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Car Accident Lawyer | Phoenix AZ

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Why Hire An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer?

An experienced lawyer from Colburn Hintze Maletta can play a crucial role in ensuring a satisfactory outcome for your car accident injury case in the following ways:Legal Knowledge and Expertise: A skilled attorney understands the laws and regulations specific to car accident cases in Arizona. Their expertise allows them to assess the strength of your case, identify potential legal arguments, and develop a strategic approach to maximize your chances of success.

  1. Investigation and Gathering Evidence: A competent lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your car accident. By obtaining strong evidence, your attorney can build a persuasive case that supports your claims and strengthens your position during negotiations or trial.
  2. Establishing Liability: One of the key aspects of a car accident injury case is determining fault and establishing liability. An experienced attorney will analyze the evidence, assess the negligence of the other party, and develop a compelling argument to prove their liability. 
  3. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies are known for using various tactics to minimize their financial liability. Having a lawyer on your side levels the playing field. They will work towards securing a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your damages and losses.
  4. Trial Representation: If your case proceeds to trial, hiring an experienced trial lawyer is crucial. They will have the skills and courtroom experience necessary to effectively present your case before a judge and jury. 
  5. Comprehensive Knowledge of Damages: Damages in car accident injury cases extend beyond medical expenses and lost wages. An experienced lawyer will have a deep understanding of the types of damages you may be entitled to.

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Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Phoenix

What Should Be Done Immediately After an Accident?

Car accidents are traumatic events that often require immediate action. Unfortunately, those involved may not fully understand their rights and responsibilities, leading to potentially detrimental consequences. In such circumstances, having an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer by your side can be invaluable.

After a car accident, you might be disoriented or in shock. However, taking the right steps can make all the difference in your case. Even if your car accident happened days ago, it’s not too late to give us a call.

Here are some recommendations for what to do after an accident:

  • Call 911: It’s essential for law enforcement to document the incident. Getting a police report that documents the entire accident is a critical piece.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Some injuries may not be immediately obvious, however even if you feel “ok”, it is best to get checked out by a medical professional at the hospital or your primary care physician (PCP).
  • Collect Evidence: Take video and/or pictures of the accident, witness statements, and other crucial information. If you were unable to, we can communicate with law enforcement to gather evidence.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the accident but limit the information you provide. Most insurance companies will try to settle with you immediately or ask incriminating questions in hopes of getting you to say something about the car crash that they can hold against you. Let us deal with them.
  • Consult a Lawyer: The sooner you contact a Phoenix injury attorney, the better chances you have of winning your case.

What are the Stages of a Car Accident Case?

The process following a car accident in Phoenix can be a complex and lengthy affair. Understanding the key stages involved can help victims better manage their expectations and take more informed actions.

Below, we will explore the different case stages of a car accident in Arizona, providing insights into how long accident claims and settlements typically take.

Case Investigation

The first stage involves a thorough investigation of the accident. This usually includes police reports, gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and possibly even consulting experts to reconstruct what caused the accident. The evidence compiled will form the basis of your claim. During this time, it is crucial to consult your lawyer today to ensure that you are taking the right steps to solidify your case.

➋ Filing a Claim and Negotiations

Once the investigation is complete, a car accident claim is filed with the at-fault party’s auto insurance company.

Your attorney will handle negotiations on your behalf. Insurance companies often come prepared with counteroffers and may attempt to reduce the settlement amount.

Be prepared for a series of negotiations, and remember that accepting a quick settlement may not be in your best interest.

➌ Legal Proceedings

If a settlement can’t be reached during negotiations, the next step is to file a lawsuit. According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) § 12-542, the injury victim generally has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. The stages of a lawsuit include discovery, pre-trial motions, and potentially a trial. Each of these stages has its own timeline and complexities.

➍ Settlement or Go to Trial

Even after a lawsuit is filed, parties often continue to negotiate. A settlement can be reached at any point, even during the trial. However, if both parties can not reach a fair settlement, the case will proceed to trial where a verdict will be rendered. This is where our attorneys turn up the heat and fight for you. Should the verdict be in your favor, the court will issue a judgment specifying the amount of compensation to be paid.

