The auto accident settlement process follows some logical steps, but if you’re considering further legal action for an accident you were involved in, it’s worth knowing more of the details you’ll encounter along the way.

Reporting the Accident

Arizona actually doesn’t require private citizens to report auto accidents, but law enforcement officers are required to report any incident that results in injury, death, the issuance of a citation, or property damage of over $1,000. Further, those involved in the incident are required to stay at the scene until police arrive. If they don’t, they could be subject to a driver’s license suspension and a Grade 2 or 3 felony.

Filing with Insurance

Arizona is an “at-fault” state meaning that the person who is responsible for the accident is responsible for the resulting damages. Establishing this fault isn’t always clear, but when it is, you should:

  1. File a claim with your own insurance company
  2. File a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company (or multiple companies)
  3. Consider your options for filing a lawsuit

Settlement Vs. Trial

If you’re potentially owed compensation for damages, you’ll likely receive an early settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. What you should do before that is get an official medical evaluation if you have any physical or emotional trauma resulting from the accident. If you’re even slightly considering a lawsuit, it’s vital to have proper documentation of all aspects of the incident, including your recovery.

An attorney can help draft your demand letter, which will state your claim, clearly identify any injuries, and spell out the damages you’d like to recover. A good demand letter could warrant a higher settlement and keep litigation from proceeding any further.

If the opposing party doesn’t agree with the extent of your injuries, they may have their own evaluation done before an adjusted settlement offer is presented. If an agreement still can’t be reached, then your case would move to civil court and you’d absolutely want an experienced auto accident attorney on your side.

 

The team at Rabb & Rabb, PLLC has more than a decade of experience helping Arizona clients understand the settlement process and working towards resolutions in their favor. Call (520) 888-6740 today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.