Personal Injury Lawyers, Gilbert, AZ

Why Is Winning an Arizona Rear-End Accident Claim Hard?

It takes the right lawyer to fight back against insurance company B.S.

Winning a rear-end accident claim in Arizona can be challenging, especially when dealing with insurance company tactics designed to pay you less. Victims often face reluctance from the at-fault driver's insurance provider to offer fair compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other related damages. In this situation, an experienced rear-end accident attorney can protect your rights and advocate for the maximum compensation you deserve.

In Arizona, the absence of a settlement cap and the obstacles in proving injuries make rear-end accident claims particularly complex. Insurance companies may attempt to minimize the severity of these accidents, complicating the process. They are known to use strategies to undermine claims, such as disputing the necessity of medical treatments, delaying their response to claims, and asking loaded questions designed to elicit damaging statements from claimants.

At Browne Law Group in Gilbert, AZ, we are dedicated to helping you overcome the challenges of your rear-end accident claim. Our commitment is to ensure you confidently navigate these challenges and achieve the best possible outcome. If you were rear-ended and injured in a Maricopa County crash, we are here to help.

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Common rear-end accident injuries

Rear-end accidents are one of, if not the most common, types of crashes in Arizona. This type of crash occurs when one vehicle collides with the back of another, often due to distracted driving, tailgating, speeding, or sudden braking. These accidents are most likely to happen at intersections, stoplights, or on highways during heavy traffic, with scenarios including drivers failing to maintain a safe distance or reacting too slowly to changes in traffic flow. Getting hit from behind while stopped at a traffic light or stop sign is another common type of rear-ender.

Despite insurance companies often minimizing rear-end accidents as "minor" or mere "fender benders," the reality is that the injuries arising from such incidents can be profoundly serious. Research has shown that severe injuries can occur even at speeds as low as 10 mph.

Common rear-end accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash & Neck Injuries
    Whiplash is a common result of the sudden jerking motion in rear-end collisions, causing rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. This can lead to stretched or torn neck muscles and ligaments, resulting in long-term discomfort and reduced mobility.
  • Dislocated Knee and Shoulder Joints
    The impact of a rear-end collision can forcefully jolt occupants, leading to the dislocation of knee and shoulder joints. Such injuries can necessitate surgical intervention and lengthy rehabilitation periods.
  • Broken or Fractured Bones
    The force exerted during a rear-end accident can easily break or fracture bones, particularly in the arms, legs, or ribs, depending on the collision's dynamics and the occupant's position.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
    Even with the use of seatbelts and airbags, TBIs can occur if the head strikes an object inside the car with sufficient force, leading to concussions or more severe brain damage. Brain injuries can also happen in rear-end accidents due to the whipping motion of the head and neck during the collision.
  • Back Injuries
    The back is particularly vulnerable in rear-end collisions, with injuries ranging from herniated discs to fractures that can impact nerve function and mobility.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)
    In severe cases, the spinal cord may be damaged, potentially resulting in partial or total paralysis, a life-altering outcome that may require lifelong care.
  • Glass Injuries
    Flying debris, including shattered glass, can cause facial injuries, lacerations, and even permanent scarring or disfigurement.

Despite receiving medical treatment, victims of rear-end accidents may face chronic pain, significantly impairing their quality of life. These injuries can restrict movement, cause debilitating pain, and diminish the individual's ability to perform daily activities such as working, driving, and enjoying life. However, to an insurance adjuster, your injuries represent nothing more than a threat to the insurance company’s bottom line.

Insurance adjuster tactics in rear-end accident claims

Insurance companies often attempt to downplay rear-end accident claims by asserting that injuries are minor and subjective despite the potential for delayed pain and chronic conditions.

In Arizona, where there's no cap on awards, these claims face heightened scrutiny, particularly concerning the long-term effects of rear-end accident injuries.

