstances of the accident. In many situations involving injuries, time is of the essence.

Report the accident to your auto insurance company.

Your auto policy requires you to advise the insurance company as soon as possible about any accident involving an insured vehicle. Determine if you have special medical coverage, sometimes referred to as “medpay,” which can pay for immediate medical bills without regard to who was at fault. In speaking with insurance company representatives, be cooperative, accurate and truthful, but recognize that the insurer may be searching for information to support a later claim denial. Don’t give a statement to the insurer unless you are represented by a competent Phoenix car accident lawyer.

Keep a journal and “open a file.”

Carefully maintain a written or electronic record of all relevant information concerning your car accident. Keep information related to the other driver’s name, the identity of any passengers, the names and claim numbers of your auto insurance policy. Keep receipts of cars that you may be required to rent.

Consider hiring a skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer to represent your interests.

Accident victims often comment about how difficult it is in the days following an accident to keep a proper perspective, to think clearly and to make sure that valuable evidence and information is preserved. That is why many individuals involved in car accidents choose to work with a skilled team of accident attorneys like those at Hirsch & Lyon. With more than 60 years of combined experience representing auto victims, we are equipped to help you through trying times. Any Phoenix car accident attorney at our firm can take care of all the necessary and intricate details in handling your claim.

Injured in an Auto Wreck? Contact Hirsch & Lyon today!

Hirsch & Lyon is focused entirely on providing top-tier legal advocacy for the victims of motor vehicle accidents. Our car accident attorneys have over 65 years of combined experience, with a long track record of success in obtaining favorable results for clients, whether through settlement negotiations or at trial.

At Hirsch & Lyon, we understand that client engagement is crucial to success. Our staff is available 24/7 to respond to any questions or concerns you may have. For your convenience, we are also available to make hospital and home appointments. As we are confident in our ability to serve our clients, our injury lawyers provide legal services at a discounted rate (our contingency fee is 25%, and up to 30% if the case proceeds to trial, plus costs). When you win through Hirsch & Lyon, you keep more of it for yourself!

Call 602-535-1900 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a top Phoenix car accident lawyer today. Our legal team will assess your claims and help you navigate the challenging landscape of litigation.

Experienced Accident Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ

If you have been involved in a car accident, but were lucky enough not to sustain physical injuries, then you may be wondering whether you are entitled to sue the defendant(s) responsible for the accident.

In Arizona, plaintiffs who (by chance) avoided physical injury can bring a lawsuit, assuming that there are “some” measurable damages.  These damages need not be associated with a physical injury — Arizona law entitles plaintiffs to recover property damage caused to their vehicle, and for any emotional distress that they may be experiencing in the wake of an accident.

Let’s take a closer look.

Property Damage is Sufficient to Make for an Actionable Claim

You do not have to have suffered physical injuries in order to sue and recover damages from the liable defendant.  In Arizona (and other jurisdictions), a tort action — here, one arising from a car accident — can be pursued even without damages based on physical injury-related losses.

Suppose, for example, that you are involved in a car accident where you are miraculously left unscathed, but your car is totaled. The defendant-driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, and as such, can be held liable for the damages.  Under such circumstances, you would be entitled to bring an action against the defendant to recover compensation for whatever losses you did suffer: here, property damages for the car getting totaled (along with replacement costs for renting a car in the meanwhile, or purchasing a new car).

Emotional Losses May Give Rise to Damages

Worth noting is the Arizona may also give you a right of action to recover damages that are linked to “emotional distress” or “mental anguish” caused by the car accident.  In the wake of a car accident, for example, you may experience nightmares and PTSD-like episodes that can have an impact on your quality of life.  In extreme cases, you may be impaired at work or in your social life.

Emotional distress damages fall under the “pain and suffering” category, and as such, form a key component of any car accident dispute.  You may also bring a separate action for emotional distress — either intentional infliction of emotional distress or negligent infliction of emotional distress, and thereby recover for damages that do not necessarily flow from a physical injury.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for Comprehensive Legal Representation

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team of Phoenix accident attorneys has extensive experience working with clients in a range of injury disputes, including car accident cases.  We strive to engage clients early and often in the litigation process so that we can gain insight into the specific circumstances surrounding their dispute, as well as their goals and limitations — by doing so, we are better equipped to tailor our legal representation to the particulars of their case.

