How to Recover Maximum Compensation for Your Accident Injuries & Loses in Arizona
Injured in a motor vehicle collision? At Torgenson Law, our attorneys understand the pain, emotional distress, anxiety, and feeling of injustice that you or your loved one is feeling. Our dedicated team of accident injury and wrongful death auto accident attorneys feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for those who suffer injuries as a result of the negligent and irresponsible actions of another. Retaining experienced legal counsel is essential when you or your loved one has incurred lost vacation time, medical expenses, hospital bills, financial hardships, emotional stress, property damages, pain and suffering. Torgenson Law will work hard for you to obtain the justice you deserve after you have been victimized by a distracted or negligent driver
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a traffic accident caused by a negligent driver, call Torgenson Law at 602-759-0012 to explain your legal rights and you may be able to recover maximum compensation. At Torgenson Law, our initial consultations are always free and if we are able to represent you or your loved one, there are no upfront legal and no legal fees unless we win your lawsuit.
Torgenson Law Recovers Financial Compensation on Behalf of Accident Victims
“We are a team of trial lawyers born and bred to fight. When you are hurt, you need lawyers who will have your back every single step of the way. At Torgenson Law, we are 100% dedicated to fighting insurance companies and large corporations on behalf of good people. We have their back.”
– John Torgenson
Our personal injury law firm is focused on helping injured people rebuild their lives and our legal professionals have recovered significant jury verdicts, awards and settlements on behalf of clients throughout the state of Arizona. The key to our success in helping injury victims recover all of the compensation they deserve is simple. We treat each client’s case as if their case was our own. We strive to maximize the financial recovery for each and every client. Our firm handles each case with extreme care, competency, and we never take on more cases than we can handle at one time. The attorneys at Torgenson Law are committed to thorough preparation and investigating all avenues of compensation for our clients.
Torgenson Law has established a stellar reputation for aggressive legal representation and for thorough case preparation. At Torgenson Law, we leave no stone unturned when handling your personal injury or wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. We invite you to speak with Managing Attorney John Torgenson or Attorney Jon Drago about your case. Simply call 602-759-0012 for answers to your important legal questions as well as to receive your free, no obligation case review.
What Do Past Clients Say Torgenson Law?
Torgenson Law is proud of the results we have obtained for our client and we are thankful for the overwhelming positive ratings and reviews left by real clients on 3rd party review websites such as Google.com. We understand that choosing the best Phoenix car accident attorney can be challenging. We encourage you to read our real testimonials from real clients found on our website’s client testimonials page or located on Google.com.
“John Torgenson and his team were phenomenal. I felt comfortable with them at all times and completely confident in their ability to take care of my case. Not only did they fight to get a good result, they truly cared about my well-being and the progress of my injury, which was very comforting during such a hard time. I was always kept in-the-loop and never left confused. I recommend Torgenson Law to everyone I know!”
- Christa Caccese on Google.com
Why Choose Torgenson Law for Your Arizona Car Accident Case?
Torgenson Law is 100% dedicated to Arizona Personal Injury Law. Our firm relentlessly fights for personal injury victims as well as the families of those who tragically lost their lives in a fatal accident. Our goal is to empower those who feel broken obtain the legal justice they will need to rebuild and essentially restore their quality of life.
Results – For over 15 years, Torgenson Law has obtained substantial jury awards and settlements on behalf of their clients. Our firm is committed to pursuing the maximum compensation allowable by law.
Reputation – Torgenson Law has established a spectacular reputation on popular review websites such as Google, Facebook.com, Yelp.com, and has been awarded the “Rising Star” designation by SuperLawyers.com.
Responsiveness – When you retain Torgenson Law, our legal professionals will treat you and your family with respect and provide you with honest communication and loyal advocacy each and every step of the auto accident claims process.
Torgenson Law is committed to serving you throughout this challenging time. Contact Torgenson Law as soon as possible if you or someone you love has been injured or tragically killed in an accident caused by a negligent driver.
When to Speak With an Attorney After an Accident in Arizona
One of the common questions potential clients will ask us is, “The insurance company wants to work with me to resolve my claim. The insurance claims adjuster for my car accident claim is friendly and said I don’t need an attorney. Do I need an attorney?”
In some cases, you may not have significant car damage or you have no injuries.