Interesting Statistic: According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, about 95% of personal injury cases are settled before trial. This high settlement rate underscores the importance of skilled negotiation in achieving a favorable outcome by an experienced car accident lawyer in Phoenix.

How Long Do Settlements Take?

The timeline for reaching a settlement can vary widely. Simpler cases with clear faults might settle within a few months, while more complex cases can take years. The average time frame, however, is usually somewhere between several months to two years. While a couple of years can sound like an eternity, that is not usually the case.

Going through the different stages of a car accident case in Arizona can be a challenging task. Having a Phoenix auto accident attorney can fight on your behalf to simplify the process, giving you the best chance at a winning settlement.

Insurance companies not on your side after an auto accident

The Insurance Companies May Not Be On Your Side

One of the most critical things to understand when dealing with a car accident in Phoenix is that insurance companies are not on your side.

While they may project an image of support and assurance, their primary objective is to minimize their financial liability.

Here, we’ll explore some of the tactics insurance companies use and why it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation on your side.

Quick Settlement Offers

Insurance companies are known for making quick settlement offers, often within days or weeks of the accident. The allure of immediate cash may be tempting, especially if you’re dealing with medical bills or loss of income.

However, these early offers are generally much lower than the true value of your claim, and accepting them can forfeit your right to seek further compensation later.

That is why we recommend letting us handle the insurance companies on your behalf. We’re familiar with the tactics that an insurance company might try to use to award you the minimum – but we will fight them back.

Recorded Statements and “Routine” Questions

Another common tactic is asking for a recorded statement or answers to what seem like routine questions. Under Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) § 20-461(A), insurance companies are supposed to act in good faith. However, they may use your answers to these questions against you later, attempting to undermine your claim.

Surveillance and Social Media Monitoring

In some instances, insurance companies might go so far as to surveil you or monitor your social media accounts, looking for any evidence that could contradict your claims of injury or loss. Even a seemingly innocent picture or post could be misconstrued to lessen the amount they have to pay you.

Denying Liability or Shifting Blame

Insurance companies may also attempt to deny liability outright or shift some or all of the blame onto you. This could have significant implications for your ability to collect damages, given Arizona’s “pure comparative fault” system, as outlined in ARS § 12-2505.

The Role of a Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer

Your attorney serves as your advocate, countering these tactics with experienced negotiation and, if necessary, litigating on your behalf. A skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer will aggressively negotiate with the insurance companies, ensuring that you receive a settlement that accurately reflects the extent of your injuries, property damage, and other losses.

Interesting Statistic: A study from the Insurance Research Council found that people who hired an attorney received, on average, 3.5 times more settlement money than those who did not. This statistic emphasizes just how pivotal it can be to have professional representation when dealing with insurance companies.

Understanding the strategies that insurance companies employ can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your claim. It is always advisable to consult a qualified Phoenix personal injury attorney to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.

Proving Negligence in an Auto Accident

Establishing negligence is a cornerstone in any personal injury case, including car accidents. In Arizona, this entails proving several key elements. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome, whether that’s a settlement or a court-ordered award. Here’s what you need to know about proving negligence in a Phoenix car accident case.

▶ Establishing Duty of Care

The first element in proving negligence is to establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care. In the context of driving, this duty is generally straightforward; all drivers have a legal obligation to act responsibly and reasonably while on the road to prevent harm to others.

▶ Proving Breach of Duty

The second step is demonstrating that the defendant breached this duty. For example, if a driver was texting while driving, ran a red light, or was speeding, these actions could constitute a breach of the duty of care. Each of these actions is clearly unreasonable and endangers other road users.

▶ Causation and Damages

The next two elements involve showing that this breach directly resulted in your injuries (causation) and that you suffered quantifiable losses (damages) as a result. Medical records, accident reports, witness testimonies, and other forms of evidence can be used to establish these elements.

