In this YouTube Live Event, Phoenix personal injury attorney John Kelly answers a number of online questions about car accidents. Please post your own questions to the comments below or visit https://www.jkphoenixpersonalinjuryattorney.com/auto-accident/.
a.William – I was in a car accident but no police report was filed. Can I still file a claim without that proof?
b.Valerie – If I’m rear ended is the other driver always automatically at fault?
c.Nancy – Does it matter in a car accident if someone was texting and driving?
d.Gerard – Have you taken many car accident claims all the way to trial or do they usually settle?
e.Rosemarie – Is it ever OK to accept the settlement offer from an insurance company?
Kelly Law Team
1 E Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Transcript of content:
– We’re with John Kelly, John is a car accident lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona, and he’s agreed to answer some online questions that were posted related to car accidents, so, going to the first question. This was from William, William says, “I was in a car accident but no police report was filed. “Can I still file a claim without that proof?”
– Okay, so William’s circumstance is pretty typical and usually this occurs if one, the police were not called to the scene, which I always advise, if you are on the roads that you do try to call the police and get them to go there, or because they were on private property, which the police typically will not respond to. So, if there’s no report taken, he still has a claim, he just needs to do his best to document the situation. So, a lot of people have cell phones that they can pull out and take photos, you know, if there’s a statement by any witnesses they can get their name and information, if anyone saw the accident. Me, as an attorney, often I’ll go in and pull video or I’ll get affidavits of individuals from their statements, and you make a claim based on that. Now, sometimes the person that was at fault for the accident will do the right thing and they’ll call their insurance company and say, yes, I was at fault for the accident, and that makes it easy on us but we can’t always trust that that’s gonna happen.
– Alright, next question was from Valerie, said, “If I’m rear ended is the other driver “automatically at fault?”
– For Valerie the answer is not automatically. There are circumstances where you can get rear ended and it might be your fault, that’s pretty rare. Usually in an auto accident, if you’re driving normal rates of speeds, you slow down and get rear ended, it’s not gonna be your fault, and that’s kind of the default, but there have been circumstances where people are driving erratically, slamming on the brakes in strange times, and that kind of thing, where there’s some contributory fault there, but as long as it was a typical situation, she was either stopped or just slowing in normal traffic and someone rear ended her, there should be a 100% fault on the other side.
– Okay, next question from Nancy, “Does it matter in a car accident “if someone was texting while driving?”
– Nancy’s question is a hot topic lately because a lot of people are out there texting in their car and it’s a big problem because they aren’t paying attention to the roads and it’s absolutely relevant to the case. And sometimes we have to go as far as trying to subpoena phone records to establish whether someone was trying to either text or was looking at their phone, you know, most phones go online now, people are sometimes messing with the music player, they’re listening to a radio station or looking at an app on their phone. All these issues are hugely relevant to whether that person was negligent in the accident. So that’s definitely information that your attorney would wanna know about so that they can investigate further to try and establish that that person was on a phone and therefore caused the accident.
– Okay, next question was from Gerard, “Have you taken many car accident claims all the way “to trial, or do they usually settle?”
– Well the cases that I take typically are gonna settle after I investigate, get the right people involved, and put a good demand letter together. Now you can be assured that if we do go to trial I have a lot of trial experience. I use to work as prosecutor at the Maricopa County attorney’s office and litigated a lot of cases all the way through trial. So, it is a good question to know where your attorney stands on their trial and litigation experience so that you know that if things do go south or if things are not settling like they were supposed to that your attorney is competent in trial Now, that being said, I think there’s a lot that can be done to avoid litigation and get quick, early settlement as long as you get those records in, get the investigation done properly, usually I’m able to get a claim settled without having to litigate.