Over the years, this approach has helped us secure significant results through negotiated settlement and in trial litigation, alike.

If you’d like to have your claims evaluated, contact us at 602-598-4786 or complete an online intake form to schedule a free consultation.

What to Do After a Phoenix Accident

Have you been injured in an accident that you believe someone else caused?  Arizona law may entitle you to compensation for the suffered losses.

Though one of your first priorities should — of course — be to contact a Phoenix accident law firm for professional guidance on how to proceed with your claims, there are a number of “dos and don’ts” of which you may not be fully aware.

Let’s take a look.

Do…

Do Seek Timely and Adequate Medical Treatment

Your health is the top priority in the wake of an accident.  Seek timely and adequate medical treatment.  If you believe that you may have suffered an injury, then you should go to a healthcare facility and have the injury evaluated and potentially treated.

It’s worth noting that the failure to secure timely and adequate medical treatment could have legal ramifications, too.  Defendants in Arizona can minimize their liability by claiming that the injured plaintiff was also at-fault.  Delayed treatment for a truck or motorcycle accident, for example, could lead to an assertion of contributory fault. This means that the defendant will almost certainly argue that your injuries were caused or exacerbated by the delay, thus making you responsible for the harm (and minimizing their damages liability).

Do Secure Timely Legal Assistance

It’s critical that you secure the assistance of a qualified attorney as soon as is practicable under the circumstances — an experienced Phoenix accident attorney is an invaluable ally at every stage of the personal injury lawsuit, from the initial factual investigation to the nuances of a courtroom hearing.

Attorney assistance is often useful in ways that may not be immediately perceived by the client.  For example, your personal injury attorney will serve as a communication middleman between you and the relevant insurer.  During such communications, your attorney will not only be able to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information that could undermine your claims, but may also be able to apply significant pressure and secure a favorable result before the case develops further.

Timely legal assistance is critical.  The general statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Arizona is just two years from the date of injury.  Failure to bring an action before the deadline passes could lead to an automatic dismissal of your claims, preventing a full and adequate recovery.

Do Take Steps to Preserve Evidence and Identify Relevant Parties

If you are not in need of emergency medical care following an accident, you can take steps to preserve evidence and improve your likelihood of success in litigation.  For example, if you are in a car accident, then it’s possible that the design of the roadway contributed to the accident in a way that could lead to an independent claim for damages against the City.  Take photos of the roadway, signage, and environmental hazards before the City steps in and makes any changes.  These photos could be introduced as evidence to support your claims.

You’ll also want to identify relevant parties: potential defendants and eyewitnesses.  Record their contact information so that you can get in touch with them when necessary (as the case progresses).  If you are unable to do so, all is not lost — your attorney will just have to take additional steps to identify and contact the appropriate parties.

Don’t…

Do Not Leave the Accident Scene Prematurely

Unless you have suffered grievous injuries that require instant medical assistance (i.e., you have to go to the hospital immediately for emergency medical care), then you should not prematurely “escape” a serious accident scene until you have had a chance to speak to authorities.  Leaving an accident scene prematurely could not only expose you to criminal charges, but could also weaken your eventual case against the defendant (as the jury is likely to assume that you were somehow at fault for the accident, as evidenced by your premature escape from the accident scene).

Do Not Communicate Extensively With Insurers

Insurance companies have interests that are in opposition to your own — and yes, that includes your own insurer as well.  If you find yourself in communications with an insurance company before you have consulted an attorney, make sure to reveal as little as necessary to end the conversation.  Do not provide a statement (regarding the accident).  Let them know that law enforcement are investigating the accident and that you cannot provide any further information.  It is not your responsibility to speak to an insurer and negotiate with them on your own — that is the responsibility of your attorney.  If you speak to an insurer on your own, they will attempt to manipulate you into making disclosures about certain aspects of the accident that they will subsequently use to de-value or even deny your subsequent claims.

