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Who Is at Fault in a Fender Bender?

Who Is at Fault in a Fender Bender?


What is a Fender Bender?

When it comes to minor car accidents, commonly referred to as fender benders, the question of fault can often be as complex as the repairs needed. These incidents usually occur at low speeds, perhaps in a parking lot or stop-and-go traffic. However, this does not mean that no one is ever injured in them. These seemingly straightforward incidents can quickly become convoluted legal cases, especially when injuries are involved.

Examples of different types of fender bender accidents include:

  • Bumping another car's rear bumper due to a sudden stop
  • Scraping the side of a vehicle while trying to park
  • Colliding with a stationary object at low speed

If you're driving in Arizona and find yourself in a fender bender, understanding the nuances of determining fault is essential.

Determining Liability

Liability in car accidents in Arizona, including fender benders, falls under the state's comparative negligence laws. These laws dictate how fault is assessed and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Unlike "no-fault" states, Arizona allows the fault to be divided among parties based on each one's contribution to the accident. Consequently, more than one driver can be found legally responsible.

Potential parties who may bear liability include:

  • The driver who initiated the accidental contact
  • Any drivers behaving negligently, such as texting and driving or speeding
  • Pedestrians or cyclists who may have acted unpredictably or unsafely
  • Vehicle manufacturers, in the case of a mechanical failure that contributed to the accident
  • Municipal entities responsible for road maintenance if poor road conditions played a role in the incident

Arizona's comparative negligence doctrine allows individuals who may hold some level of fault in an accident to pursue damages in a personal injury suit. However, it's essential to understand that the compensation received by a partially at-fault party will likely be reduced proportionally to the degree of their liability.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Fender Bender and Are Injured

If you find yourself involved in a fender bender with accompanying injuries, promptly seek medical attention to document any injuries and begin the necessary treatment—your health and well-being take priority.

Concurrently, it is equally important to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can guide you through the maze of Arizona's personal injury laws. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, negotiate with insurance companies and healthcare providers, and guide you on bringing an injury claim.

Steps to take immediately following a fender bender:

  1. Check for immediate injuries and call 911 if necessary
  2. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s)
  3. Document the accident scene with photos
  4. Report the accident to the police
  5. Seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor
  6. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case

Why Bring an Injury Claim?

Bringing a personal injury claim can be crucial in helping you secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering resulting from a fender bender. This process enables individuals to seek justice and financial relief for the burdens incurred due to another party's negligence or wrongdoing.

In cases where another party's negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Repair costs
  • Pain and suffering

If you need a skilled personal injury attorney following a fender bender in Arizona, please consider reaching out to our team at Alex & Associates for a consultation. We are here to help you through this difficult time.

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