Getting into a car accident can be an incredibly scary experience for those involved. Securing compensation in the aftermath of a vehicle accident is a crucial but complicated process. Some states across in the US are considered “no-fault” accident states, which means that drivers turn to their personal insurance carrier to recover compensation for their injuries and property damage, regardless of which party caused the crash. However, Arizona is not a no-fault state. Like most other states across the country, Arizona operates under a fault-based system when it comes to car accident liability.
Proving Liability in an Arizona Car Accident Case
According to data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were nearly 130,000 total vehicle collisions during the latest reporting year across the state. Out of these incidents, there were 53,809 total injuries and 982 total fatalities. Most of these incidents also resulted in some sort of property damage, regardless of whether or not there were injuries involved.
Because Arizona operates under a fault-based system concerning car accidents, it is crucial for injury and property damage victims to prove liability in order to recover compensation for their losses. Whether or not a case is resolved through settlements with insurance carriers or a personal injury lawsuit, liability can be difficult to prove.
Car accident victims in Arizona are strongly encouraged to work with a skilled lawyer who can use their resources and legal expertise to obtain all evidence needed to prove liability. This can include the following:
- Any police or accident reports
- Vehicle “black box” data
- Cell phone data
- Photos from the accident scene
- Any available video surveillance
- Statements from eyewitnesses
By using all of the evidence gathered related to the accident as well as an injury victim’s medical bills and proof of other expenses, an Phoenix car accident lawyer can put together a solid case to present to insurance carriers or a jury if necessary.
Understanding Comparative Negligence in an Arizona Car Accident Case
Arizona also operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. As part of the fault-based process in this state, this means that car accident victims can still recover compensation for their injuries and property damage even if they were partially or mostly responsible for the incident (up to 99%). However, the total amount of compensation a car accident injury victim in Arizona receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the incident.
For example, suppose Robbie is rear-ended by an intoxicated driver and sustains injuries that lead to $100,000 in medical bills. However, suppose that during the investigation, it was determined that Robbie’s tail lights were malfunctioning, and he was, therefore, responsible for 20% of the incident. In this case, Robbie would receive $80,000 in total compensation as opposed to the full $100,000.
What if an out of state driver has no-fault insurance and causes a crash in Arizona?
Drivers who live in states that use no-fault insurance regularly passed through Arizona. If a driver with no-fault insurance does get into an accident in Arizona, the incident will be handled based on the fault-based system we use in this state. The no-fault driver’s insurance carrier will proceed forward with the minimum coverages required under Arizona law.