Can I Make a Car Accident Claim in AZ If I Am Partially at Fault?
Were you recently involved in an Arizona car wreck while you were speeding, texting, or making another type of mistake behind the wheel? If so, you might be worried about your resulting accident claim. Even if you were hit by another driver who obviously bears most of the fault, any negligence or traffic violations on your part may still affect the amount of compensation you can recover for resulting injuries and damages.
The short answer here is that you can still file a claim and receive compensation in Arizona, even if you were partially responsible for your own crash. Our knowledgeable car accident attorneys have worked with many accident victims who made a small mistake and still recovered compensation for their losses. To learn how we can help you, contact us for a free consultation.
How Is the Percentage of Fault Determined in a Car Crash in Arizona?
It is common for multiple parties to contribute to the cause of an accident. After all, everyone makes mistakes. In Arizona, liability is determined and compensation is awarded to victims based on the pure comparative fault rule. Under the doctrine of pure comparative fault, at-fault parties are able to claim compensation for their losses as long as the other party involved was at least 1 percent at fault. Even those who are 99 percent responsible for their accident-related injuries are still eligible to claim compensation. However, the amount of compensation would be reduced by their percentage of fault.
To determine the exact percentage of fault for each party involved in a crash, insurance providers, lawyers, and courts evaluate a variety of evidence. Common types of evidence include accident reports, photographs, and traffic data. Trying to judge percentages of fault on your own is very difficult, and it’s never a good idea to make assumptions about your portion of the blame. An experienced car accident attorney can help you evaluate the strength of your claim and know what to expect.
How Are Damages Recovered in Car Accident Claims?
The state of Arizona holds at-fault drivers or their insurance providers responsible for injuries or damages sustained in an accident. If you suffered an injury in a collision, the steps you can take to recover compensation include:
- Calling the police to file an official accident report, which is often used as important evidence in claims
- Gathering evidence and documentation from the accident scene, including photos and witness contact information
- Documenting medical treatment and other losses related to the crash
- Working with an experienced attorney to craft a strong claim for compensation, which may include consulting with experts to determine fault and prove the extent of your losses
- Filing an insurance claim with the at-fault motorist’s provider and negotiating aggressively for a fair settlement
- Filing a civil lawsuit for personal injury damages, if an insurance settlement cannot be reached
What Damages Are Normally Covered in Car Accident Claims?
Although you may have been partially responsible for the conditions that led to your collision, you can still be eligible for compensation covering damages such as:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses
- Related out-of-pocket expenses like travel costs
- Lost income, if you’re hurt and unable to work
- Reductions in potential future earnings
- Pain, suffering, or loss in quality of life
The best way to protect your right to compensation after an accident is to build a strong case supported by sound proof. Car accident lawyers can assist you in understanding your legal rights, collecting solid evidence, and laying the foundations of a convincing case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Arizona?
The statute of limitations is a law that provides an official time limit for filing certain kinds of lawsuits. In Arizona, the law outlines a two-year deadline for most car accident suits involving injury or property damage. This legal time period begins on the date of your accident, which means that your deadline for filing any related lawsuits is two years from that date. Any lawsuits filed after the prescribed timeline may be thrown out by the court.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay If a Car Accident Was Partially My Fault?
This will depend on the amount of damages and the percentage of fault assigned to each driver. The value of the damages you caused (or incurred) can be multiplied by relative percentages of fault to figure out who pays what.
For example, if you collided with another car that was obviously speeding, but you forgot to signal your turn, you may be found 20 percent at fault. If you sustained $10,000 worth of injuries or damages, you could still recover the other 80 percent of the total compensation, or $8,000.
If the driver who hit you in the above example also suffered $10,000 in damages, that driver’s successful claim against you could mean you (or your insurance) would pay for your 20 percent of the fault in their recovery. In this case, your percentage of fault would mean you could owe the other driver $2,000, or 20 percent of the $10,000 recovery total.
Talk to an Arizona Car Accident Lawyer Now
The attorneys of Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC have a diverse range of experience in many types of car accident claims. No matter the circumstances of your case, we are available to review your claim in a free and confidential consultation.
If you were injured in an Arizona car accident, don’t let an insurance company tell you what your case is worth. You may be entitled to compensation even if you were partially responsible. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.