Have you been injured in an Arizona motor vehicle accident that was not your fault? Are you struggling to find a way to pay the medical bills that are piling up after your crash? If so, then you need to speak with a car accident personal injury attorney about your accident as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages sustained in the car accident.
At Torgenson Law, our knowledgeable Phoenix car accident attorneys have the experience and skills necessary to help injured victims and family members who have been injured in a serious car accident get the financial recompense they deserve for the injuries they incurred. With decades of experience successfully representing the injured residents of Phoenix and all surrounding areas, the attorneys at Torgenson Law are extremely qualified and have the resources needed to handle even the most complicated and complex car crash claims. Call us today to speak with a skilled motor vehicle accident attorney about your accident and find out if you have the right to pursue a claim.
What to Know When Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Phoenix
Statistics show that there were 126,845 car crashes in Arizona in 2016. While some accidents were not as serious as others, more than 900 residents in Arizona lost their lives in vehicle collisions. Even when they’re not fatal, these crashes can result in serious injuries, like broken bones, brain damage, or concussions. These health concerns can cause great stress for the family and loved ones of those involved. Understanding the rights of car accident victims in the State of Arizona is essential to better protect yourself and your family following an accident.
When filing a claim for a car accident, an attorney who has an extensive understanding of all of the laws as they pertain to car accidents in Arizona is your best defense. A lawyer who has had success in acquiring settlements for their clients in the past will understand how best to argue and defend your case. In addition, you will want someone who will commit to your case and give it the dedicated, one-on-one attention it needs to ensure a positive outcome. At Torgenson Law, we will work with you every step of the way to make sure that you understand all of the options available in your case.
Common Causes of Car Crashes in Arizona
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with over 34,000 fatal motor vehicle crashes taking place in 2017. This is largely because travel by car is one of the most popular and most-used methods of transportation in the country. Car collisions are extremely common and happen every day across the country and in our own state. These incidents can lead to severe injuries and often result in the deaths of those involved.
Car crashes can happen for a number of reasons. External conditions, such as weather, can create dangerous roadway conditions, potentially causing the driver to lose control of their vehicle. But more often than not, a car accident is related to the negligent behavior of another driver. With recent advances in technology such as cell phones and GPS, there are more and more distractions on the road that have drivers not paying adequate attention to their surroundings. These distractions, combined with human error and negligence, have resulted in an increase in car accidents and injuries related to those accidents.
Most frequently, car accidents are the result of driver error or negligence. Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege given to drivers who adhere to the laws and rules of the road. Some drivers take this privilege for granted and do not take their responsibilities as seriously as they probably should. When drivers do not take their obligation to drive safely solemnly, they do unsafe things while driving such as use their cell phones, fall asleep, or drive under the influence. These kinds of reckless actions can also cause drivers to disobey crucial traffic rules and regulations, causing them to speed, run red lights, or, in the worst cases, strike another vehicle or person.
Other common causes of car crashes include:
- Drunk Driving – In 2016, drunk drivers were the reason behind 31.19% of deaths related to vehicle collisions across the U.S. and 3.89% of all crashes in Arizona. Drunk driving accidents are more commonly seen in the urban areas and communities of Arizona.
- Speeding – In 2016, driving at unsafe speeds caused a combined 45,452 crashes in Arizona, 18.38% of all accidents nationally. Speeding was also the reason for 176 driver deaths and nearly 14,388 injuries across the state. Speeding does not always mean going over the posted speed limit. It can also mean driving too fast in the given road conditions.
- Disobeying Traffic Rules – Outside of driving at unsafe speeds, motorists in Arizona often fail to yield the right-of-way to other drivers, closely follow other vehicles, run stop signs, ignore traffic signals, turn improperly, and break other traffic rules. These behaviors confuse and disorient other drivers and can lead to catastrophic accidents, such as T-bone or head-on collisions.
- Driver Impairment – Besides driving while drunk, a driver can also be impaired due to other reasons, including drug consumption, illness, fatigue, or physical impairment. In Arizona, tired drivers were at fault for nearly 1,910 crashes in 2016.
- Other Reasons – Some crashes are not caused by motorist actions. Insufficient maintenance of the vehicle, malfunctioning parts of the car, poor weather conditions, and unsafe roadway conditions are also leading causes of car crashes both in the State of Arizona and across the United States.
