Do You Have to Go to Court For a Car Accident?
Most drivers dread getting into an accident. Serious accidents can ruin a vehicle, cause life-changing injuries, and even result in loss of life.
The most fortunate accident victims receive timely, appropriate compensation. But others struggle with the at-fault parties or their insurance companies for a long time, sometimes ending up with nothing.
In Arizona, some need to go to court to ensure the liable party adequately compensates them. Phillips Law Group’s attentive lawyers understand you might wonder whether a court trial is necessary to resolve your legal issues. We have prepared this handy guide, and we invite you to call us anytime at (800) 706-3000 for a free case evaluation.
When Going to Court is Unwarranted
Most people would prefer to avoid a court case if possible. You might consider arranging matters between the at-fault party and yourself if your accident falls into one of the following categories.
Accident costs are low
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) classified about 70 percent of car accidents as “property damage only” in 2021. The person who hit you might pay for repairs without involving his or her car insurance company if no one was hurt.
Heed these words of caution:
- Getting a medical opinion, even if you and others involved feel fine immediately after the accident, is often wise. The symptoms of some medical conditions do not manifest themselves right away, or you might not recognize them until it is too late.
- A professional estimate for repairs is also a way to ensure you don’t have any unpleasant surprises after you take a personal settlement. Mechanical damage could be hidden, or issues that appear superficial can be a costly fix.
As long as the agreed-upon amount is fair, you may not need to take any legal action. However, you must report motor vehicle accidents causing $2,000 or more in property damage to Arizona law enforcement.
No breach of justice occurs
Suppose the at-fault party admits they caused the accident, they were insured, and their insurer pays you what you deserve.
In that case, you could consider your issue resolved. The problem is that the situation described above rarely happens. There is often a break in the chain, so to speak, possibly because:
- People refuse to accept liability for their negligence
- The driver responsible for the accident flees the scene of the crash
- The at-fault motorist does not have adequate insurance coverage
- Insurance companies try to pay less than what is fair
At Phillips Law Group, are eager to get to work on your behalf. Our experienced team can often find a solution without going to court.
Phillips & Associates Can Negotiate for Your Best Interests
Insurers might assure you that their offer is reasonable for your case. Yet, isn’t their top priority making business profits?
Rather than take their word for it, you could ask lawyers to examine your claim. Our law firm does not charge to tell you what your claim might be worth.
Once you know what you are owed, our attorneys can help you understand your options. For instance, you might weigh the pros and cons of an out-of-court settlement. Your legal team would meet with the opposing party (or his or her legal representative) to negotiate an agreement that you decide whether or not to accept.
A successful settlement could include:
- Money for repairs or the replacement of a totaled vehicle
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Compensation for the time you missed at work
- Lost future earnings if the accident affected your ability to earn a living
- The cost of services made necessary by your injuries (e.g. house cleaning, lawn services, childcare)
- Compensation for non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering)
In the past 26 years, we have collected more than $1 billion in compensation for our clients in settlements and verdicts. Our lawyers are sometimes able to secure higher awards than offered to unrepresented accident victims.
As one of Arizona’s largest consumer law firms, our lawyers are no strangers to insisting upon our clients’ rights before a judge and jury. If the other party is uncooperative, we can get a personal injury lawsuit going on your behalf.
Starting the lawsuit process does not always mean a court trial. After all, the defendant (person being sued) might want to stay out of court as much as you do. And, once our attorneys make your case, they might see they are unlikely to win.
For instance, each motorist might have a different version of events. Yet, you can imagine what frequently happens when an accident attorney proves that his or her error caused a crash. Yes, the at-fault party might eventually counteroffer with more favorable terms.
Depending on each situation, victims can seek damages from drivers who cause accidents while engaging in dangerous behavior, such as:
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Allowing themselves to become distracted
- Driving while fatigued or sleepy
- Racing or engaging in other reckless acts
Therefore, you could resolve a lawsuit before it is ever formally filed – or even afterward if the verdict is yet to be decided by the courts.
When Going to Court is the Wise Option
Let’s talk about when going to court might be unavoidable. First, no two Arizona car accident cases are exactly alike.
We would need you to tell us the details of your cases to advise you whether a lawsuit is suitable for you. Factors that might influence your eligibility include:
- How severe your injuries are
- The costs of your medical treatment, lost wages, and damaged property
- The likelihood of your recovery
- The permanent or lasting effects of your injuries
- How your new condition impacted your life, such as your work, romantic relationships, and ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed
- The cause of your accident
- The insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver
At Phillips & Associates, we know it is not enough to file a claim. To maximize your chances of success, our attorneys:
- Gather evidence and documentation like eyewitness testimony, police reports, and physician’s statements
- Determine what local and federal laws apply to your case
- Inform you of your rights
- Calculate an accurate valuation of your losses
- Communicate with insurers, opposing counsel, and the at-fault party when necessary
- Handle paperwork and other administrative duties related to your claim
- Build a solid case for compensation
- Represent you in court
There is limited time to file a court case. In Arizona, you have 2 years from the accident date for most personal injury cases.
If the courts approve your case, your attorneys would present your evidence to a judge or jury. Then, if the court rules that the defendant owes you damages, they will also decide how much you should receive.
Securing Results Without Financial Risk
Some court cases are wrapped up quickly, while others take longer. You might wonder whether you can afford their services, especially if it takes a while to get your compensation check.
At Phillips Law Group, we do not think your financial situation should bar your access to our extensive resources and talented legal team. We work hard to get just compensation for our clients, but our clients do not pay us anything unless we win compensation for their losses.
Our attorneys are ready to meet your legal needs in or out of Arizona courts. Why not start with a risk-free chat? Schedule your free car accident consultation today by calling us toll-free at (800) 706-3000.
Jasmine helped me so so much I want to thank her ! And also Aaron , i was always scared after an accident , knowing I would have to deal with lawyers but not here . Luckily I’ve only been in 3 accidents but this time it was fast and easy . And i received all the treatments I needed to help me recover ! Thank you Jasmine and Aaron!
Sophia H is a pleasure to work with! Thanks for all you do.
Jasmine , did a great job . Highly recommend!!!!!
Liz was great
Liz Gonzales was great!!!!
Thank you Phillips Law Group for all the support and back to school assistance we appreciate it.
Sophia H is very helpful.
Jasmine Delgado is an amazing paralegal. She was patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend Phillips law group
PLG is the best! Highly recommend. Love that they do so much to help the community.
Phillips is the best!! Love all that they do to give back to the community and how much they help those who are experiencing homelessness. ❤️