Do Not Exaggerate Injuries

Exaggerating your injuries is not a good idea.  Defendants (and insurers) typically use investigators who will take a number of steps to monitor your condition — monitoring your social media pages, following you around town, etc. — and if they discover behavior that is inconsistent with your claimed injuries, it could significantly undercut your case.  Further, when you bring an action in personal injury, you must be able to support your assertion of damages with sufficient evidence (documentary/record evidence and expert testimony, for example).  If you exaggerate your injuries, the evidentiary record will not match the claimed impairments and asserted damages, thus creating a disconnect that could create serious doubt about your overall case.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for Comprehensive Legal Assistance After an Arizona Accident

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have decades of experience working with injured plaintiffs in Arizona in a variety of disputes, from car accidents to product defect-related accidents, and more.

Since our founding, we have helped plaintiffs secure favorable results that compensate them for their losses, whether through a negotiated settlement or aggressive trial litigation.  We are committed to practical, results-oriented representation — unlike many of our competitors, we have experience handling cases all the way through to trial, giving us a significant advantage in pressuring defendants at an early stage.

Ready to speak to a seasoned Phoenix accident attorney about your injury claims?

Call us at 602-598-4786 or complete an online intake form on our website to setup a consultation with a member of our team today.  Consultation is free, confidential, and comes with no obligation to continue (if you decide against pursuing compensation).  During the initial consultation, we will evaluate your claims and identify potential next steps.

If you have been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, you may be entitled to sue and recover damages under Arizona law.  Plaintiffs often forego pursuing litigation, primarily because they are uncertain about whether it is worthwhile to go through the effort for a small recovery.

Until you consult a qualified Phoenix accident attorney about the case, you will not have an accurate appraisal of the damages.  We therefore encourage you to contact Hirsch & Lyon for a case evaluation so you can learn more.

For now, let’s explore some of damages typical of a personal injury dispute.

Identifying Losses and Gathering Evidence

In the context of personal injury, your losses are likely to vary significantly on a case-by-case basis.  For example, if you suffer injuries in a car accident that are not “catastrophic” and you are able to return to your career after a few months without any significant impairments in your ability to perform your job responsibilities, then you may have a significant damages claim for wage loss accounting for those few months of being unable to work, but not for the loss of earning capacity, as your earning capacity was not, in fact, diminished.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and subsequent injuries, your losses may include the following:

Medical Expenses

In the wake of an accident, injured plaintiffs may recover for all their health-related expenses, including doctor visits, prescription drugs, diagnostic exams, counselor appointments, chiropractic exams, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and alternative medical treatment.  The defendant may attempt to argue that some of the treatment is not “reasonably necessary” under the circumstances.  You can counter this argument with supportive testimony from your treating physicians and other medical experts.

Lost Wages

Our skilled Phoenix accident attorneys know that injured plaintiffs are entitled to recover damages for their lost wages/income.  This includes all missed work time due to their accident, missed job opportunities, missed interviews, missed client meetings, and all other lost income (i.e., lost sales for a commission-based earner).

Loss of Earning Capacity

If you are injured severely enough that your future earning capacity is limited in a significant manner (i.e., you are blinded, and are therefore unable to continue working in as a lab technician), then you are entitled to damages for the lost earning capacity associated with that impairment.  You will have to compare your new earning capacity with what you would have earned in the future — this will require a lifetime analysis of future earnings.  Loss of earning capacity is more difficult to prove than lost wages, but you can effectively do so by introducing supportive vocational expert testimony.

Property Damage

As a personal injury plaintiff, you are entitled to recover for any damaged property and incidental expenses associated with the accident, including the cost of repairs or replacement (for your vehicle), rental car expenses, travel expenses, household assistance, and childcare expenses.  For example, if your car is totaled in an accident, then you may need to pay for a rental car.  That rental car is an incidental expense that could be claimed in the ensuing litigation.  Speak to a Phoenix accident attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages comprehensively accounts for the suffering that a plaintiff experiences in the wake of an accident.  For example, if you fracture your pelvis in a car accident, then you can recover for the subjective pain that you experienced due to that injury.  Intense pain leads to greater damages.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress can best be described as the psychological pain sustained in relation to one’s injuries.  For example, if you have received burn injuries on your face and hands, then you may experience significant emotional distress due to the social stigma associated with your aesthetic losses.

