Can You Sue in Arizona if You Weren’t Hurt in an Accident?
Most people consider filing a lawsuit after being in a car wreck and suffering physical injuries due to the negligence of another driver. However, over 70 percent of crashes result in nothing but property damage where either low-speed collisions or cases where drivers escaped unharmed. In either case, you might be wondering if you can sue, even if you weren’t physically hurt. Arizona law dictates that you can still file a lawsuit without being hurt if someone else was at fault for your accident.
Property Damage and Financial Loss
As long as there are some quantity of specific damages (damages and financial losses with an exact cost) that you’ve suffered, you can file a lawsuit. Normally, you’ll be able to recover expenses, such as vehicle repair costs and lost wages, from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but in the event that their insurance is uncooperative or fails to compensate you fully, you can sue for financial damages alone in Arizona.
In order to have a successful lawsuit, you’ll have to prove four things:
- Duty. This is a given in all accident cases as all drivers have a responsibility to drive safely.
- Breach of duty. A driver must have breached their duty or done something wrong in order for you to have a valid case, but this is a given if they were at any level of fault for the accident.
- The breach directly hurt you. A driver’s breach of duty must also have specifically what caused your damages, either in part or in full.
- You can prove your damages. You must have verifiable evidence that you were hurt financially or personally, but even intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, can be proven.
General Pain and Suffering Damages
Even if you weren’t hurt, you might have experienced pain and suffering as a result of your car accident, which could involve mental trauma, anxiety, and other personal consequences. You might even experience emotional distress sufficient to impair your work or general life, which will compound upon your settlement amount. Damages of this sort, which don’t have a specific monetary cost, are known as general damages, and you deserve compensation for them.
General damages are usually compensated for within a lawsuit, alongside other damages, whereupon a multiplier method is used (at least in Arizona) to multiply your total settlement by a certain amount depending on the severity of your pain and suffering. Even without a physical ailment or life-altering injury, this could still double your recoveries, making it an essential part of any settlement. However, you can also file a separate case for emotional distress and be rewarded with a direct monetary sum for your pain.
Consult an Arizona Auto Accident Attorney
Every case is unique, and we at ELG ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS have the experience, expertise, and compassion necessary to provide assistance to individuals who were involved in car accidents through no fault of their own. Talking to an auto accident attorney is an excellent way to learn more about the details of your specific situation. Whether you need someone to represent you or are searching for legal advice, please, contact us at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation.