Car Accident Resource Center

The Basics of an Accident Claim

There are two parts to every accident claim: (1) establishing liability (who’s at fault) and (2) calculating your loss (how have you been economically damaged). There is a process to presenting a successful automobile accident claim. If you are trying to handle your own accident claim, the information in this section will provide you with a general overview of the process from soup to nuts.

Keep the Facts Simple

Most insurance companies matter-of-factly say they cannot do anything to open your claim until you give them a recorded statement. If you agree to do this, you waive your rights under Arizona law. The information contained in this section reviews why you should not waive your rights by giving a statement to, or signing an authorization, for any insurance company as well as what information is actually relevant to your claim.

The Dreaded Recorded Statement

Why does an insurance company want to obtain your recorded statement when you have no obligation to give them one? In short, it helps them and hurts you. Our mother’s taught us that if we treated people right, they would in turn treat you right. Obviously, this is a great way to live your life, but works against you when it comes to making a successful insurance claim. Learn more about what the insurance company is trying to do, and why, so you can be prepared if they insist on you giving them a recorded statement.

Obtaining Medical Care and Communication with Your Doctor

This section describes the risk of not seeking immediate medical care, why not every doctor helps your accident claim, and what you need to do to effectively communicate with your doctor. If your injuries are not fully documented, and causally related by your doctor to the accident, then an insurance company will deny this portion of your claim. If this happens, you end up with a bill and no way to get it paid. This is incredibly important to understand, and directly impacts how much you can get paid by the insurance company for your injuries.

Calculating the Value of Your Claim

What is your claim worth now that you are done with your medical care? Here’s how you can analyze it. Unless you have a clear understanding of how your claim is valued, you can’t possible make a demand for payment on the insurance company or try and negotiate with them. In this section we walk you through what information you need to obtain, and review, long before the insurance company has access to your private medical information and bills.

The Art of Negotiating Your Claim

This section discusses how to negotiate your accident claim. The biggest mistake people make when negotiating a claim is they convey too much information to the insurance company, and mix up different types of claims (property versus injury claims). Part of the process of negotiating claims is understanding the bills that will need to paid from any settlement. Don’t get left short changed.

Pitfalls to Watch

This section covers a number of important challenges to watch out for throughout your accident claim so that you do not get surprised. Liens in particular have become one of the most troublesome areas of any settlement as there are many people trying to get a piece of the settlement pie. Certain liens to government agencies like Medicare and AHCCCS preclude other liens from vesting, and other medical providers like a hospital may have priority over consensual liens. Whether you are making a first party or third party claim also comes into play as to whether a lien is even enforceable. Having a clear understanding of the effect of a particular lien against your settlement is critical in maximizing your recovery.

The Litigation Process in Arizona

Discover how long it takes to litigate your accident claim in Arizona.

Understanding Insurance Coverage

Most of us do not know what insurance we purchased until we need it. And, even when we talk to different agents, when they say you have full coverage it could mean different things to different people. What did you actually buy? What does it cover? Do you really have full insurance coverage? What insurance coverage does Arizona require to operate a motor vehicle? All of these topics are more fully explored in this section or you can watch a video about this in our video library.

How Can an Attorney Help You

In tough economic times, can you really afford an attorney to help you? Can you afford not to have an attorney involved? Generally, a good lawyer should add value to add more than the value of his or her fee. This section discusses what an attorney does during your claim, where they should make a difference in the end result versus you handling it yourself, and what you should be evaluating in an attorney before hiring him or her.