The legal team at Torgenson Law believe it is important for everyone to understand their rights following a car accident in the State of Arizona. In order for someone to be compensated for the injuries they sustained in a motor vehicle crash, it is necessary for the injured victim to prove fault by an involved party.
The State of Arizona is an at-fault insurance state, meaning that the party who is responsible for the accident is also liable for the damages incurred in that crash. If a driver is determined to be responsible for the crash due to an act of irresponsibility or negligence, then the insurance company of the responsible driver must pay for the damages to the victim. In cases where there is more than one party who is at fault, accountability will be shared between all culpable parties and individuals.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Reports Decreases in Fatal Accidents in 2018
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, every month except for May, June, and October saw a decrease in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2018. The highest surge in the number of deadly vehicular accidents was in the month of August. While motor vehicle deaths have been on the decline, pedestrian, bicycle and trucking accidents continue to increase.
Pedestrian fatalities, increased 3% for men and 4.8% for women respectively. The amount of fatal accidents that occurred at night unfortunately increased by 4.6%. Fatalities that occurred in alcohol impairment-related accidents, however, decreased by 2.2% from 2018.
As for bicycle-related fatalities, male and female deaths increased by 3.2% and 29.2%. Deaths that occurred during the nighttime hours increased by 9.2%. Fatalities involving alcohol-impaired driving accidents went up by 9.2% in 2018.
As for large truck-related fatalities, they have increased for the fourth year in a row. From 2017 to 2018, the amount of deadly large truck accidents went up by 1.1.%. The number of large truck-pedestrian deaths increased by 13%. The amount of deaths that occurred in distraction-related pedestrian accidents was 2,841, or 7.8% of the total number of deaths in 2018. This 2018 number represents a 12.4% decrease from 3,242 fatalities from 2017. The number of deaths that involved a fatigued driver was 775, or 2.1% of the total amount of deaths in 2018. This 2018 number represents a 4.3% decrease from 810 fatalities in 2017.
At Torgenson Law, our accident injury law firm in Phoenix, Arizona is committed to serving you throughout this challenging time. If you or someone you love has been injured in any type of accident, contact Torgenson Law as quickly as possible to protect your legal right to just monetary compensation. Our firm represents injury claimants in all accident case types include but not limited to: Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents and Pedestrian Accidents. Simply call our firm at 602-759-0012 for your free case review.
Car Accident Statistics in Arizona
Vehicle collisions, including both fatal and non-fatal crashes, are an increasing problem, not only in Arizona but throughout the United States. Statistics show that, in recent years, car crashes have been on the rise. Arizona alone experienced 126,987 vehicle crashes in 2016. The increase in car crashes means that drivers are behaving more recklessly and anyone can be involved in a car accident.
From 2012 to 2016, car crash incidents rose by 23,000. This significant growth shows that car crashes have been and will continue to increase across Arizona. The lawyers at Torgenson Law want to provide you with the help you need if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Phoenix
Often, the type of collision or accident in which you are involved can provide relevant information on how and why the incident happened. It is important to understand the different types of car accidents and the reasons for which they occur, which could be helpful when attempting to assign responsibility for the crash to an at-fault party or individual. Certain types of car crashes are more common than others. Some of these include:
- Rear-End Collisions – In this accident, a car makes contact with the vehicle immediately in front of it. Rear-end collisions are very common and typically involve motorists who are speeding or driving while distracted, resulting in the driver failing to stop in time to miss striking a car that may be stopped or slowing down. This type of collision is often the liability of the driver who hit the vehicle from the rear.
- Sideswipes – This type of accident occurs when two cars collide with one another while they are driving parallel to one another and in the same direction. This accident can be the result of merging into an adjacent lane while failing to check for other vehicles, or it can involve swerving into a nearby lane without looking for another car.
- Multi-Vehicle Collisions – A multi-vehicle collision, often called a pileup, is an accident involving several other vehicles. This often creates a chain reaction-style accident where a vehicle strikes the one in front of them before being struck again from behind. This trend is particularly true of rear-end collisions. If a single motorist is responsible for a multi-vehicle collision, they can be liable to pay for all damages and expenses for all other drivers involved in the crash.
