Life after being injured can be extremely difficult. Not only do you have to deal with an injury that may be lifelong, or prevent you from having the quality of life you would have enjoyed before the injury, but your entire family may feel the stress. A personal injury in a car accident can have lifelong emotional, physical, and financial consequences.  

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have experienced personal injury in a car accident.  Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

What is a Personal Injury in a Car accident? 

When a person is injured because of an incident that occurs while someone (either a person or a company) has a legal duty to prevent it, it is considered personal injury. For example, if there are two cars driving on the road, and one car has a stop sign, that person has a legal duty to stop. If that person does not stop, and hits the other car, any injury sustained by the other driver would be considered personal injury in a car accident.  

Personal injury law allows the injured party to file a civil lawsuit and get a legal remedy, called damages, for all losses that came from the injury. This allows the victim to be compensated financially for any harm they have suffered from negligence or intentional misconduct. The injured party is called the plaintiff and the party that they are accusing is called the defendant.  

Personal injury applies to a wide range of situations.  

  • Accidents: personal injury in a car accident in this case stems from negligence. Someone acted carelessly, and that carelessness caused harm to another person. Most car accidents are an example of this.  
  • Intentional Acts: Personal injury may also occur when someone intentionally causes harm to another person. Some nursing home abuse cases are examples of this.  
  • Defective Products: If a particular product is defective or unreasonably dangerous, anyone who is injured using the product may have a personal injury case. Examples of this are defective car parts leading to an accident, or malfunctioning medical equipment.  

When Can You File a Personal Injury Claim?  

This differs from state to state. In Arizona, you generally have 2 years after the date of the incident to file your claim. However, if you have a hidden injury that is a direct result of the incident, you may have 2 years from the date you discover the injury. Check out our Statute of Limitations calculator, or call us for more information.  

How Do You Build a Personal Injury Claim? 

One of the first steps you should take after any incident where you are injured is contacting a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers are trained to navigate the complicated process of filing a personal injury claim, and you’re much more likely to get the most compensation if your case is handled by an experienced lawyer.  

That being said, one of the next steps might be filing a claim with your own insurance company. While a personal injury lawyer will need to help you get a settlement from the other parties’ insurance companies, your claim to your own insurance company will pay you no matter what.  

Next, you must prove:  

  • The other party caused the incident 
  • The incident caused your injuries 
  • The cost of your medical care, pain and suffering, and other expenses 

Take, for example, that same car accident from above. One car is driving, and another car is making a turn at a stop sign. The second car does not stop at the stop sign, and turns into the first car, causing a T-Bone accident. If you are the driver of the first car, you must prove that the driver of the second car caused the personal injury in a car accident. This can be done through police reports, admission of guilt from the other driver, eyewitness accounts, and other means. 

Then, say you have a few injuries: whiplash, a broken arm, and a concussion. You should go to the hospital immediately after the accident to get diagnosed, this way there is little doubt that the accident caused those injuries.

From there, you should save all of your bills and receipts relating to the replacement or repairing of your car, your medical bills and treatment, and any time you have to take off of work. In doing this, you are building a claim against the other driver and proving that without the incident, you wouldn’t have been injured.  

What Is the Personal Injury Claim Process? 

From the time you hire a personal injury lawyer, the personal injury claims process will follow a few steps.  

  • Hiring an Attorney: We cannot stress enough the importance of hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. The personal injury claims process is much more complex than it seems, and hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer will get you the highest settlement possible. Additionally, you won’t have to deal with the stress of filing a claim as well as healing from your injury. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you win your case. 
  • Demand Letter: The demand letter is the actual first step of the claims process. In the demand letter, the injured party lays out their argument for why the other party should pay for the injuries caused. This includes:
    • Why the other party is legally responsible or liable for the incident 
    • A summary of the injuries  
    • Any medical treatment required and how much it cost 
    • How much income was lost due to time off work 
    • Any other damages, including pain and suffering 
  • Return Letter: After the demand letter, the insurance company will send back a letter saying either that they will pay or that they will not pay. An insurance company choosing not to pay is called a denied claim, and they may deny a claim if they feel there is not enough evidence supporting any of the above issues in the demand letter. If the insurance company decides to pay, the claims process stops here. If not, then the personal injury lawyer and the plaintiff move on to the next step.  
  • Complaint: Filing a complaint gives official notice that the lawsuit is being filed, and that the plaintiff is seeking compensation for their damages. The formal complaint will list out:
    • All parties involved 
    • Court’s jurisdiction over the case 
    • The plaintiff and the defendant’s legal claims 
    • Facts and evidence to support those claims 
    • Demand for judgement stating how much the plaintiff is seeking

Once the complaint is filed, your personal injury lawyer will have 30 days to serve it to the defendant. Then, the defendant will have 30 days to respond. If they fail to respond, the court will automatically rule in the plaintiff’s favor.  

