Arizona Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline
Asphalt hot enough to have a tailgate barbeque without the grill. The crack of lumber against a leatherbound sphere. It's Spring Training baseball, and for half of the Major League teams, it happens in Arizona. The stadiums are spread out across dozens of square miles of Phoenix suburbs though, so prepare to drive. And should the unfortunate happen, and an overenthusiastic tailgater crash into you, knowing the basics of car accident settlements will prove to be very important. Read on to learn more about the Arizona car accident settlement process and timeline.
Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Arizona?
Unlike many other states, there is no requirement to report an accident that involves damage to property only. There is, however, a requirement to report an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person immediately, by the quickest means of communication, whether oral or written, to either:
- The local police department if the accident occurs within a municipality.
- The office of the county sheriff, or
- The nearest office of the highway patrol.
Arizona Car Insurance Laws
In Arizona, drivers carry minimum liability coverage:
- $15,000 per person for bodily injury liability
- $30,000 per accident when more than one person suffers injuries, and
- $10,000 for property damage.
In the alternative, drivers can purchase a bond of at least $40,000 and provide proof of it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Arizona?
Don't want to risk losing at trial? Most people don't, which is why the vast majority of cases settle: a party can get a guaranteed payout and not have to pay an attorney to fight a risky courtroom battle. A settlement is an informal wrapping up of a case for a mutually agreeable remedy, at which time the parties drop the pending lawsuit.
In Arizona, there is not a statewide requirement for settlement conferences. However, in some local courts, such as Mohave County, a mandatory settlement conference can be ordered "upon the request of either party" or on the court's own motion.
What is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Arizona?
This question is nearly impossible to answer, since every case is different and an "average" of all car crash settlements wouldn't account for the particulars of your case -- damages vary widely. For example, a minor ding of a parked car, for example, will settle for less than a drunk driver who kills an entire family.
The parties and their attorneys will consider many factors when calculating a settlement proposal, including but not limited to:
- Insurance coverage (insurance companies won’t pay more than policy limits)
- Car repairs
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from time away from work
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Arizona?
There is a time limit (Statute of Limitations) for filing a legal case. In Arizona, that limit is two years for auto accidents. Pending insurance claims do not delay the legal case time limit, so it is in your interest to speak to an attorney, so that you still have time to file a lawsuit if needed.
Have a Local Attorney Review Your Car Accident Settlement in Arizona
You don't want to sign a settlement without consulting with an attorney first – they're binding and final, and if you're not careful, you could end up with an insufficient amount to cover medical bills and expenses down the line or waive claims altogether. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Arizona before signing anything.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.