- Single-Car Accidents – These are the most common type of vehicle accident. In Arizona, there are thousands of single-car accidents every year. These accidents are often the responsibility of the driver. However, they can also be the fault of a third party not present in the crash. In certain cases, the accident could be the responsibility of the vehicle manufacturer due to a defective component or part, such as the braking system. These accidents could also be the responsibility of the entity that maintains the roadway. If you are a passenger in a single-vehicle accident and were injured as a result of that crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries as well.
There are many reasons that vehicle crashes or accidents take place. If you sustained injuries in a car accident in Phoenix due to the negligent behavior of another person or company, you should contact a seasoned and aggressive car accident attorney who has decades of experience handling insurance companies. Contact the attorneys at Torgenson Law as soon as you have gotten medical treatment to discuss your accident. We will make sure that your rights as an accident victim are protected at all times throughout the legal process.
Do not let insurance companies take advantage of you. The insurance company is always out for themselves. They will try to make low-ball settlement offers and encourage you to accept whatever amount is first proposed. It is in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer before speaking with anyone from an insurance company or signing anything.
What Should I Do if I am Involved in an Auto Accident?
Whether you are injured while visiting as a tourist in Arizona or while commuting to work in Phoenix, there are certain steps you can take to preserve your car accident injury claim. A few important ways to preserve your auto accident case include:
Summoning Law Enforcement to the Scene of the Collision: If you are involved in a car accident, you should call 911 so that you can receive immediate medical attention and provide information to an investigating police officer. The officer can conduct a traffic investigation to gather vital evidence, such as the measurement of skid marks, the position of the vehicles, witness accounts, pictures of vehicle damage and the accident scene, and other pertinent information. If you observed unsafe or illegal conduct by the other driver like failing to stop at a stop sign or indications of his or her intoxication, you should provide these details to the officer.
Avoid Admitting Fault: Even if you think your actions might have contributed to the collision, you should not make any statements to this effect to the other driver. While you are legally required to share driver’s license and insurance information with the other motorist, you should avoid saying anything that could be misconstrued as an admission of fault.
Get Medical Attention: Many people injured in collisions refuse transportation to the emergency room by medical responders or fail to seek prompt medical attention. While the decision to put off medical attention might be prompted by a lack of symptoms that seem significant, the shock and adrenaline experienced by accident victims complicate the process of self-assessment of potential injuries. Immediate medical attention can improve your prognosis and lead to diagnostic scans that establish a record of your injuries for your subsequent injury claim.
Preserve Evidence: Car accident victims should gather evidence if physically able or direct someone else to do so. Information to be gathered includes but is not limited to photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries; witness contact information; the other driver’s license, contact, and insurance information; and the name and contact information of the investigating officer along with the accident report number.
Contact Torgenson Law: If the other driver has insurance, his or her insurer typically will handle the claim. The insurance carrier has a team of adjusters, lawyers, experts, investigators, and other personnel all experienced and dedicated to minimizing any payouts. Insurance companies are effective at obtaining information that will reduce the value of a claim or create potential defenses to completely deny the claim. Our experienced Phoenix car accident lawyers handle all communications with the other parties insurance company and effectively represent our clients in negotiations and litigation against the insurer.
How The Insurance Claims Process in Arizona Car Wrecks
The last thing you want to do is deal with an insurance company after you have been in a car wreck in Arizona. Getting into a crash, especially when it is not your fault, is an enormous hassle and, quite frankly, is patently unfair. You get stuck dealing with the physical pain, financial loss, and aggravation from the crash when someone failed to drive carefully and caused an accident. That is why you should let us negotiate with the insurance company for you.
For over 15 years, Torgenson Law has helped Arizona residents with their auto accident claims by diligently working for you to obtain a just settlement for your injuries and your property losses. Our Arizona auto accident lawyers pride themselves on their ability to vigorously represent our clients against insurance companies who look for ways to avoid paying you the compensation that justice requires.
If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident in Arizona and suffered serious personal injuries and property loss, you could be eligible for a substantial financial award. Call our firm today to begin the claims process with one of our knowledgeable and skilled Arizona car crash lawyers.
