Words like “no-fault state” and “at-fault state” are not commonly used. But, if you are harmed in a car accident in Arizona, you must grasp the concept of liability and how it affects your ability to seek compensation.
Getting fairly compensated for a car accident caused by the negligence of another motorist can provide substantial financial comfort in trying times. Arizona is not a no-fault state.
In Arizona and any other “at-fault state,” the liable party is responsible for covering the losses. You need an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer to help you create a compelling case and show the other driver was at fault.
For now, let’s discuss the insurance system for car accidents in Arizona.
Is Arizona a No-Fault State When It Comes to Car Accidents?
Arizona is not a no-fault state. Arizona is one of 38 states that have a fault-based system for vehicle accident/personal injury liability.
Following a car collision, all parties involved are required to notify their respective insurance providers. The driver found to be at fault must compensate the victim for their injuries. Drivers in Arizona are required to carry liability auto insurance. This liability coverage pays for the victim’s medical bills and other damages up to the policy limit.
Insurance claims must be made as soon as possible. If the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You have up to two years from the date of the collision to initiate a personal injury case.
Understanding Arizona’s At-Fault Laws
To get compensation after a car accident in Arizona, you must demonstrate that another person’s carelessness caused your injuries. In an auto accident lawsuit, your lawyer needs to prove four elements.
- Duty of care: All drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
- Breach of duty: The other driver was careless or reckless in some way.
- Causation: The other driver’s careless or reckless actions caused the accident and your resulting injuries.
- Damages: You suffered injuries and/or financial losses due to the accident.
You can receive compensation for your injuries even if you were partially to blame for the vehicle accident. If you are found to be partially at fault, your compensation will be reduced by the proportion of responsibility awarded to you.
For example, if you are judged to be 25% at fault in an accident, the amount of compensation you receive will be lowered by 25% to represent your part of the blame. Arizona uses the pure comparative negligence standard. This means you can technically recover compensation even if you’re up to 99% responsible.
Can I Sue an at-Fault Driver for Personal Injuries?
In Arizona, injured drivers can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent motorist.
If you feel you have a case, you should seek the advice of a capable Arizona car accident lawyer. Insurance companies would always want to pay less compensation for your injuries, but an experienced Phoenix auto accident lawyer can help you get complete and fair payment.
Required Auto Insurance Coverage in Arizona
If another driver is at fault in a car accident in Arizona, you must submit a claim with their insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company then pays for damages.
Drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage:
- Property damage liability coverage of $15,000
- Coverage for bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person
- The bodily injury liability coverage for each accident is $50,000.
Sadly, not everyone acquires the necessary insurance coverage. If the driver who caused the collision is uninsured, you can turn to your own uninsured motorist policy or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What If the Negligent Driver Lacked Insurance?
Oftentimes, a motorist violates a traffic law, gravely injures others, and fails to carry insurance.
The Insurance Information Institute rated Arizona 24th in the country for the number of uninsured motorists, with an astounding 12% of all drivers in the state failing to carry the legally necessary minimum coverage.
In these situations, you can turn to optional insurance coverage or sue the at-fault driver personally.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If an uninsured motorist hits you, you should have optional coverage to protect yourself, your family, and your passengers.
Uninsured motorist coverage is intended to compensate you like the other driver’s coverage would if they had it. You can still seek compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, is an optional type of car insurance in Arizona. It pays medical expenses after a car accident for the policyholder, other named drivers on the policy, and their passengers regardless of fault.
This can make all the difference if you’ve experienced a catastrophic injury.
Suing the Uninsured Driver
You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, a driver without insurance most likely can’t afford to pay for your damages.
Let a Phoenix Auto Accident Lawyer Help You Win Compensation
Accidents happen without warning and can leave the victims in a financial, physical, and emotional pit, which can be very hard to climb out of. But you can move ahead and leave this painful episode in the past.
A competent Phoenix auto accident lawyer from our law firm can collect evidence, submit your case to the insurance company, and negotiate with the insurance company to settle the claim.
If the insurance company refuses to pay you fairly, our attorneys can move forward with a lawsuit and fight for the full compensation you deserve. The first stage in every case is determining who was at fault.
A skilled Phoenix auto accident attorney will unearth crucial evidence, such as:
- Accident reports from the police
- Accident reconstruction
- Photographic or video evidence from the scene
- Statements of witnesses
- Electronic crash data (also known as “black box” data)
- Billing statements and medical records
You must not delay filing a personal injury claim after being injured in a car accident in Arizona. Contact our firm now and discuss your case with a capable Phoenix personal injury lawyer!