Answering Your Car Accident Questions
As a car accident victim, you can have many questions about how you will obtain the money to get better and take care of yourself and your family financially.
As an experienced attorney, I will not only help mitigate your anxiety and fears but will help protect and defend you. I am Joshua A. Lopez, founder of The Law Office of Joshua A. Lopez, LLC. Here are answers to some of the most common questions and concerns I hear when working with clients on car accident injury claims:
What is the first thing I should do after an auto accident?
Always call the police so a police report is filed regarding the incident and who was at fault. When a police report is not made, people often do not tell the truth to their insurance company about who was at fault, and unless there are witnesses or video evidence about what happened, the case is much more challenging to win. Also, people who cause car accidents are most honest when they are at the scene of an accident and are speaking to the police. Take pictures of injuries and vehicles and trade insurance information if you are able.
The next step is to IMMEDIATELY accept medical treatment by taking an ambulance to the hospital. It may turn out that you are OK in the end. However, more times than not, after the initial shock of the accident, pain sets in later. The insurance adjuster may assume you are faking or exaggerating your injury if you felt “OK” on the scene and chose not to seek medical treatment initially.
How long will my car accident case take from start to finish?
All cases are different, but much of it is based on how long it takes someone to recover from their injuries. Insurance companies generally won’t settle a case if someone is still recovering from their injuries. This can be beneficial for you in the long run because if a claim is settled too quickly, you may be undercompensated for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, etc.
The statute of limitations in most cases in Arizona is two years from the date of the accident, or one year if it is a case against a government entity. That is the deadline by which a personal injury lawsuit MUST be filed if a settlement cannot be reached by negotiation.
Many cases take between three months and one year to settle. Although many factors must be considered, the extent of a person’s injuries and how willing the third-party insurance company is to settle the case frequently drive the timeline.
Why should I get an attorney to help?
Getting an attorney is an investment. When an insurance company knows that you have an attorney, you are placed into another category allowing for more money. Otherwise, the insurance adjusters are trained to low-ball and take advantage of the injured.
Many times, the adjuster will send a check right away for a low amount to resolve the case, which is one tactic that prevents victims from receiving their rightful compensation. Even after the attorney takes his percentage of the recovery, the client will end up with more money in their pocket than if they had tried to resolve their case without the help of an attorney.
Should I speak to the insurance company?
You should never speak to an insurance company until you first talk to an attorney. This includes your insurance company or the other person’s (third-party) insurance company. Insurance adjusters use the information you tell them against you so as to reduce their liability or responsibility to pay you compensation. Remember, there are at least two parties we will seek recovery from in an auto accident case – the third-party insurance company and your insurance company. That is why you never speak to the insurance company first.
Get Started Today With Your Case
Having an experienced attorney represent you can impact the outcome of your case and send a message to insurance companies that you are serious about compensation. Contact me online or call my office at 480-372-4326 right away to speak with me about your case and the process moving forward. There is no fee upfront, and I only get paid if we win.