Dealing with an Insurance Company
While we prefer that you contact us as soon as you can after your accident, we understand that sometimes things are so hectic that you cannot speak with us as soon as you would like. That is okay. We also know that insurance companies, especially when the circumstances of the accident appear to place the liability for the accident squarely on their insured, will contact the victims of a car wreck in Arizona and offer them a quick and easy settlement.
You should speak with an Arizona car accident attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in handling car accident claims before you agree to accept a settlement right after the incident. The insurance company is merely attempting to limit their exposure to paying out damages, and although the adjuster might frame their offer as though they are making it to your benefit, the adjuster is actually trying to save his or her employer money. You have the right to refuse to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. However, you must remember that you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurers.
Auto Insurance Defense Tactics
Auto insurance firms have the right to investigate defenses to legal action. They do not have to capitulate to a person’s claim. Many people file false, exaggerated, or purely fraudulent insurance claims. One of the auto insurer’s functions is to weed out those bad claims.
Auto insurers in Arizona will thoroughly investigate a claim if the adjuster believes that the companies could save money by pursuing a defense. Insurance companies either have in-house lawyers who will represent the insurance company or have outside counsel whom they pay handsomely to fight claims filed by injured parties.
At Torgenson Law, we take the position that our clients have legitimate claims for damages, but we do not just take their word for it. Our opinion that one of our clients has a case is grounded in fact and law. We thoroughly investigate our clients’ cases so that we never lose credibility with insurance adjusters and courts. We do not treat insurance adjusters or insurance counsel as our friends, but we are always polite and maintain a professional relationship. We do not scream, yell, or make idle threats. Engaging in unprofessional behavior diminishes our credibility in the eyes of the people we must convince to compensate our clients.
Our credibility helps us recover substantial damage awards for our clients. Our car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators who understand how negotiation works. However, our lawyers are more than that. They are experienced litigators who will not hesitate to seek redress of wrongs through Arizona’s courts. Insurance companies know that when we file a case in court, we mean business.
The time you have to legally receive compensation is limited. Call Torgenson Law at 602-759-0012 for a free car accident case review. Torgenson Law has been representing those who sustained injuries or lost a loved one in Arizona for over fifteen years.
The Types of Compensation Given to Victims of Car Accidents
At Torgenson Law, we pride ourselves on providing first-class, personalized service to all of our clients who have recently been involved in a car accident in or around the state of Arizona. Vehicle collisions can have long-term consequences for all victims and can lead to expensive hospital bills and medical costs. When working with the experienced car accident attorneys at Torgenson Law, you may be entitled to financial restitution to cover the costs of:
Medical Bills – Car accidents can result in rising medical costs due to the injuries suffered. Hospital costs are at an all-time high in the United States, and serious incidents can require extensive medical care that is difficult for a majority of citizens to afford. These medical costs include past, current, and future expenses that are the result of a vehicle collision.
Loss of Income – If you have sustained a significant injury from a vehicle collision, you may be unable to return to work for an indefinite period of time. In some cases, you may be unable to return to work permanently due to the severity of your injuries. We are here to help you regain lost income resulting from vehicle collisions. This type of compensation includes lost current or future wages, as well as the loss of overall earning ability.
Pain and Suffering – Car accidents can result in long-term pain and suffering of victims. This type of compensation includes any mental, physical, and emotional anguish that is the direct result of a motor vehicle crash.
Wrongful Death – Vehicle collisions too often result in the premature passing of a loved one or family member. Whenever a death is the result of irresponsible action or negligence on the part of another, a wrongful death claim can be pursued. While no amount of money can make up for the lost life, this compensation can help cover funeral costs and lost income.
Our experienced vehicle collision attorneys at Torgenson Law are here to help the injured accident victims in Phoenix and throughout Arizona by ensuring they have access to the most extensive and thorough representation available. Torgenson Law is composed of a cohesive team of trial lawyers who are ready to fight for the rights of good people injured in an accident that was caused by the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of another. When you have been hurt, you need attorneys that have your back throughout the entire legal process and can protect your rights as an accident victim.