Proving emotional distress damages will require extensive psychological diagnostic records and expert testimony supporting the fact that you have not only experienced such distress, but that it is as severe as you are claiming it to be.

You’ll have to do more than merely assert damages in order to successfully recover.  In personal injury litigation, documentary evidence (i.e., medical records, work payment records, contracts, etc.) and testimonial evidence (i.e., expert testimony regarding your pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, etc.) are both extraordinarily valuable in supporting your claim for damages.  If you are claiming medical expenses, for example, you will have to introduce evidence of the treatment that you have received and how much the procedure costs.

Are Punitive Damages Available? Our Phoenix Accident Attorneys Will Review the Case and Advise

An award of punitive damages can significantly boost your damages, as they act as a multiplying factor on the compensatory damages total — for example, if you recover $100,000 in compensatory damages (i.e., medical expenses, pain and suffering, wage loss, etc.), then the court may award you punitive damages of up to seven times that amount, for a total of $800,000.

Unfortunately, punitive damages are not often available.  The plaintiff may only qualify for punitive damages if they can prove that the defendant acted willfully, maliciously, and/or with reckless disregard for the safety of others.  Further, even if the plaintiff “qualifies” for punitive damages, the court may exercise its discretion in awarding them. Our Phoenix accident attorney can further explain this during the initial consultation.

The fundamental reasoning behind an award of punitive damages is quite different than what many plaintiffs initially expect.  Simply put, punitive damages are not intended to compensate you for your various losses but are meant, instead, to punish and otherwise discourage the defendant (and other similarly situated parties in society) from engaging in the sort of willful and malicious behavior that the case is centered around.

If you could potentially access punitive damages, your recovery could be striking.  Many multimillion-dollar personal injury lawsuits are actually reliant on punitive damages to reach those significant dollar amounts.

How “Certainty of Success” Impacts Damage Recovery

Most disputes are resolved through settlement.  Each party compromises, agreeing to an amount that is less than the maximum claimed damages in an effort to avoid the cost and uncertainty of trial litigation.  As such, understanding what you are likely to recover through settlement is fundamental to understanding the true damages potential of your claims.

In a settlement, the amount that the defendant will agree to offer depends largely on whether your claims are likely to succeed (should the case proceed to trial) and whether the claimed damages are likely to be awarded by the jury.

For example, if the defendant concedes that they are at fault and caused your injuries, then you have a 100 percent chance of “winning” the case at trial.  Suppose, however, that the evidence for your claimed $200,000 damages is rather scant, and in fact, there is a 50 percent that the jury will award you $100,000 in damages instead.  Given these risks, a reasonable settlement amount might hover around $150,000.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon to Setup a Free and Confidential Consultation With a Phoenix Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident due to the fault of another party, then Arizona law may give you a right of action for damages.  The pursuit of litigation may seem intimidating, but it’s important to understand that the damages you’re owed may be recoverable with the aid of a skilled legal advocate.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team of attorneys has decades of experience working on behalf of those who have been injured in various personal injury scenarios — primarily motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian).  This focus affords us substantial insight into the unique issues likely to be encountered over the course of litigation in such disputes and helps us to maximize our client’s damages.

Ready to speak to one of our experienced Phoenix accident attorneys about your claims?  Send us a message online to arrange for an initial consultation today.  Consultation is free and confidential.

Car accident lawsuits appear straightforward to those who are unfamiliar with the litigation process — and in some cases, naturally, the “legal” issues are relatively straightforward.  What many plaintiffs do not realize, however, is the various ways in which one’s injury claims can be undermined and weakened by one’s actions in the wake of an accident.  Seemingly minor decisions can have disastrous consequences.

We’ve tallied up five mistakes commonly made after a car accident.  If you’ve been in a car accident and are intending to pursue a claim for damages, contact a skilled Phoenix car accident attorney and be careful to avoid making these mistakes!

1) Failing to Secure Medical Care

Securing timely and adequate medical care is critical.  If you have been injured, you should actively seek out medical care necessary to treat whatever symptoms you have.  Even if you are not expressing any symptoms, you should make an appointment with a physician and have diagnostic tests performed.  In some cases, the injury may be pernicious and undetectable except with advanced medical equipment.