Arizona’s Pure Comparative Fault System

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) § 12-2505, Arizona applies a “pure comparative fault” system. This means that you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident.

However, the award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault, your damages would be reduced by 20%.

Legal Assistance in Proving Negligence

Given the complexities of proving negligence and the tactics insurance companies may use to refute your claims, having experienced legal representation is vital. A skilled accident attorney in Phoenix can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident, consult experts, and build a compelling case to prove negligence on the part of the other party.

Interesting Statistic: According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver error is a contributing factor in approximately 94% of crashes. This high percentage underscores the prevalence of negligence in car accidents and highlights the importance of proving this crucial element to succeed in your case.

Successfully proving negligence requires meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of Arizona accident law. With the aggressive help of a trusted Phoenix car accident lawyer, you stand a much better chance of substantiating your claims and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Common causes of car accidents such as tire blowout

Common Causes of Car Crashes in Phoenix

We have compiled a list of the top 20 causes of car accidents according to information from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the Insurance Research Council, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  1. Distracted Driving: Includes activities like texting, talking on the phone, or eating.
  2. Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.
  3. Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication.
  4. Reckless Driving: Aggressive driving behavior such as tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, or ignoring traffic signs.
  5. Running a Red Light: Failing to stop at traffic signals.
  6. Driver Fatigue: Driving while drowsy or sleep-deprived.
  7. Weather Conditions: Includes driving in rain, snow, fog, or during dust storms.
  8. Failure to Yield: Not yielding the right-of-way where required.
  9. Vehicle Defects: Such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or engine issues.
  10. Improper Turns: Illegal or unsafe turning maneuvers.
  11. Driving Inexperience: Lack of skill or knowledge about driving safely.
  12. Lane Departures: Swerving or drifting out of a designated lane.
  13. Following Too Closely: Tailgating or not maintaining a safe following distance.
  14. Road Rage: Emotional or aggressive behavior affecting driving decisions.
  15. Improper Passing: Passing in no-passing zones or without enough clearance.
  16. Ignoring Stop Signs: Failing to stop or slowing down without stopping.
  17. Wrong-Way Driving: Entering a street, highway, or exit ramp in the wrong direction.
  18. Pedestrian Errors: Such as jaywalking or walking in areas not designated for pedestrians.
  19. Animal Crossings: Collisions with wildlife or domestic animals on the road.
  20. Poor Road Conditions: Includes potholes, lack of signage, or poorly marked roads.

While there are dozens of other possible factors that can cause serious car accidents, these are the most commonly found ways that auto accidents have happened to our clients.

Car accident settlement check

How Much Compensation Can I Expect?

Determining the amount of compensation you can expect after a car accident in Phoenix involves multiple variables. Compensation aims to make the victim “whole” again, covering both economic and non-economic damages for your types of injury.

Below is an in-depth look at the factors that influence how much compensation you might expect and how these calculations are typically made.

▶ Types of Damages

In the context of a car accident, damages can broadly be categorized into economic and non-economic types.

Economic Damages: These are quantifiable and include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. You can usually document these costs through bills, invoices, and employment records.

Non-Economic Damages: These are more subjective and include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. Because these damages are not easily quantifiable, the skills of an experienced attorney can be critical in estimating a fair amount.

▶ The Role of Fault in Compensation

Arizona operates under a “pure comparative fault” system, as mentioned in Arizona law, under ARS 12-2505. If you’re found partially at fault, your compensation will be reduced proportionately. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 but are found to be 10% at fault, you will ultimately receive $90,000.

▶ Settlement vs. Court Verdict

The setting in which you receive compensation can also affect the amount. Settlements are often quicker but may result in a smaller payout. Court verdicts can yield higher compensation but are riskier and more time-consuming.

▶ Caps on Damages

Unlike some states, Arizona does not have a cap on damages for personal injury cases, as per the Arizona Constitution, Article 2, Section 31. This means there’s technically no upper limit on the compensation you can receive, making the role of your attorney in valuing and negotiating your case even more vital.