Although most car accident cases involve allegations of “negligence” by one of the parties alleged to have caused the collision, each case turns on its own unique facts and circumstances. The parties legally responsible for the losses endured by an injury victim, the applicable legal theories of liability, and the types of recoverable damages can vary significantly. Nonetheless, some common questions we receive from clients impact a broad spectrum of car accident claims, so we have attempted to provide answers to some of these general questions in this FAQ. If you have more specific questions about your situation, we invite you to contact us to arrange a free consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer at Torgenson Law. Our law firm has been serving clients in Arizona for over 15 years. In fact, we have recovered millions of dollars for injury victims through our commitment to serving injury victims, including Arizona car accident victims.
Understanding the “Reasonable Person” in Proving Negligence
Negligence can be thought of as actions that a “reasonable person” would not take under the circumstances. Who is this “reasonable person,” however?
A key determination necessary in any personal injury case is whether the one or more parties acted with negligence – conduct that a “reasonable person” would not have engaged in if he/she was placed in the same situation. Part of the injury plaintiff’s case involves showing the court – the judge or jury – just who is this “reasonable person” that would not have acted negligently.
The “reasonable person” is a hypothetical person who possesses many of the same characteristics that the allegedly-negligent party possesses. Thus, the reasonable person would be of the same age and possess the same education as the allegedly-negligent party. The reasonable person would also have any special skills or certifications the allegedly-negligent party would have (for example, if the injured plaintiff was hurt by a truck driven by a person with a commercial driver’s license, the hypothetical reasonable person would also have a commercial driver’s license.
Thus, in a personal injury case, it is not sufficient for an injured party to establish negligence, for example, by describing how a driver with 50 years of experience behind the wheel would have behaved when the allegedly-negligent party is a teenager who got his or her license last week. Torgenson Law’s years of auto accident negligence litigation experience enable us to accurately describe the “reasonable person” for a myriad of personal injury situations and compare the defendant’s behavior to how this reasonable person would have acted.
Arizona Car Accident FAQs
How much will my auto accident case be worth?
A wide range of factors can affect the value of a damage claim, including by way of example only the strength of evidence of liability, the severity and nature of your injuries, your medical bills and lost wages (including diminished future earning capacity), and many other considerations. If you contact our law firm, we can review your case to assess the types of damages that might be available to give your specific situation.
Can I handle my car accident case without a lawyer?
While you certainly have the legal right to deal with the insurance company directly and file a lawsuit against the party that caused your injuries, this approach can be fraught with peril. Insurance companies handle a high volume of injury claims, so they are skilled and experienced at minimizing any payouts and finding grounds to deny valid claims. Although you can file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not treat you fairly, the civil litigation system requires knowledge of complex procedural, evidentiary, and court rules; relevant statutes and court decisions; discovery practices (tools for obtaining and providing information to the other parties), and litigation tactics and strategies. Insurance companies have a significant advantage when taking on injury victims without the benefit of legal representation.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
The filing of a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries suffered in an auto accident can be subject to several different deadlines. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a car accident where the other driver was negligent generally is two years from the time of the accident. However, certain factors can impact this deadline, such as the injured party being a minor, so it is essential to obtain prompt legal advice.
Will hiring an attorney really make a significant difference in the outcome of my auto accident case?
Although no two cases are identical, significant research suggests that outcomes in auto accident cases tend to result in a much larger recovery when the plaintiff (injury victim) is represented by an experienced car accident lawyer. According to one study, parties represented by a lawyer recovered over four times more than injury victims who handled their own case.
How much will it cost to hire an attorney to handle my Arizona car accident case?
Most personal injury lawyers do not ask auto accident victims to pay attorney’s fees out of their own pockets. Generally, these fees will be based on a contingency fee agreement, which involves the attorney being paid an agreed upon percentage of the settlement (or net settlement after costs, such as filing fees, deposition fees, expert fees, etc.). This type of fee arrangement benefits clients because the lawyer has a significant incentive to maximize any recovery to increase the compensation for both parties to the attorney-client relationship. Contingency fee agreements also help clients because the injured party does not have to come up with upfront money to pay their lawyer. Further, the attorney has a strong incentive to make a proper assessment regarding the value of the case and likelihood of success since the law firm only collects a fee for its services if it obtains a recovery.
What Should Be in a Car Crash Settlement Agreement?