Failure to secure medical care in a timely manner could weaken your claim and lead to difficulties, as the defendant may argue that they are not responsible for your injuries (i.e., that the injuries developed due to your delay), and that your delay is proof that any injuries they caused were not serious.

2) Waiting to Seek the Assistance of a Phoenix Car Accident Attorney

Seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney is not only important for bringing an action before the statute of limitations deadline, but also for obtaining the comprehensive guidance necessary to pursue your claim in the wake of an accident.  Your car accident attorney will assist with a variety of matters, from evidence gathering to witness identification to sending demand letters and filing claims.

3) Making Statements That Undermine Your Claims

Statements that you make to other people — such as the defendant, witnesses, and police officers —at the scene of the car accident, and afterwards, can undermine your legal claims and create complications down the line.

Oftentimes, one’s objective appraisal of a situation is influenced by the adrenaline and chaos of an accident.  At the time of an accident, for example, you may be under the wrong impression that you made a mistake while driving that contributed to the accident.  As such, you might apologize to the defendant and explain your “mistake,” when in fact you did nothing of the sort.  Such a statement could have a negative impact on your ability to successfully litigate your claims.

4) Failing to Identify Witnesses

Eyewitness testimony is extraordinarily valuable in the car accident context, as it can provide the clarity necessary to succeed when there are conflicting narratives.  If you are not in need of emergency medical care after an accident (and can take some time at the accident scene to speak to bystanders), it’s worth identifying possible eyewitnesses and taking down their contact information so that you can consult them later for supportive testimony.  Failure to do so at the scene of the accident could make it more difficult to identify and secure the testimony of reliable eyewitnesses.

5) Negotiating Directly With an Insurer

Insurers are quite clever about minimizing and avoiding a payout, and one of their tactics is to engage with plaintiffs directly (before they can consult with an attorney).  Do not speak with an insurer until and unless you have consulted a qualified Phoenix car accident attorney about the matter.  Insurers use direct conversations to pry for information and statements that they can use to justify the denial of your insurance claim later on.  Further, they may attempt to push you towards an unfavorable resolution at an emotionally sensitive and frustrating moment, before you have had the chance to consider all your options.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for a Free Consultation

Have you been injured in a car accident?  Depending on the circumstances, you may have an actionable claim for damages under Arizona law.

Successfully pursuing a car accident claim is quite a challenge, but an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney can provide the assistance you need to do so while maximizing the available damages.  Here at Hirsch & Lyon, we have nearly seven decades of combined experience working relentlessly on behalf of injured car accident plaintiffs, with significant results gained through trial litigation and settlement.

If you’d like to learn more about our services and how we can help advance your interests, send us a case evaluation form through our website.  Consultation is free and confidential.

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Advocate on Your Behalf When You Have Insurance Company Headaches 

Insurance companies are fundamentally opposed to their policyholders.  Though pernicious advertising has sold insurance companies as “allies,” the truth is quite a bit different from the marketed fantasy.  Our Phoenix personal injury lawyer knows that insurance companies benefit when they take a position that is adverse to claimants.  When legitimate claimants are denied coverage, paid out less than expected, or choose not to pursue their claims, then the insurance company gets to keep money that they would have otherwise been required to hand-over to the policyholder.

Given this dynamic, insurance companies are incentivized to act (in sometimes devious ways) so that they can avoid having to payout legitimate claims, or at the very least, to reduce the amount they have to payout.

Fortunately, the law shields policyholders.  Insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith towards their policyholders, and that duty is broadly applicable — if your insurer fails to act responsively (with respect to your accident claim), loses important documentation, or has made an adverse decision on your claim without proper justification, then you may have an actionable bad faith claim against them for damages.

So, how can you tell that if an insurance company is giving you the runaround on your motor vehicle accident claim?  Let’s take a look at some common tactics utilized by insurance companies.

Active Investigation of Your Claim

When an insurance company communicates to you that they are actively investigating the claim at-issue, then there is a high likelihood that they are doing whatever they can to find weaknesses in your claim — in the wake of a motor vehicle accident, many insurers conduct an independent factual investigation, of course, but an extended investigation may be indicative that the insurance company smells “blood in the water” and is looking aggressively for a justification to deny or undervalue the claim.

