Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Tucson and Yuma, Arizona

A car accident often causes injury to one or more of the car occupants. In a severe crash, such injuries can occur even when the rider and passenger are wearing seatbelts. Automobile accidents kill more than 42,000 people per year across the United States. In Arizona, 1,118 people died in motor vehicle related crashes and 71,901 people were injured. A total number of 246,538 vehicles were involved including 164,052 passenger cars, 2,461 motorcycles, 823 buses and 71,813 trucks.

Rollover crashes are a significant and growing contributor to these statistics. A rollover crash is particularly violent in nature. Occupants of a vehicle that rolls are subjected to a variety of forces and impacts that can result in severe injuries or death. A rollover crash is far more likely to result in fatalities than are non-rollover crashes.

The aftermath of an automobile collision can be devastating. Many injured people struggle to pay their medical bills. They need assistance with recovering their lost wages and obtaining long term medical care due to the permanent nature of their injuries. The experienced lawyers at Shultz & Rollins, Ltd. are dedicated to helping victims of serious automobile accidents put their lives back together.

At Shultz & Rollins, Ltd., we understand the engineering principles involved in automobile accident reconstruction, the medical issues related to the forces exerted in car crashes, and the design criteria of automobiles intended to protect the vehicle's occupants. Following a collision, you should speak with an experienced accident lawyer in order to ensure that evidence in your case is not lost, witnesses don't disappear, and statements are taken before memories fade. Contact us about your accident case. When we accept your case, we can begin an investigation to secure and preserve the evidence.

AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT INFORMATION

Many people involved in an automobile collision believe that the insurance company for the other driver will simply pay to repair their vehicle, pay for their medical bills and compensate them for their injuries and lost wages, without the need for proving the fault of the other driver. This is simply not the case. In Arizona, an injured person must first prove fault on the part of the other driver and that the negligence caused the injuries and damages suffered. This means your lawyers must be prepared to bring your case to trial in the event negotiations to resolve the matter are unsuccessful.

Sport Utility Vehicle's (SUV's) have become one of the most popular vehicles on the road today. According to the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHTSA), among all types of passenger vehicles, SUVs had the largest increase (11%) in registrations.Advertised as safe and well built vehicles, SUV’s are often used by families with children. However, research has shown that that many SUV's are defectively designed causing them to be less safe than other vehicles. SUV’s have a high center of gravity which pose a greater risk for rollovers during some driving maneuvers. These vehicles also have a higher risk of flipping over when struck in a collision, often resulting in occupant ejections and serious bodily injuries.

NHTSA has determined the following facts about SUVs:

  • Sport utility vehicles, as a class, account for almost 70% of all rollover crash fatalities
  • 25% of all highway deaths were due to rollover accidents in 2005
  • More than 75% of fatal rollover crashes are single vehicle crashes
  • The total number of vehicle occupants killed in SUV rollover crashes is increasing while the number killed in passenger cars is decreasing
  • The number of fatal SUV rollovers has more than doubled since 1991
  • SUVs have been the most rollover prone of the passenger vehicles.
  • Rollover occupants were seriously injured more than twice as often as non-rollover occupants
  • Rollover crashes are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of crashes.
  • The high fatality and injury rates are due, in part, to the fact passengers are ejected from the vehicle. Ejections account for 63% of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often results in costly and debilitating head injuries.
  • Head trauma is the most frequent type of fatal and nonfatal injury in rollover crashes.
  • The risk of fatality in a crash is over three times as great for an ejected occupant compared with a nonejected occupant
  • Almost 66% of occupant fatalities in SUV crashes occurred in rollovers.

Thousands of people are injured yearly on Arizona’s roads. Auto accidents are particularly dangerous because not all injuries are immediately apparent. Due to shock and the trauma from a serious collision, injured occupants are often overwhelmed. Dealing with insurance companies and with the party responsible for the collision can be confusing. Since the minimum liability limits in Arizona require only $15,000 per person of insurance coverage your attorneys must understand how to investigate all possible causes and insurance coverages and, if necessary, find ways to collect above and beyond available insurance. For more than 20 years, we have established a record of helping clients obtain the compensation they deserve whether by verdict in the courtroom or through settlement negotiations. Contact us if you or a loved one has been involved in a serious crash or rollover.

