The Phoenix metropolitan area has some of the most dangerous roads. Having a population of nearly five million people, it’s ranked as America’s 10th most populous metro area. It’s for this reason that the Phoenix metropolitan is considered to have some of the most dangerous roads. Not to mention the fact that the Arizona area car crash statistics database reports nearly 98,700 accidents in a year.
The Grand Canyon State is for sure known for having some of the strictest (and sometimes complex) traffic laws. Complex in that, for instance, the statutes of limitation for car crashes may depend on the nature of the accident, rather than the circumstances surrounding it.
With this in mind, it pays to get familiar with the car accident laws applicable to the state, alongside what you should do if you ever get involved in a car crash.
Regardless of who between you and the other motorist was responsible for the crash, understanding these steps can help you navigate the stressful and sometimes frustrating events that may await ahead.
Let’s explore four important steps you need to take after a car accident in AZ, USA.
1. Contact an Accident Lawyer ASAP
A motor vehicle accident can dramatically change your life in microseconds. Hey, let’s face it- it’s not just about the damaged vehicle. We’re talking about potentially serious injuries and mounting medical expenses. This is not to mention the potential loss of a loved one and the suffering it can bring to their survivors. There’s just too much at stake and you need to be well prepared in any eventuality.
One thing to note is that Arizona is a fault-based state meaning that the driver responsible for the accident will have to pay – and in full- the victims’ losses. This is perhaps why you will find more Phoenix car accident lawyers representing the rights of victims in car crashes.
A good attorney can help you identify if you have a case, and the potential damages you can seek if so. By seeking their expertise, you can navigate the legal process effectively and increase your chances of receiving appropriate compensation.
What this means is that you need to find a personal injury attorney who has a vast understanding of Arizona accident laws. A personal injury attorney in Arizona will be well equipped to handle complex car crash accident cases including:
- Truck accidents
- DUI accident
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Rollover accidents and T-bone accidents
Most savvy personal injury attorneys in Arizona will help explain how various issues surrounding your case might impact its outcome. They’ll go a step further to protect you from insurance companies who might lay the blame on you.
2. Stop Your Car
The first impulse after a car accident is leaving the scene of the accident. The retaliation from other motorists and bystanders might often seem like a risky situation to wait for things to turn around. Regardless, it is always advisable to stop if you feel like it’s safe to do so.
Simply put your car aside to allow safe passage for other motorists, check if you’re injured, and call 911. Before the paramedics get there, you can as well check if anyone from the other vehicle might need your assistance.
There are hefty penalties for hit-and-run accidents in this state. The last thing you want is to spend over 12 years in jail for a hit-and-run case. Traffic laws in Arizona require that you stop and exchange contact information with the other driver, and call the police after hitting a bystander, a cyclist, or a motorcyclist.
Additionally, ensure that you’ve had a one on one with anyone who you might have damaged their property.
So, what are the top causes of car accidents in Arizona?
The huge number of accidents in Arizona is caused by exceeding the state’s speed limit of 75 mph on most freeway stretches. Speeds of 20 mph over the speed limit could be ticketed or suspicions arising thereabout warrant an arrest.
Driving Under the Influence
With a population exceeding 7 million people, you can expect anything while driving on the roads in the beautiful state of Arizona as not everyone will be prophesying the good news. A huge number of road accidents in Arizona are a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or some other intoxicating drugs. A huge chunk of Arizona’s population consists of young adults who are just getting started with experiencing life. In a nutshell, anything can be expected.
Being a metropolitan area, there will be drivers who’ll leave home unprepared. These are characters who’ll be applying make-up while driving, texting their bosses while driving, dialing their phones while driving, and other activities that might include changing radio channels. Combined, visual, cognitive, and manual distractions are among the common causes of car crashes in Arizona.
3. Document The Scene Of The Accident
After contacting your attorney, ensure that you’ve documented the scene of the crime. Filing an accident report in the initial stages might help you fight a car accident case in Arizona. After dialing the emergency number (9-1-1), the police officer reporting at the scene of the accident will help you in filing an accident report. Among the most important details that will be filed in this report include:
- Property damages if any
- Citation issuance
- Vehicle registration numbers
- Driver contacts
- Insurance details
4. Seek Immediate Medical Attention and Contact Your Insurance
Your health and that of your passengers should be of the highest priority during a car crash. If you or anyone in your car has been injured, it will be expedient to dial the emergency line immediately. This also means seeking a further medical evaluation as soon as you can, even if you don’t feel or look injured.
Failing to attend to your injuries might mean that you were not badly hurt, or that you assumed your injuries. Either way, these factors could in so many ways have a massive impact if you ever feel like suing the other party.
One more thing, it’s of the utmost importance that you contact your insurer. While it’s understandable for most car crash victims to fail to inform their insurance providers given the situation and circumstances, this is a vital aspect to remember as it will play a significant role in helping build your case.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Arizona, then considering the above steps might help if you ever feel like suing the other party for negligence. They’ll also come in handy to protect you in case you fall into a legal confrontation with other road users.