Refusal to Cover Immediate Expenses

In the wake of a motor vehicle accident, our Phoenix personal injury lawyer knows that chances are that you have immediate expenses associated with your losses: medical expenses, wage loss, and property damage, among other things.  If your insurer refuses to provide a small, advance payment to cover at least a portion of these immediate losses, then that may be indicative of their intent to undermine your overall claim.

Refusal to Approve Medical Treatment

If the insurer believes that your injuries fall under a coverage exclusion, or that you simply do not qualify for coverage, then they are very likely to refuse to approve medical treatment.  In fact, they may even refuse to approve medical treatment if they believe that you are entitled to coverage, but that your injuries are being exaggerated or that the treatment sought is unnecessary.

Confusion, Missing Documentation, and Delays

If you sense that the insurer is acting in a confused manner — in other words, if they are asking for documentation that you already submitted or are “messing up” the submission process so as to create administrative headaches for you — then they may be engaging in a stalling tactic designed to intimidate you and wear you down mentally.  If you are exhausted by claim submission and processing, then you are more likely to accept an undervalued payout.  You may even decide that it is not worth the effort and emotional burden to challenge an adverse decision, such as a claim denial.

Contact a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon for Legal Assistance

If you have had your insurance claim denied, undervalued, or are in preparations to submit an insurance claim, we can help.  After a motor vehicle accident, it’s important that you secure the guidance of a Phoenix personal injury lawyer with a track record of success in navigating the challenges of the insurance claims process.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team has over 65 years of combined experience advocating for plaintiffs and motor vehicle insurance claimants.  Quite simply, we have “seen it all” — we understand the unethical tactics employed by insurance companies and how to effectively overcome them.

Ready to move forward?  Send us a case evaluation form through our website to request a free consultation with one of our attorneys.  We are available 24/7 to respond to any inquiries that you may have concerning your claims.

Have you been injured in an accident in Phoenix — or elsewhere in Arizona — due to the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another party?  If so, the law may give you a right of action against the defendant for damages.  The decisions you make in the wake of that accident can have enormous consequences for your later injury claims against the liable defendant, however.

Even if you choose to pursue claims against the defendants, it’s important that you prioritize full and adequate medical care.  Failure to secure such care could undermine your overall legal argument and reduce the potential damages significantly. Contact our Phoenix accident attorney today to discuss the particulars of your situation.

Let’s take a closer look.

Consequences of a Delay or Failure to Follow-Through on Medical Care

In Arizona, and in every other jurisdiction in the country, our Phoenix accident attorney knows that a plaintiff’s inability to secure timely medical care (and to follow-through on medical care) could have a substantial negative impact on the success of their injury claims.  Consequences include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • The defendant attacks your legitimacy as a plaintiff (i.e., claiming that your injuries were not serious enough, or else you would not have been lax about medical care)
  • Difficulties in separating the foreseeable, accident-related injuries from the injuries that were caused by the lack of immediate and comprehensive medical care
  • Uncertainties as to the damage calculation
  • Statute of limitations deadline issues in the event that you do not discover the injury at an earlier date, when you should have (under the circumstances)

Confused?  This is all perhaps best clarified through an example, so let’s consider one in brief.

Suppose that you injure your leg in a car accident.  You do not seek immediate medical attention after the accident, in large part because you assume the injury is minor (in truth, it is not) and would rather not go through the hassle.  As a result, your condition worsens and you develop a serious infection that causes you to suffer organ failure.  This requires additional medical care and causes significant additional expense.

In litigation, the defendant argues that your damages are largely caused by your delay in seeking medical care — not by the accident itself.  This is likely to be an effective argument with the jury, who may be unsympathetic when presented with a plaintiff who could not do enough to “help themselves.”  Ultimately, the defendant may pick away at the damages to the point that your overall recovery is reduced to a minimal amount.

In the wake of an accident, priority should therefore be given to medical care.  Plaintiffs must do everything they can to secure such care so as to ensure that they have not missed anything that could impact their later injury claims — it is important that plaintiffs not make assumptions about their own health.