Whether you find them to be an expeditious and reasonable way to resolve your car accident claim or whether you find the idea of “agreeing” with the other party in your lawsuit detestable, the fact remains that a majority of car accident lawsuits in Arizona and elsewhere are resolved through a settlement agreement. Your attorney cannot authorize or enter into a settlement agreement without your knowledge and consent; however, because settlement agreements often result in compensation reaching you sooner than it would if you had gone to trial, this and other reasons may prompt your attorney to suggest pursuing a settlement agreement in your case.
If you do decide to reach a settlement agreement, the terms and conditions of that agreement will be memorialized into a written agreement document. Review this document carefully! Once you sign a settlement agreement, it is extremely difficult to alter or amend the terms of that document.
In particular, make sure the agreement:
- Contains a reasonable and appropriate amount of compensation: Generally speaking, you do not receive as much compensation through a settlement agreement as you do through a trial verdict (although this is not always true). Car crash injury victims who reach settlements with the at-fault party or parties in their case usually give up some amount of compensation in return for the certainty of payment. However, this does not mean you should accept a settlement agreement in which you receive an unreasonably-low amount of compensation. What constitutes a reasonable amount? Talk with your attorney – the amount you should be comfortable accepting will vary from situation to situation and will depend on the strength of your case, the evidence available to support the compensation you are requesting, and the presence and persuasiveness of any defenses the at-fault party may have.
- Specifies a pay schedule that is reasonable and enforceable: Just as your settlement agreement should specify the amount of compensation you will receive, so too the settlement agreement should specify when you can expect to begin receiving compensation. You should not be left wondering whether your compensation will arrive in one payment or several, nor should you wonder when your payment(s) will arrive. Not only this, but the settlement agreement should specify what happens in the event the at-fault party is late or fails to make a payment as required. In some cases, the at-fault party may be given a certain amount of time past the agreed-upon due date to make payment without any penalty. However, you will want to know what legal resources you have in the event a payment is not received.
- Contains a waiver of any appeal right: The certainty of a settlement agreement is only achieved if both you and the other party agree to waive any right you and the other party may have to appeal any issue in the underlying case. By waiving such a right to appeal, you and the at-fault party are agreeing that there are no further legal issues that need to be resolved by a court and the agreement is final as to the liability of the parties. If one party is permitted to appeal, then theoretically the at-fault party could sign the settlement agreement and then go to court claiming it was an unfair agreement, that the compensation you requested was not supported by evidence, or any other number of superfluous arguments.
- Indicates that the written document contains all material terms of the agreement: Sometimes, parties will strike an agreement after days, weeks, or even months of negotiations. The written agreement they prepare and subsequently sign may not contain some of the important concessions or obligations that were agreed to during the negotiations. When one party or the other then breaks these unwritten promises, long and contentious litigation can result as the aggrieved party attempts to introduce evidence of what was agreed to during the negotiations. In the context of a car accident settlement, for example, this could involve the at-fault party attempting to introduce evidence that, during negotiations, you had suggested that you might be willing to give the at-fault party six months to make the first payment as opposed to 90 days. Conversely, when a court is asked to look at a document which includes a provision stating that all material terms of the settlement are included in the written document, the court need not – and does not – consider any evidence or testimony concerning the negotiations leading up to the signing of the written agreement.
- Contains direction on what happens in the event of a breach of the settlement: While not an essential term of a settlement agreement – you would still have legal rights in the event the other party breached the settlement even if such rights were not explicitly spelled out in the settlement – it may be helpful to know what you and the other party have agreed will happen next. This may include mandatory arbitration or special damages that are to be paid. When settlement agreements contain such provisions, Arizona courts will generally follow them unless the provisions are so unfair to one party or the other or otherwise unreasonable.
An experienced Arizona car accident lawyer from Torgenson Law can be extremely helpful in not only negotiating the terms of a settlement agreement with the opposing party but also in ensuring the written settlement agreement contains the terms of the agreement that are essential to ensuring you get paid swiftly and that your legal rights are protected in the event the other party does not live up to its obligations. Our attorneys can help car accident victims throughout the state of Arizona.
Who is Responsible for Drafting the Settlement Agreement?
There is no law stating who must draft a settlement agreement once a settlement has been reached. So long as each party has a fair opportunity to review the settlement agreement before it is signed and executed, there is no large legal advantage or disadvantage to having your attorney draft the settlement agreement. However, in deciding who should draft the settlement agreement, it may be more comforting to know that your attorney is drafting the document and doing so quickly so as to help you obtain the agreed-upon compensation quickly. When the other party’s attorney is responsible for drafting the settlement agreement, he or she may not have the same sense of urgency to get the document completed.
