If you were in an accident and another driver is even partially at fault and you want to know how you can get around if your car is in the shop in Phoenix, AZ, you should know that you could be eligible for compensation for a rental car and other expenses.
Negligent Driving Could Be Cause for a Lawsuit
Negligent driving is so common in Arizona that it is one of only 11 states with laws specifically targeting aggressive driving. If you were in an accident in Arizona, then consider whether the at-fault driver was engaging in one of the common forms of dangerous driving, which include:
- Driving at excessive speed
- Driving too closely to the car in front
- Driving while drunk or on drugs
- Failing to signal when turning or changing lanes
- Changing lanes abruptly
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
- Failing to stop at stop signs or red lights
- Engaging in distracted driving, such as texting, making a phone call, eating or drinking, or adjusting the radio
These behaviors generally qualify as negligence when they result in an accident. If you were injured and believe that another motorist involved in your accident was engaged in any of these or other dangerous behaviors prior to the crash, then a lawyer may be able to help you collect financial awards.
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A Lawyer Could Help You Pursue Compensation
If you wonder how you’ll get around if your car is in the shop in Phoenix, AZ, know that a lawyer could help you bring a personal injury lawsuit in pursuit of compensation. An attorney can:
- Meet with you to discuss your accident, including the behaviors of the other motorist that you believe put you at risk
- Initiate legal action right away to ensure that your case falls within the Arizona statute of limitations §12.542, for personal injury cases, which is generally two years from the date of the accident
- Consult your doctor to obtain documentation of your injuries for use at trial or in settlement negotiations
- Collect and archive all evidence pertaining to your case, including any video of the accident, photos of the crash scene, police reports, and eyewitness accounts
- Re-interview any eyewitnesses, if possible, to ask specifically if they saw dangerous behavior by the liable motorist
- Handle all legal responsibilities necessary to complete a judgment or settlement for your case
- Protect your rights throughout the legal process
A lawyer will also be responsible for proving that the defendant in your case acted negligently if you are to collect damages, including compensation for a rental car.
Establishing Fault in a Car Accident Negligence Case
In order to prove fault in your case, a lawyer must:
- Establish the defendant’s duty of care
Every motorist has a duty of care, which means that they shall not put other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians at an unreasonable risk of harm.
- Show that the defendant breached their duty of care
A person can breach their duty of care in any number of ways, namely by engaging in any of the aforementioned dangerous driving behaviors.
- Establish a link between the breach of duty and your injuries
An attorney can establish this causation by first establishing the breach of duty, then showing that you did suffer injuries in the accident.
- Calculate and request damages
If the court is swayed by steps one through three, then they may order the defendant to pay for your losses sustained in the accident.
Possible Damages in a Car Accident Negligence Claim
If you secure a settlement or judgment, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Each case is different, but some common damages awarded in such cases may cover costs associated with:
- A rental car
- Emergency transportation from the scene
- Emergency care you required for injuries sustained in the accident
- Your hospital stay, if required after the accident
- Any surgeries required for your injuries sustained in the accident
- Long-term physical or psychological rehabilitation because of the accident
- Lost wages incurred because of your injuries
- Diminished earning capacity because your injuries limit your ability to work certain jobs or hours
- Any educational pursuits that you cannot pursue because of your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages against the defendant
The circumstances of your case may entitle you to additional damages not listed here.
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