However, insurance companies are legally obligated to negotiate in good faith and treat their policyholders fairly. Still, when it comes to rear-end accident claims, they are extra motivated to win. If you were injured in a rear-end accident in Arizona, be wary of the following insurance company tactics:

  • Delays. Successful injury claims must meet specific legal standards and deadlines. Insurance companies know that if they can delay a case long enough, the statute of limitations may expire, closing the case without settling it. They also know that forcing a seriously injured crash victim to chase them down for answers and information might wear them out to the point where any lowball settlement offer looks good.
    • Fight back. An attorney can help by ensuring legal deadlines are met, handling communication with the insurance company, relieving the burden on the injured victim, and pursuing fair compensation.
  • Substandard investigations. When strong evidence to prove a claim is available, some insurance adjusters will go out of their way not to see it. Intentionally conducting an inadequate crash investigation or failing to investigate to maintain ignorance of facts is a long-standing technique that puts a greater burden of proof on the victim.
    • Fight back. A rear-end accident lawyer can address substandard insurance investigations by launching an investigation of their own, finding the facts that matter, and building a strong case that the insurance company won’t be able to ignore.
  • Denying legitimate claims. Although each policy is unique, most include exemptions for intentional damage, wear and tear, or involvement in high-risk activities. Therefore, when denying a rear-end accident claim, an adjuster may insist that injuries were preexisting or the victim was engaged in risky behavior – like distracted driving, speeding, or drunk driving – when the accident happened.
    • Fight back. Thoroughly reviewing policies, gathering evidence to refute assertions of preexisting injuries or risky behavior, and advocating for fair compensation, an attorney can challenge wrongful denials of legitimate claims.
  • Misapplication of comparative negligence. Arizona is among the few states that apply comparative negligence to car accident compensation. In most states, a person must be less than 50-51 percent at fault to seek damages. Meanwhile, in Arizona, a person can be 99 percent at fault and still pursue compensation. However, compensation is reduced proportionally to a person’s crash contribution. For example, a person who is 99 percent at fault stands to recover 1 percent of their damages. Insurance companies know that the more they blame a victim, the less they pay. Blaming the victim is common.
    • Fight back. A lawyer can counter these tactics by accurately determining fault, advocating for fair compensation despite attempts to shift blame, and utilizing knowledge of Arizona's laws to protect the victim's entitlements to compensation.
  • Lowball settlements. Chronic rear-end accident injuries such as whiplash or lower back pain can call for a lifetime of treatment. That’s expensive. With no crash compensatory or punitive cap in Arizona, adjusters are eager to settle rear-enders before the victims understand the full extent of their injuries, needs, and rights. Insurance companies have many strategies to pressure individuals into accepting lowball settlements, including emphasizing time constraints, implying that further negotiation may result in even lower offers, and leveraging the financial strain and emotional stress they're under after the crash.
    • Fight back. An attorney can resist pressure tactics from insurance companies by guiding clients to understand their rights and calculating an accurate claim value that addresses the full range of available damages.
  • Medical necessity. Insurance policies almost always include language specifying payment for “necessary” medical care. Therefore, adjusters may challenge the medical necessity of treatments for rear-end accident injuries. This may include denying pre-approved or pre-authorized medical expenses, requiring excessive documentation and medical tests, retroactively rejecting already incurred medical costs, and asserting that the received medical care was unnecessary.
    • Fight back. Extensive evidence and medical expert testimony may be necessary to prove that medical expenses denials are unfair.
  • Manipulation. Insurance companies are looking for any excuse to deny or reduce a claim. Manipulation tactics often include swiftly obtaining signed statements, exploiting the claimant's shock, using a friendly demeanor to extract critical information, and employing repetitive questioning to confuse or frustrate the injured victim. They may also resort to misrepresentation by distorting policy terms or laws.
    • Fight back. Victims can benefit from the guidance of attorneys with successful track records against insurance company tactics. When the insurance company pushes, victims need someone who isn’t afraid to push back.

In the insurance industry, “acting in bad faith” refers to dishonest or unfair practices towards policyholders, particularly when handling claims. And it’s illegal. While not all insurance company tricks are illegal, some are. Certain tactics are not legal, such as threatening to reduce settlement offers if the claimant seeks legal representation or discouraging claimants from obtaining legal counsel. If you experience any of the above tactics, contact us for a free consultation to protect your rights.

Tell the insurance company, ‘No More B.S.’ Call the Anti-Lawyer Lawyer.

Attorney Byron Browne is not your typical lawyer. In Arizona, Byron is renowned for his no-nonsense approach and track record of getting results. Don't settle for less than you deserve after a rear-end accident — trust Byron Browne to protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a rear-end accident in Maricopa County, contact Browne Law Group in Gilbert, Arizona, to schedule a free case evaluation. A member of our team can listen to the details of what happened, answer questions, and help you decide what to do next.

There’s no charge, no obligation, and no B.S. Just important information you can trust from a lawyer ready to stand up to the insurance company bullies.

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