  • Discovery: During this process, both the plaintiff and the defendant’s lawyers will gather evidence about the case. Both sides will gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and question the parties involved. All of this gives a clearer picture of what actually happened, and will help quantify the exact amount of money the plaintiff is owed. 
  • Settlement: The majority of personal injury cases (95%) don’t make it to this point and are settled through a planned negotiation called mediation (which may take place at any point during the discovery phase). A settlement is an agreement between the two parties to settle the case and not take it to trial, for compensation. Other stipulations may be included, such as not to seek further compensation in the future or not to disclose the amount of the settlement.  
  • Trial: The 5% of cases that are not settled through either mediation or other settlement go to trial. Both parties and their personal injury lawyers will appear in court before a judge and jury, which will determine what payment must be made. Most cases settle before trial, because going to trial is time-consuming and expensive. Once the judgement is made, the parties must decide if they will accept the decision or if they will appeal. Once the time they have to file an appeal is over, the claim process is complete.  

What Should I Expect at My Consultation?  

If you are involved in an accident, you likely will feel like your life is spinning out of control and you are being pulled in one hundred different directions between medical bills, work obligations, family obligations, recovery time, car repairs, and more. We are here to help you gain back control in an uncontrollable situation.   

After you call us, we will schedule a consultation with you. We understand that your time is valuable, so your consultation can be scheduled remotely or in person. During the consultation, we will address your immediate needs, questions, and concerns. Then, we will discuss every option available to you.

From there, we will come up with a personalized plan of action that will allow you to get the most compensation you are entitled to. You will leave the consultation with a full understanding of the legal rights and claims specific to your case, as well as an action plan that details next steps – both for you and for our team. You will also leave with an overall idea of how your case will proceed so that you can focus what’s most important: putting the pieces of your life back together.

Get Help Now 

At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injury in a car accident. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.

If you have experienced a personal injury in a car accident, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

“My partner and I, along with our 3 children, were in a car accident. I had found a wonderful chiropractor after the accident (Dr. Taylor) and he referred me to Thompson Law Firm. I was actually shocked at the quick response. I had left a few voicemails on Goldberg and Osbourne, and never got a return call even! The day I called Thompson an associate came to my house that day to go over everything and I signed with them. I couldn’t believe she took the time to drive to my house, it was very helpful seeing as though my car was totaled. I was relieved to not have to deal with the harassing calls from the insurance companies, all I had to do is say cal my lawyer. What a relief. I was able to email and text any questions I had and always had a response within 24 hours. My dad is an attorney out of state, has been for decades, and he even called and talked to the associate I signed with, he said he felt very comfortable and also said they seem to be “very sharp”. Everything went smooth, our settlement was more than we expected. Everything was always explained and we knew exactly what was happening all the time. We closed up with Carolyn Button who was prompt and thorough going over the paperwork and breaking everything down for us. Hope to not get into any more accidents, but without a question this is where I would go.”

Jesse Chanley

“I have used Christy Thompson for my representation and consultation on several different issues. She has been fantastic. She is super knowledgeable — she knows her stuff inside and out. She takes her time with you so she gets a complete understanding about you and your situation. She will do all she can do help you. Really gives you peace of mind that you have someone like her to help you. This is the person I want in my corner when the chips are down for sure. I would highly recommend her without hesitation.”

Karen Windsor-Worrel

“These guys were absolutely amazing. They were very clear with me about what I needed to do on my end and I saw fast results. I just recommended them to a friend a week ago and he also dealt with my mother’s case. I wouldn’t see anyone else.”

Amanda Olney

“I can’t say enough great things about Thompson Law Firm and how they handled my car accident case. Ariana and her team were great. They genuinely cared about me and how I was doing and answered all of my questions timely. I was kept up to date on my case and am very happy with the outcome.”

Emily Drexler

“My experience with Thompson Law Firm was incredible, professional, and educational. I had never been involved in anything legal-related before and the team at Thompson Law Firm made me feel comfortable and educated me on how the process works. In an unfortunate situation, I was grateful to have this team by my side. I was also extremely pleased with the outcome!”

Michelle Chung

“Being in a car accident is no fun. Not really knowing the ropes of Insurance companies and the games they play is not my forte and was driving me nuts. Christy and her team of professionals helped me through the process for both medical and getting my car fixed. If you like/need someone who is straight forward, honest and willing to take the lead after an accident in your behalf, I would highly recommend Christy Thompson and her very capable team of professionals.”

John V.