Fender Bender Accidents
Experienced Car Accident Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ
Low-speed fender bender collisions are among the most common types of car accidents. Nearly everyone who drives or rides in a motor vehicle has been involved in a fender bender at some point, whether it occurred in a parking lot, on a public roadway or elsewhere. What few people realize, however, is that fender bender accidents can actually give rise to injuries and an actionable claim for damages under Arizona law. Thus, if you or your car sustained damage in a minor car crash, it is worth scheduling a free consultation with a Phoenix car accident law firm like Hirsch and Lyon.
If you’ve been harmed in a fender bender accident, you may be entitled to not only recover compensation for your injuries, but also compensation to cover the damage to your car itself. First-time plaintiffs may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of litigation for something as seemingly minor as a fender bender accident. However, skilled legal advocacy can make the process rather painless and often leads to a resolution long before trial litigation is necessary.
We encourage prospective plaintiffs to contact our Phoenix car accident law firm today to speak to a knowledgeable attorney. At Hirsch & Lyon, we will work with you to identify potential next steps and help you recover what you’re owed.
Minor Accidents and Major Injuries — the Eggshell Skull Doctrine
Though fender bender accidents are generally considered “minor” collisions, it is quite possible that you suffered a serious injury. Accident injuries do not always progress in the way that one expects, and to some extent, the severity of the injuries can be influenced by the unique fragilities of the injured person.
Confused? We’ll clarify through a brief discussion of the “eggshell skull” doctrine.
In Arizona and throughout the United States, those who cause injuries through their negligent misconduct (i.e., defendants in fender bender accidents) are liable for the full losses sustained by the plaintiff. This may seem unfair at first glance — after all, if you injure your spinal cord in a low-speed fender bender accident that leads to partial paralysis, then it may seem unreasonable to impose liability on the defendant. In reality, however, the burden of loss must be shouldered by some party — either the injured party or the negligent party. Simply stated, the eggshell skull rule says that the defendant must bear the burden of their negligent conduct and this burden includes the unique fragilities of the injured party.
As such, if you sustained a serious injury in a fender bender accident, then you have a right to bring an action against the defendant for your damages in full. Though the defendant may attempt to paint your claim as excessive, you can successfully recover so long as you have sufficient evidence of your injuries (i.e., records proving the extent of your injuries, testimony from medical experts and vocational experts, etc.). The key to success includes developing a comprehensive record of your losses and presenting it in a persuasive manner to the court, so as to eliminate any doubt that you are exaggerating your injuries.
Involved in an Accident in Phoenix? What Should You Do Next?
After you’ve been involved in a fender bender in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona, you should take a moment, if possible, to evaluate the extent of the accident and the severity of all your injuries. Assuming that you (or any other person involved in the accident) do not need emergency medical care, you’ll have to consider whether the police should be contacted. If the accident is minor, then you have the option of not reporting the accident to the authorities. You can simply obtain the information you need from the other party without further intervention.
In most cases, however, it will be worth it to contact the police even if it’s just to help ensure that verifiable information is made accessible as official documentation if you choose to pursue an injury claim through litigation.
During this time (before or after police arrive), you’ll want to exchange information with the other parties, which should include their contact information, name, car model information, license number and insurance. Eyewitness contact information should also be obtained.
It’s important not to leave the accident scene prematurely, as it is not only illegal to leave an accident scene until information has been exchanged (and if necessary, until the police have arrived), but doing so could also undermine your injury claims. The opposing party may attempt to argue that the impact of the accident was so clearly insignificant that you left the scene prematurely.
Contact Our Phoenix Car Accident Law Firm Today
At Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have decades of experience providing legal representation to a range of injured clients, including those who have been involved in a “minor” fender bender accident. We understand the unique challenges facing those who have sustained an injury in an accident that initially appears to be insignificant. Over the years, we have developed key insight into what it takes to properly litigate such claims and secure the maximum possible recovery for our clients, even when the circumstances put them at a disadvantage.
Unlike many of our competitors, we dedicate our personal injury practice to motor vehicle accidents (truck, car, motorcycle, and pedestrian). We have focused experience in handling a wide variety of claims in the practice area. Further, because our practice is limited to such claims, we are able to process a client’s dispute more efficiently, thus enabling us to invest more time and attention towards their case.
Curious about what our Phoenix car accident law firm can do to help you litigate your fender bender injury claims? Call us at 602-535-1900 or complete an intake form through our website to request a free and confidential consultation today. We offer discounted contingency fee rates so that clients can keep more of the compensation they’re awarded in the case.
Our team looks forward to assisting you.