When you’ve been injured in a car accident by a negligent driver, it may seem obvious as to who is to blame. If your driver was drunk, distracted, or otherwise careless at the time of the accident and you were the one to suffer, it makes sense that the driver would be held responsible to pay your damages, which can add up to thousands of dollars in lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
However, in the state of Arizona, these cases aren’t always so simple, especially if you are found to be partly responsible for your accident. Known as a “comparative negligence” state, Arizona follows a rule that reduces the amount of compensation a victim is able to recover based on the percentage equal to their share of fault.
This means that while in most car accident cases a jury only has to assess the amount of a victim’s damages and evidence of the driver’s negligence, in Arizona, a jury must also calculate the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. For instance, if you’ve been injured and have calculated that you need $100,000 in financial compensation but the jury decides you’re actually 30% at fault for the accident, you may only be entitled to receive 70% of the $100,000 total.
When Might I Be Partly at Fault for a Car Accident?
It may seem unfair that you’re unable to recover the total amount you need if you were the one to suffer after a car accident, but every person using the road is responsible to practice safe driving and protect their own safety, as well as the safety of others. Anyone can be held negligent if they’re found to have put their safety at risk.
Some common forms of negligence that can prevent you from securing the full amount of compensation in a car accident claim include:
- As a driver, speeding, which can be illegal if you’re going over the speed limit and is considered reckless driving
- As a pedestrian, jaywalking or making sudden movements (pedestrians are required to use marked crosswalks)
- Tampering with the driver’s operation of a vehicle
- Riding with a driver whom you know is drunk, fatigued, or reckless
- Riding in a car you know is defective
In a car accident case, the driver you’re filing a claim against has to prove that your negligence also contributed to the accident. An example is that if you were injured as a pedestrian, the driver must prove that your running into the street instead of using a crosswalk caused your accident.
Locally Based Law Firm with a Commitment to Arizona Clients
When you’ve been injured in a state with specific personal injury claim rules and regulations, you should entrust your case to a local law firm that is well-informed and has handled claims like yours before. At Alex & Associates, our Phoenix attorneys have decades of experience helping injured individuals and families throughout the state of Arizona. We know about Arizona traffic laws and the common causes of car accidents in our area, so we’re prepared to get started on your case if you’ve been injured in an auto accident.
Through our advocacy, we can recover damages for you like the costs of medical bills, including surgeries, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, and more, as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. You deserve to have an attorney on your side who knows how to secure the maximum amount of compensation available to you under the law.
Contact Alex & Associates online or by phone at (602) 483-6114 if you were injured anywhere in Arizona. We’re well-versed on state laws and have successfully settled countless car accident claims since 1974.