Seeking Justice For You And Your Family When You Have Been Burned In A Car Fire
Drivers and passengers face many risks every time they drive around the Phoenix, AZ, area. While accidents can happen for many reasons without any warning, some accidents are more dangerous than others. Although rare, a severe accident can result in a car fire. Depending on how and where the accident occurred, the people inside the car could suffer severe or even fatal injuries.
Any time a car catches fire, the results are almost certain to be catastrophic. The results of a car fire can cause permanent disfigurement from catastrophic burns as well as damage to the internal organs of the human body, including the respiratory system. These are life-changing injuries that may require continued surgery, care and therapy. You should not have to bear the cost of the harm done to you.
At the law firm of Luis P. Guerra, LLC, we have seen the aftermath of accidents involving car fires in Phoenix. As Phoenix personal injury attorneys, we have helped many individuals and their families through this traumatic time and obtained the compensation they needed to rebuild their lives after suffering these devastating injuries.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix Fire Injuries Lawyer?
You might assume that if another driver is clearly responsible for the accident you had recently, you should have minimal trouble holding them accountable. Arizona law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, and most drivers assume they can resolve the aftermath of an accident with an insurance claim. However, accidents resulting in car fires and severe burn injuries are likely to entail many damages likely to exceed the scope of available insurance coverage. Additionally, burns can be excruciating and debilitating.
Instead of attempting to handle your civil claim against the at-fault driver while simultaneously managing your recovery from your car fire injuries, have an experienced Phoenix fire injuries attorney handle your claim for you. Your legal team will not only guide you through the insurance claim process but also help you build a civil claim when insurance isn’t enough to fully compensate your losses. In addition, if you must file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for your car accident, you have a better chance of winning your case when you have legal counsel representing you, and you will likely maximize your total recovery.
An experienced Phoenix fire injuries lawyer will know every available compensation channel available to you. In addition, they will assist you in meeting all applicable court filing deadlines and help you gather the evidence and documentation you will need to provide in your claim. Luis P. Guerra provides client-focused and responsive legal counsel in every case our team accepts. As your case unfolds, Luis P. Guerra and his team can provide ongoing guidance and support until you reach an appropriate conclusion to your car fire claim.
Diligent Investigation Of The Cause Of The Fire
To us, the most important thing is to understand the how and why of your case. We go to the ends of the earth to investigate your accident, and if necessary, will retain experts in the following non-exhaustive areas concerning car fires, such as automobile design, manufacturing, failure modes and accident reconstruction. Because of this, you must contact us as quickly as possible so we can obtain, secure, and protect the critical evidence in your case. Burned vehicles are kept for a brief time by the police or insurance companies and then sold for scrap. Once that happens, critical evidence in your case is gone.
Our team will assist with physical evidence gathering as much as possible before moving to secure statements from any other parties who saw your accident occur. Eyewitness testimony could be crucial in an insurance claim and a subsequent personal injury claim. Proving the exact cause of your car fire is also necessary for your claim. While another driver is likely responsible for causing the accident, the fire could have started because of a vehicle defect or another issue that implicates an additional defendant liable for your damages. Ultimately, these cases can be incredibly complex, and they often entail substantial damages as well. Therefore, you need legal representation you can trust in this situation.
Phoenix Attorneys Pursuing Cases Involving Gas Tank Explosions
We have seen car fires caused by many different things, including:
- Exploding gas tanks
- Gas leaks
- Faulty wiring
- Engine impact
- Oil leaks
- Manufacturer’s defects
- Poor automobile design
Regardless of the cause, the injury sustained from burns has made a full recovery very difficult for the victims of the accident. Our lawyers have the skill, experience and dedication necessary to explore all possible avenues of liability to maximize your potential compensation.
Dealing With Insurance Companies After Car Accidents
One of the most stressful parts of recovering from any car accident is filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Arizona state law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance that includes:
- $25,000 or more in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person injured in an accident caused by the policyholder.
- $50,000 or more in total accident bodily injury liability coverage.
- $15,000 or more in property damage liability coverage.
While not strictly required by law, drivers are also strongly encouraged to purchase additional coverage for accidents with uninsured and underinsured motorists. This coverage takes effect when a driver who does not have appropriate auto insurance coverage is the cause of your accident, allowing the injured driver to file a claim against their policy.
Dealing with insurance company representatives can be extremely stressful. Unfortunately, many of these claim adjusters will be less than helpful when an injured driver files a claim for insurance coverage. In addition, some insurance companies will go to great lengths to prevent payouts to claims, sometimes engaging in bad faith tactics. Having a Phoenix fire injuries lawyer assist you with your demand letter to the insurance company will significantly reduce the chances of experiencing any unfair pushback or bad faith tactics.