Contact a Phoenix Accident Attorney at Hirsch & Lyon for Legal Assistance

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team has over 65 years of combined experience working on behalf of injured plaintiffs in motor vehicle accident disputes.  Through these experiences, we have gained the insight necessary to help our clients understand the “ideal” path through every phase of the litigation process.  We provide comprehensive guidance so that plaintiffs do not weaken or otherwise threaten their own claims.

Ready to speak to a Phoenix accident attorney at our firm?  Send us a case evaluation form to arrange for a free consultation.  We are available 24/7 to respond to any inquiries you may have.

Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

Many car accidents are not caused by immediate driver negligence (i.e., distracted driving), but instead by system issues, such as malfunctioning brakes.  In such cases, though it may seem that the driver or owner is not responsible, that is not necessarily true.

Cars must be properly maintained by their owners, lest they develop issues that could expose others to an unreasonable risk of injury.  Owners must adhere to this duty.  Failure to properly maintain a vehicle — when it contributes to an accident — entitles the injured car accident plaintiff to compensation under Arizona law.

Questions?  Contact us at Hirsch & Lyon to learn more about how we can help.

Owners Tend to Shift the Burden of Responsibility

How parties act during personal injury litigation can be confusing for first-time plaintiffs, but in truth, one must consider that the defendant(s) are acting in accordance with their “survival instinct.”  Unless you can clearly establish that the defendant is not only liable, but liable to the specific degree that you are asserting, their instinct will be to minimize or avoid that liability by shifting the burden to another party — in the car accident context, that burden-shifting may be from the vehicle owner towards the mechanic shop.

For example, suppose that you are injured when the defendant’s front tire suddenly blows out, causing them to lose control of their vehicle and slam into yours.  You sustain significant injuries as a result.  In the ensuing litigation, the defendant claims that they are not responsible for the losses at-issue, since it was not their negligence that led to the collision.  Instead, they argue that the mechanic should be held liable for failing to properly service the vehicle, which would have prevented the accident.

Depending on the circumstances, it is not particularly damaging to your claims for at least some of the fault to fall on the mechanic — after all, they are likely to have more significant liability insurance coverage.

Breaking Down the Case

What determines the distribution of fault in a car accident dispute involving improper maintenance?

Owners are not expected to have professional skill or training with respect to understanding mechanical issues.  Still, they can be held to the standard of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances.  For example, if the owner of a vehicle is driving around on a flat tire, they should be aware of that and seek the assistance of a mechanic (or change the tire themselves).

In more complicated situations, such as engine trouble, the owner may not know how to fix it, but can be held liable for failing to seek the assistance of a professional mechanic.  Once the car has been brought to a mechanic, then the mechanic can be held liable if they do not adequately perform such maintenance.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for Immediate Legal Assistance

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have extensive experience representing car accident plaintiffs in challenging litigation, including disputes that involves claims arising from the unreasonable risks posed by a poorly-maintained vehicle.  Car accident litigation may seem straightforward at first, but the dispute can become quite complicated when new and complex issues are brought to the fore (i.e., distribution of fault among multiple defendants, understanding the impact of inadequate maintenance, etc.).  Fortunately, we are well-equipped to successfully guide plaintiffs through a wide range of motor vehicle disputes.

As a firm, we have chosen to exclusively handle personal injury cases.  This specialized focus has — over many decades — helped us to develop competitive insights into what is necessary to secure a favorable result, even in cases where the defendant is hostile, or where the legal issues are not straightforward.

Ready to move forward with your claims?  Call us at 602-535-1900 or send us a message through our online form to arrange for a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with a skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer at our firm.

Car Accident Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident — whether you’re a pedestrian, driver, or passenger — then Arizona law may give you a right to sue and obtain compensation for your various losses.  There is significant diversity from case-to-case in terms of the fact patterns and how the dispute must be litigated.

In many cases, there are issues involving defects with the roadway itself (such as poor road visibility) that contributed substantially to the accident.  These defects can be influenced by a number of factors.

Consider the following non-exhaustive list.

Grading and Sudden Elevation Changes

Sudden elevation changes can have an enormous effect on road visibility.  When a crosswalk is placed at a plateau between sharply-graded roads, then rising traffic may have their visibility significantly impeded.