Links:
National Safety Council
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration

Common Questions Regarding Automobile Accidents  

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

In Arizona, you generally have two years from the date of accident; minors have two years from attaining the age of majority. However, you may have to file a claim in a much shorter time. It is critical to check with an attorney to make sure you know the applicable time limits for your case. Failure to timely file a claim or lawsuit could forever bar your recovering from those at fault.

Should I talk to the responsible party’s insurance adjuster after an automobile accident?

No. The first thing you should do is contact an experienced accident lawyer. The last thing you want to do is talk with the responsible party’s  insurance representative about your accident.
The adjuster for the insurance carrier, whose job it is to minimize the amount of money the responsible party may have to pay as a result of the crash, is looking for ways to shift the blame to you or someone else. Statements given shortly after the collision often are not complete due to the stress of the injuries or death that occurred. Later when asked the same questions under less stress, more details are often given which creates the impression of inconsistency and can lead to suspicion or doubt about your recollection.

You should not provide any statements to the responsible party’s insurance adjuster, even if they suggest you do so. You should not sign any statement or release that would permit them access to your medical or employment records before you consult with a lawyer.


Why should a lawyer be hired as soon as possible?

Most insurance carriers will hire lawyers or have them on staff and they will start to work on defending the case right away. Time is of the essence.
To protect you, the scene must be secured. Photographs and witness statements must be taken as soon after the accident as possible so that important pieces of evidence are not lost, misplaced or worse, purposely destroyed.

How important is the accident investigation?

It is critical. A thorough investigation must be performed to prove fault for the crash. An investigation should include examination of the scene, examination of the vehicles involved, photographs of the scene and vehicles and obtaining statements from the witnesses. You should not move your vehicle after the accident until told to do so by the responding law enforcement officers. Its location will be a key part of the investigation.

What damages can be recovered in a motor vehicle accident involving personal injuries or death?

The parties responsible for causing the accident and injuries can be required to pay damages. A seriously injured plaintiff may be entitled to recover:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Loss of income (past and future)
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Past and future pain, suffering and emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • And, depending upon the circumstances, punitive damages.

If a person dies in an automobile accident, the survivors may recover monetary damages for their economic losses such as lost financial support and funeral expenses in addition to their emotional distress damages for loss of love, society and companionship.

Will the responsible party’s insurance company have to pay all of my medical bills?

The responsible party must pay only for the bills that are reasonable in charge, necessary for your recovery, and were for accident-related treatment.

What if the driver who caused the accident was drunk?

Drunk driving can result in both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. Additionally, the business that sold alcohol to the drunk driver may also be liable if it serves the driver when he or she was visibly intoxicated. Depending on the circumstances, the drunk driver and the business may be liable for punitive damages. If you been in an accident involving alcohol or drugs, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney to help maximize your recovery.

Where will my case be filed?

Where you live does not determine where your injury case may be filed. The general rule is that the lawsuit is brought where the responsible party resides or where the responsible party caused the injury.
Therefore, your case will generally be filed in the county in which the responsible party lives or in the county where the actual injury took place.

If there are multiple parties responsible for causing an injury or death they can all be sued in the same action.

If a responsible party is from out of state, but the injury was caused in Arizona, the responsible party may be sued in the county in which the injury took place.

Where your case should be filed requires a complex fact specific analysis.  Contact us to discuss where your case should be filed.

Do I need an attorney to resolve my automobile accident case?

Generally you will need to retain an attorney to establish liability against any potential defendants and help maximize your damage recovery. 

To schedule a free confidential consultation and preliminary case evaluation to see if your case is appropriate for our firm to handle call us

Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers with Offices in Tucson and Yuma. We handle serious injury cases from Motor Vehicle Accidents , Trucking Accidents and Motorcycle Accidents


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