You should retain an attorney in AZ immediately to file claims against all culpable parties!!
Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.
Talk to a local personal injury attorney ASAP. They will go after any responsible party. Also, do not give any recorded statements or sign any authorizations before meeting with an attorney.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
To answer your question directly, you can file a "claim" with the insurance company for both drivers. Should negotiations fail, you would file suit against both drivers. The DUI driver's insurance carrier will likely evaluate the claim higher from a monetary standpoint because of the DUI issue and the punitive damages associated with such a claim. While the insurance company will say they do not owe for punitive damages relating to the DUI in accord with the policy it is still certainly taken into consideration.
In as far as the offer from the other drivers insurance company (the 500.00 offer). That sounds like a nuisance offer. or an offer based on very little medical information/treatment. If you are having neck and head pain you should get the treatment you need. However, be aware, if there is a gap in time between the accident and treatment or a gap in treatment the insurance company will want to argue about that treatment. You really should talk to an attorney about these issues. Myself and many attorneys provide free consultations. Feel free to call if you need more information 480-208-1835. Good luck
I am an Arizona attorney. AVVO does not pay us for our responses. Simply because I responded to your question does not mean I am your attorney. In Arizona a non-lawyer is held to the same standards as an attorney so there are dangers to representing yourself. This is for informational purposes only. If you require legal assistance an in depth discussion of your case is needed as there are many other issues to consider such as defenses, statute of limitations, etc. I am happy to provide you with a consultation free of charge if you contact me.
You need an attorney. With the multiple allegations flying about, you need an experienced attorney to help you.
So long as the accident occurred within the last 2 years, you can make a claim against any responsible party
I would not accept anything from any insurance company at this point.
Given the facts you have provided, you have multiple issues present. The method and approach in which you handle each and every issue will have an impact on your ultimate result.
1. Whether a driver was cited for an alleged citation will not come in as evidence at trial. It will still be your burden to prove that each driver failed to act as a reasonable and prudent driver at the time of the collision.
2. If you believe driver #2 contributed to your collision, punitive damages are available in AZ when the defendant driver was found to be under the influence. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant monetarily, and will increase the value of your claim against that defendant.
3. Do not accept the $500 offered, especially if you are still experiencing neck and head symptoms. This is a typical tactic of the insurance industry, to settle fast and cheap before the real damages are exposed.
4. Consult with an attorney to discuss more fully all the issues involved in your claim so you can become educated on your legal options available, make a better decision, and most importantly maximize your recovery.
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