Damages and Compensation in Car Fire Claims
Even if you manage to secure the maximum insurance claim payout possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance, there is no guarantee that this will fully compensate your total damages. If your losses exceed the scope of available insurance, you would need to file a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your accident and car fire injuries. Success with your claim will hinge on your attorney’s ability to accurately identify the party or parties responsible for causing your damages and then prove the full extent of those damages.
A personal injury claim can potentially help you secure more expansive compensation than what an insurance claim could provide. Arizona state law allows personal injury plaintiffs to seek compensation for any economic damages incurred from a defendant’s actions and compensation for their non-economic damages. For example, the damages in your personal injury claim for a car fire are likely to include:
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Auto insurance may offer some compensation for your property damage, but a personal injury claim may be necessary to secure compensation for whatever insurance can’t cover.
- Medical expenses. Car accidents can cause a wide range of physical injuries, from traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries to broken bones, facial injuries, and damage to internal organs. In addition, when car fires happen, victims are likely to suffer severe burns, some of which can cause permanent damage. Therefore, you have the right to seek compensation for all medical expenses incurred from your accident, including immediate treatment costs like hospital bills and ambulance fees, long-term rehabilitation costs, and any costs associated with necessary ongoing treatments you require.
- Lost income. Severe car accidents can be damaging enough that the victims may be left without the ability to work for extended times or unable to go back to work at all due to permanent disabilities. Your Phoenix fire injuries lawyer can help you determine the scope of the lost income you can include in your claim, which may include your lost future earning potential if severe burn injuries prevent you from working in the future.
These economic damages may be substantial, but they are unlikely to form the bulk of the plaintiff’s total recovery in a burn injury case. Burn injuries are excruciatingly painful, highly traumatic, and easily capable of causing permanent disabilities and disfigurement. Arizona state law allows personal injury claim plaintiffs to recover compensation for their pain and suffering caused by the defendant’s actions. While this may sound difficult to calculate, especially when it comes to severe and permanently damaging injuries like car fire burns, attorneys can use various ways to determine appropriate pain and suffering damages for their clients.
Two of the most often used formulas for calculating pain and suffering damages are the per diem and the multiplier methods. The per diem method is most suitable when a plaintiff is expected to eventually make a full recovery from their injuries, and this formula would seek a particular amount to compensate for every day until the victim reaches maximum improvement by medical standards.
The multiplier method is more often used when plaintiffs sustain permanent damage from their injuries. For example, burns can be permanently disfiguring, cause various permanent disabilities, and impose extreme psychological distress on victims. The attorney in this situation would likely multiply the plaintiff’s claimed economic losses by a factor of two to five to reflect the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries. This can potentially result in pain and suffering compensation forming the bulk of the plaintiff’s total recovery.
Arizona Negligence Law
Every state has unique personal injury statutes, and there are numerous ways states handle civil claims pertaining to acts of negligence. For example, Arizona has a pure comparative negligence law. This law states that a plaintiff is legally entitled to claim compensation for damages even in the event that they hold partial responsibility for causing those damages. Under the “pure” comparative negligence law, they can claim compensation regardless of their level of fault for the incident in question.
Whenever comparative negligence comes into play, the parties involved in the case will receive fault percentages based on their respective levels of fault for causing the accident. If the plaintiff incurs partial fault, they lose a percentage of their total case award equal to their fault percentage. For example, if a plaintiff is 10% at fault in a $1 million claim, they would lose $100,000 of their case award. Depending on the total value of the claim, even a slight fault percentage can significantly impact the plaintiff’s total recovery. Under Arizona’s pure comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff could theoretically be found 99% fault and still have the right to claim 1% of their total damages.
If you have any concerns about comparative negligence coming into play in your case, it’s essential to speak with an experienced Phoenix fire injuries lawyer as soon as possible. Your legal team can assist you in gathering whatever evidence you may need to prove liability for your damages and minimize any comparative fault you may bear for the situation in question.
Contact Us To Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
Luis P. Guerra, LLC, can provide the compassionate and focused legal counsel you need on your side after suffering burn injuries in a car fire. Car accidents resulting in fire injuries can be extremely traumatic. The average person with no legal experience would likely struggle to navigate the complex rules and prerequisites of the civil court system. They may also overlook valuable avenues of recovery or unintentionally settle for less than they legally deserve. When you choose Luis P. Guerra to represent you, you can expect personalized, responsive legal counsel through every phase of your case.
We want you to talk to us about your injuries from a car fire without any concern about cost. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyer representation is on a contingent basis: You are only responsible for legal fees if we are successful in recovering compensation for your losses. We serve clients throughout Arizona.
Call us at 602-381-8400 or contact us online to schedule your appointment. Luis Guerra speaks English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.