Set Up Your Free, No-Cost Case Analysis with Torgenson Law
Torgenson Law strives to help our Arizona car crash victims obtain the maximum recovery possible under the law and facts of their cases. Call our office or contact our office through our website to schedule your free, no-cost case analysis as soon as possible. We can discuss the facts of your situation and the compensation we may be able to help you obtain as well as whether a settlement or trial is a preferred resolution. Contact us today at 602-759-0012 and protect your legal right to fair monetary compensation under the law.
Wedding Limousine Accident Claims in Arizona
Wedding days are filled with love, joy, and hope for a bright future. A wedding is a day to celebrate. The bride and groom feel as though they are queen and king, at least for a few hours. Hiring a limousine company to drive the wedding party and happy couple to and from churches, reception halls, and airports, for example, is an intelligent way to relieve someone of the burden of driving. Everyone trusts the limo company to pick up and drop off everyone on time and, most importantly, safely.
A limousine accident on your wedding day can shatter your dreams. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or died in a limo accident on his or her wedding day, those who suffered a loss may be eligible to recover a large financial award as compensation from the limousine or livery company.
Torgenson Law, a personal injury law firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, has the experience, coupled with the legal skills necessary to maximize your opportunity to recover a large financial settlement for your loss. Torgenson Law ‘s wedding limousine accident lawyers understand that no amount of money could ever compensate you for what you lost on your wedding day. However, aggressively fighting to hold the limousine company, limo driver, and all other parties responsible for their actions in causing your loss can help you feel like justice was done.
The Duty of Care as Common Carrier in Arizona for Limousine Drivers
Persons and companies who undertake to deliver people from location to location for profit are called common carriers under Arizona law. Common carriers owe their passengers the utmost duty of care and diligence the law requires. A breach of that high standard that causes a person to suffer an injury or die results in legal liability for the wrongdoer, and therefore, he or she must pay damages to the injured parties or the personal representative of the deceased.
Common carriers, such as limousine companies, must keep their passengers free from harm and must act reasonably under all circumstances. Therefore, all livery companies, including limo operators, must protect their passengers and warn them about the possibility of dangerous conditions.
Limousine companies will be held liable for damages naturally flowing from the breach of their duty. The duty of a limo driver, at bottom, is to drive carefully. However, the chauffeur and limousine company may be liable for an accident, despite driving safely, if a violation of a state or federal regulation led to the accident.
Injuries Suffered in a Wedding Day Limo Accident
In Arizona, limousine passengers do not have to wear a seat belt. Indeed, most limos do not come equipped with them. The driver knows this and therefore must drive so as to avoid collisions. Most limousines are not equipped with airbags or other safety features. Therefore, a person involved in a limousine crash can suffer severe and catastrophic injuries, or die, in a wedding limousine crash because the force of the collision tosses bodies around as if weightless.
Torgenson Law has handled limousine crash claims involving injuries such as:
- Wrongful death,
- Paralysis and spinal cord injury,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Fractured or broken bones,
- Dislocated joints,
- Amputated limbs,
- Severe lacerations, and
- Whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries.
Damage Awards for Wedding Day Limo Crashes in Arizona
The exact sum you might receive depends on many factors. However, Arizona law allows victims of limousine accidents to recover damages such as:
- Current and future medical bills and expenses,
- Lost wages and missed economic opportunities,
- Emotional Pain and Suffering,
- Incidental costs,
- Damages for the wrongful death of another, and
- Loss of consortium.
Torgenson Law Has Over 15 Years Of Legal Experience Ready To Work For You
The time you have to legally receive compensation is limited. Call Torgenson Law at 602-759-0012 to receive a free consultation today. Torgenson Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Arizona and in the Southwest for over fifteen years.
At Torgenson Law, we are 100% dedicated to fighting against the big insurance companies and major corporations on behalf of the good people who live and work in the great State of Arizona. Let us help you, too. Call us today if you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life in a car accident that you believe was caused by another person’s negligence. Call us at 602-759-0012.