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Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog

How to file an insurance claim after an accident: Do these things

Filing an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident sounds easy enough. You call your agent, provide some information and wait for them to provide you with all the compensation you deserve.

While it would be nice if things worked out this way, it's very rare. There is a lot that goes into protecting your legal rights when filing a claim, so it's a must that you take these five key steps:

  • Review your policy: Before you pick up the phone, review your policy to understand the type of coverage you have. This is your contract with your insurance company, so you need to know it from front to back.
  • Don't delay: As soon as you're able to do so, such as after receiving medical treatment, contact your insurance agent to start the claims process. Depending on your provider, you may also be able to do this online.
  • Be careful of what you share: You can say a lot to your insurance agent, with some details working against you. It's okay to share the basics, but don't let your agent force you into saying too much.
  • Take notes: Every time you speak with your insurance agent or another company representative, write down the person's name, date, time and what you discussed. These notes could be necessary in the future, such as in the event of a disagreement.
  • Collect evidence: You should suspect your insurance company to do whatever they can to pay out the least amount of money possible. That's why you need to collect as much evidence as you can. For example, photos of the accident scene and your injuries can help. The same holds true of medical records.

Family seriously injured in motor vehicle accident

Car crashes are never welcome events, but some of them can be particularly devastating. One Arizona family is dealing with just such a tragedy after a father, mother and their 5-year-old daughter were hurt in a recent collision. Healing from the serious injuries the family suffered after the motor vehicle accident will take time and so will the police investigation into exactly what happened. 

Authorities say that the crash happened on a recent afternoon after the two parents picked up their daughter from a relative's home. Their car was attempting to make a left turn when, according to police, a truck struck the vehicle. The 5-year-old girl was rushed to a nearby children's hospital with serious injuries that required doctors to put her into a medically-induced coma. The girl's father was significantly injured, but has since been released from the hospital. The mother is conscious and still in the hospital receiving treatment for her injuries.

Law opens door for medical malpractice claims for soldiers

Until recently, military service members who suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of military doctors had few options for seeking compensation. That is because of a 1950 Supreme Court decision known as the Feres Doctrine, which prohibits service members from suing for damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act. For decades, this decision has left service members and their families in Arizona and elsewhere struggling because they had no recourse for justice when medical malpractice at the hands of military doctors resulted in injury or death to a service member.

The Feres Doctrine came about after the widow of an army lieutenant who died in a barracks fire filed a lawsuit under the FTCA, which grants plaintiffs the right to sue the government in cases of negligence. As the case made its way through the courts, two other complaints were added involving service members who were victims of medical malpractice following operations performed by military surgeons. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court decided that the FTCA does not apply to service members since the military apparently already has ways of dealing with such cases.

Motor vehicle accident in Phoenix proves fatal

When a car crash happens, it is almost never a positive event. Those that result in the loss of life are particularly troubling. They can often leave both a family and law enforcement with more questions than answers. A motor vehicle accident here in Arizona that resulted in the death of one woman may have done just that as investigators work to find out exactly why the collision occurred.

Authorities say that the crash happened on a recent afternoon. A 79-year-old man driving east on a local road allegedly failed to fully stop for a stop sign. Police say that although he reduced his speed, he failed to fully stop his vehicle before proceeding through the intersection. Authorities say that he then struck the car of a woman, which caused her vehicle to spin and hit a dump truck driving north through the intersection.

Arizona commercial vehicle accidents: 1 dead in crash with semi

Police in Arizona are in the process of investigating a crash between an SUV and a semitrailer. This, like many other commercial vehicle accidents, proved fatal. If truck driver negligence is believed even partially a factor in this case, the victim's surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses.

According to reports, the driver of the SUV -- age and gender not yet known -- was heading northbound on 27th Avenue in Phoenix when his or her vehicle collided with a semitrailer that was across the roadway. The car became lodged underneath the truck. The driver is believed to have died on or shortly after impact.

Parents file medical malpractice claim after son loses leg

A young boy lost one of his legs after multiple medical professionals repeatedly missed a possibly deadly diagnosis. His parents have since sued the hospital where he was seen, as well as the supervising physicians, physician assistants and nurses. If a child in Arizona is injured because of a missed diagnosis, his or her parents may also be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The 7-year-old was attending a birthday party when he got his foot stuck in a trampoline. He was diagnosed with a sprained ankle at an urgent care facility the following day. He was still experiencing a significant amount of pain the day after the diagnosis, so his mother took him to be seen at an area emergency room.

Seat belt safety tips: Don't forget to follow these

There are a variety of safety steps you must take before hitting the road, with putting on your seat belt among the most important. If you neglect to do this, there's a much greater chance of serious injury in the event of an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the national seat belt use rate in 2018 was 89.6%. As a result of such a high number, the agency estimates that seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved approximately 15,000 lives.

Auto product liability: Support is available to you

Every Arizona driver is legally obligated to adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations each time he or she gets behind the wheel to drive. On the flip-side, automobile manufacturers also have obligations, such as to make sure the vehicles they make available for purchase are safe for consumers to use. Auto product liability claims are often filed by people who suffer injuries because of driving or who are traveling as passengers in vehicles that contain defective parts.

Seat belts and airbags are two of the most common vehicle products designed to help keep people safe. The latter has been the subject of numerous legal claims in recent years. Tragedies have occurred because of defective airbag systems.

Community activists allege police brutality after filmed arrest

Police officers encounter all manner of people as they carry out their responsibilities to protect and serve their communities. Unfortunately, there have been many incidents when interactions between law enforcement and those who suffer from mental health issues have escalated to the point that those being placed under arrest have become victims of police brutality. Arizona residents who have been harmed by an abuse of power do have avenues for pursuing justice.

Recently, an officer was placed on suspension due to video footage of a violent interaction between a resident and officers. According to the report, two undercover officers were patrolling when they purportedly observed a 27-year-old man drinking an alcoholic beverage in public. As officers approached the man to cite him for public drinking, he allegedly became combative. As an officer removed the container from the man's possession, he purportedly spat in the officer's face.

Busy roads may mean more auto accidents during the holidays

The holiday season has arrived, which means Arizona drivers will be sharing the roads with more people than at other times of the year. When the roads are busier, it naturally increases the chances for auto accidents, and a bad driver, increases those chances even more. Drivers may benefit by focusing on how to share the roads safely with others during the holiday season.

Most bad drivers are reluctant to admit they have bad driving habits. Despite the fact that people are often completely unaware of the dangerous behaviors they exhibit behind the wheel, the truth is that approximately one million people die in traffic accidents every year. Bad behavior behind the wheel can have deadly consequences. 

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