Law

Car accident Arizona 101: Things you need to know

An unfortunate accident on the highway can leave you in despair. Severe injuries can take months, or years, to heal, while you may have to deal with serious monetary losses. If you are out of work, or have been fired because you couldn’t report at work, the financial aftermath can be hard to manage. Arizona is an at-fault state. If the accident happened because of the other driver’s negligence, you can file a claim with their insurer, for your losses and damages. In your own interest, consider talking to a Tucson auto accident attorney. Here are some important things to know about car accident laws in Arizona. 

Steps to follow 

Right from the accident scene, call 911 and wait for the law enforcement agency to respond. Check if others need medical help and attention, and if you can offer assistance, do all that you can. Cooperate with the investigating officer and share only what is asked. Do not apologize or admit mistake to anyone. If you are at the accident site, try gather evidence – phone numbers and contact details of drivers and witnesses, photos of your injuries, damaged vehicles, and surroundings, video footage of the scene, and insurance details of other drivers. 

If you know an accident attorney, consider calling them right away. If not, schedule a meeting with a known lawyer at the earliest. Your attorney is key for establishing fault and liability and dealing with insurance companies. 

Arizona’s “pure comparative fault” rule

Arizona is a “pure comparative fault” state. What does that mean? For example – If you were awarded $10,000 in compensation and were 20% at fault, you only get $8,000. In other words, you can file for compensation when you have a share of fault, but your final settlement will be lower. In a “pure comparative fault” state, it is possible to ask for compensation or file a lawsuit, if the share of fault is more than 50%.

Statute of limitations

As per the statute of limitations in AZ, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, counting from the date of accident. If the accident resulted in death, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit, within two years from the date of death. 

Two years may seem like a lot of time, but laws like “pure comparative fault”, it’s important to work on the case sooner. Contact an attorney if you need help with your car accident case. 

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