Elevation changes need not be sudden to have an impact, however.  Even roads with a more gradual vertical grade can influence visibility — for example, if a road is graded upwards at a low degree, this could have an inhibiting effect on drivers at a distance, preventing them from easily identifying crossing pedestrians further down the road.  With the assistance of a road safety expert, you can identify the potentially negative consequences of such elevation changes.

Adjacent Property Interference

Adjacent property can quite easily interfere with road visibility.  For example, if a home built next to a road has an overgrown tree in the yard that extends out into the street, then the branches might cause problems for drivers and pedestrians.  Under such circumstances, both the party responsible over the roadway (i.e., the City) and the party responsible over the adjacent property may both be held liable for failing to correct the defect.

Inadequate Lighting

Roads must be properly illuminated at night.  Whether the illumination is “sufficient” is a fact-dependent question that will change based on the circumstances.  Fundamentally, however, if there is inadequate lighting, or if the lighting is simply not working (perhaps due to poor maintenance), then this could give rise to an actionable claim for damages in the event of an accident.

Poorly Marked Crosswalks

Crosswalks must be made visible to incoming traffic.  Failure to design, construct, and maintain a crosswalk that gives sufficient notice to drivers (of its existence) could expose the responsible parties to significant liability.

Consult an Experienced Attorney at Hirsch & Lyon

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team of attorneys boasts nearly seven decades of combined experience in litigating claims on behalf of injured plaintiffs, and more specifically, those who have suffered injuries in the motor vehicle accident context.  We have helped numerous plaintiffs (including pedestrians) recover compensation that fully and adequately covers their losses.

Unlike many of our competitors, we are committed to client-focused service.  We make ourselves throughout the litigation process to respond to any and all inquiries, and work tirelessly to ensure that our client’s goals, preferences, and concerns relating to litigation are integrated into the overall case strategy.

Ready to move forward with your claims?  Call us at 602-535-1900 or contact us online to request a free and confidential consultation with a seasoned Phoenix car accident lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, and you have significant liability coverage, then you may be entitled to compensation pursuant to the terms of your insurance plan.  In many motor vehicle accident cases, however, the injured are constantly challenged by their insurer and may not be awarded the benefits they seek.  This can place a significant burden on the injured plaintiff, who may not have any other recourse for compensation.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, we have extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident disputes, including those that require a first-party insurance claim.  Contact us for comprehensive guidance on how to proceed.

First Party Insurance Coverage is Invaluable

First-party insurance coverage is particularly applicable to motor vehicle accident scenarios in which the defendant-driver lacks sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses.  For example, if you have suffered damages in excess of $200,000, but the defendant has insurance coverage that pays out only $35,000, then that will be insufficient for your purposes.  You will have to seek full and adequate compensation through other means — in most cases, through first-party insurance coverage.

Wrongful Denial and Bad Faith Claims

Many plaintiffs do not realize that insurance companies are fundamentally arrayed against them.  It is the insurer’s goal to minimize their payouts so that they can maximize their overall profits.  As such, insurers tend to be aggressive in denying first-party insurance claims made by policyholders.  They may justify the denial in a number of different ways, such as by arguing that you were at-fault for your injuries, or that your injuries are pre-existing.

In denying such claims, however, insurers may “go overboard.”  If the insurer wrongfully denied your claim, then you may be able to challenge their decision and secure the compensation you deserve.  In cases where the insurer did not have a reasonably justification for denying the claim, and acted maliciously to deny benefits (i.e., by delaying the processing of your claim to an excessive degree, or by lying to you so that you will drop your claim), then the court may even choose to award bonus punitive damages.

Request a Free and Confidential Consultation at Hirsch & Lyon

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have nearly seven decades of combined experience handling personal injury cases.

Thanks to the significant depth of our experience in such matters, we have gained key insight into the strategies and excuses typical of insurance companies, and how to successfully secure compensation despite such challenges.  Since our founding, this focused approach has helped us to secure significant compensation for our clients through favorable verdicts and settlements.

Ready to move forward with your claims?  Call 602-535-1900 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon.

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