▶ Legal Expertise Makes a Difference

Compensation calculations are intricate, and various factors like the severity of injuries, impact on lifestyle, and even the skill of your attorney can influence the final amount. An experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer can accurately evaluate your case, taking into account Arizona-specific laws and precedents, and fight for the best possible compensation on your behalf.

Interesting Statistic: A report by the Insurance Research Council found that the average payout for auto accident injuries was around $15,443. However, this average can be misleading as compensation varies widely depending on the specifics of each case.

The question of how much compensation you can expect is complex and depends on numerous factors unique to your situation. Consulting a skilled Phoenix car accident attorney can provide you with a personalized assessment, guiding you through the legal processes involved in securing fair compensation.

How an Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Attorney from CHM Injury Law Can Help

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Phoenix, the journey to recovery – both physically and financially – can be daunting. That’s where the Phonix personal injury lawyers at Colburn Hintze Maletta come in. As an experienced personal injury law firm in Arizona, we offer legal services designed to assist you at every stage of your case, ensuring that your interests are aggressively represented.

▶ Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

The first step in your legal journey involves a comprehensive free consultation with a personal injury lawyer from our legal team. We take the time to understand the specifics of your case, evaluate its merits, and offer initial guidance on the best course of action. This initial assessment is crucial in setting the stage for the kind of legal strategy that will be employed moving forward.

▶ Meticulous Case Preparation

We understand that the strength of a personal injury case lies in its preparation. Our team conducts thorough investigations, gathers essential evidence, and consults experts when necessary. We make it a point to be exhaustive in our preparations, ensuring no stone is left unturned.

▶ Skilled Negotiation with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often employ tactics designed to minimize the payout you receive. Our attorneys are adept at countering these strategies, armed with a deep understanding of Arizona insurance law and extensive experience in negotiation. We work diligently to secure a settlement that accurately reflects your damages, both economic and non-economic.

▶ Litigation Expertise

If negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, we are fully prepared to take your case to court. Our attorneys are seasoned litigators with a strong track record of success in personal injury cases. We present compelling arguments, substantiated by solid evidence, to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

▶ Constant Support and Communication

Legal proceedings can be emotionally and mentally draining. At CHM Injury Law, we believe in providing incredible support to our clients. This includes regular updates on the case status, ready availability for any queries you may have, and providing emotional support and assurance during what can be a difficult time.

Choosing the right legal representation is a pivotal decision that can greatly affect the outcome of your case. If you are a car accident victim, we’re on your side.

With Colburn Hintze Maletta, you’re not just getting a lawyer; you’re gaining a dedicated team committed to fighting for your rights and well-being.

Give us a call for a free consultation today at (602) 825-2500 so we can immediately start building your case.


Located in the state of Arizona, Phoenix is the most populous city in the state, and it is the fifth most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population of approximately 1.7 million as of 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The demographic makeup of the city is diverse: about 46.5% White, 42.6% Hispanic, 6.9% Black or African American, and 3.8% Asian, according to 2019 estimates.

Phoenix’s civil court system encompasses Justice Courts, Municipal Courts, and the Maricopa County Superior Court. Personal injury cases in Phoenix can be dealt with in any of these courts depending on the amount of damages sought. The Maricopa County Superior Court handles cases where the dispute involves an amount exceeding $10,000. Those cases in which the dispute is between $3,500 and $10,000, it is typically managed by one of the numerous Justice Courts within Maricopa County. For amounts under $3,500, Phoenix Municipal Court has jurisdiction.

No specific statistics are readily available regarding car accident injury cases specifically for Phoenix, but data can be gathered from state-wide statistics. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 129,750 total crashes in Arizona in 2019, of which 53,809 involved injuries and 911 were fatal incidents. It can be inferred that a substantial number of those accidents might have led to personal injury cases and claims, including those occurring in Phoenix.

The Phoenix authorities actively promote safer driving to reduce incidents, but for those who encounter car accident injuries, it’s often advisable to reach out to personal injury attorneys who can guide them through the legal processes in Phoenix’s court system.

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