What are the Arizona Car Accident Laws?

What are the Arizona Car Accident Laws?

Arizona car accident laws provide specific statutes for car accident cases. Including the minimum requirements for car insurance and explaining how liability is determined. In 2020, a total of 98,778 car accidents took place, 41,350 of those resulting in injuries*.

It is essential to know your rights if you find yourself a victim in an Arizona car accident. Gathering all the evidence you need to pursue a claim will help your Arizona car accident lawyer.

Arizona is an At-Fault State

The two different categories for placing fault vary from state to state. They can be deemed at-fault states or no-fault states. The difference between at-fault and no-fault states is that no-fault states have required insurance called personal injury protection. Personal injury protection covers the injured’s medical bills.

In at-fault states, the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage will compensate for the injured’s medical expenses. Personal injury protection is optional in these states. At-fault states are often referred to as tort states. This is because the driver at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying for the injured party’s medical bills.

However, suppose the at-fault party doesn’t hold the required bodily injury liability insurance. In that case, the injured party will be out-of-luck. Unless they have uninsured motorist coverage or get personal injury protection coverage.

Uninsured Motorist is insurance coverage that protects the victim of a car accident. UM makes it so they will not be stuck paying out of pocket for their damages. In no-fault states, the personal injury protection coverage would provide payment for medical expenses. This means they wouldn’t depend on the at-fault party’s insurance.

If you are involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance would be liable to pay for your injuries. If you add PIP coverage to your car insurance plan, it is likely to be reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurance once a settlement amount has been reached.

The required Arizona car insurance minimums are $25,000 for bodily injury/death for one person. Then for bodily injury/death, it is $50,000 for two or more people and $15,000 for property damage. It is important to remember that these minimums are not for your injuries and damages. It is also recommended to have personal injury protection for injuries and collision coverage for your property damage.

Pure Contributory Vs. Pure Comparative Vs. Modified Comparative

There are three categories used to identify the negligent driver, and each state uses a different identifier.

There are three categories used to identify the negligent driver, and each state uses a different identifier.

  1. Pure Contributory
    • If the at-fault driver can prove that the injured party was at least 1% negligent for the accident, the injured party would not be able to claim any compensation from the other driver’s insurance.
      • Used in: Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
  2. Pure Comparative
    • When both parties are found to be negligent for the car accident, the settlement amount is directly correlated with the percentage of fault placed on each driver involved. If a driver is found to be 70% at-fault, they are still entitled to 30% of their total damages to be compensated.
      • Used in: California, Alaska, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and New York
  3. Modified Comparative
    • If the injured party is found to be negligent above a certain percentage, they would not be able to collect any compensation for their damages. In most states, the percentage is 51% or higher for the injured party to not receive compensation.
      • Used in: Colorado, Maine, Hawaii, Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and Massachusetts

Determining who is at-fault in an Arizona car accident isn’t always clear-cut. That’s why the state uses the pure comparative strategy to determine fault.

Arizona Car Accident Laws

ARS 12-542: The statute of limitations for car accident claims in Arizona is two years. Victims must file before the two years are up to receive compensation for their injuries and damages.

ARS 12-2505: The law of pure comparative negligence states that a car accident victim can seek partial compensation for their injuries even if they were found to be partially at-fault for the car accident.

Damages That Can Be Claimed for an Arizona Car Accident

If you are involved in an Arizona car accident, you should know what you can claim. We all know the obvious injuries and property damage, but did you know you can claim for other expenses too?

After a car accident, your injuries, if severe, can put you out of work for weeks or even months! When speaking with our Arizona car accident attorneys, you can claim all of those lost wages in the settlement amount too.

Pain and suffering is another claim you can make in the settlement, but it’s not only about your injuries. Pain and suffering also includes depression, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life. With the proper evidence, an Arizona car accident lawyer will make sure you are fully compensated for all of your damages.

* Source: https://azdot.gov/sites/default/files/media/2021/07/2020-crash-facts.pdf

About the Author

Alan Beal

esquire law attorney Alan Beal

Alan Beal is a trial attorney who has dedicated his professional career to helping real people navigate the complexities of the insurance and legal system. Before joining Esquire Law, Alan represented insurance corporations in a variety of legal matters, ranging from personal injury to product liability disputes. His experience as an insurance defense attorney provides ... Alan Beal

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