If you’re injured in a vehicle collision in or near the Phoenix area because another driver was negligent, you will need to schedule a consultation – as quickly as possible – with a Phoenix car accident attorney to discuss your legal options and your right to recover compensation.
Most personal injury claims in the State of Arizona are based on negligence. When it’s clear who is at fault for a traffic collision, the law in Arizona requires the at-fault driver to compensate the injured victims for their medical expenses, lost wages, and related losses and damages.
But in many traffic accidents, fault is not entirely one-sided, and each of the drivers was at fault to some degree. When traffic collisions result in personal injury claims, the law in Arizona holds to the legal principle of comparative negligence.
What is comparative negligence? How will it apply if you are injured in a traffic crash in or near the Phoenix area? What are your rights as an injured victim of negligence? When should you contact a Phoenix traffic accident lawyer? Keep reading for the answers you may need.
How Many Traffic Collisions and Injuries Happen in Arizona?
According to the data published by the Arizona Department of Transportation, more than 120,000 total traffic collisions were reported in this state in 2021, resulting in more than 35,000 serious injuries and more than 1,000 fatalities.
Many of these accidents happened because two drivers made mistakes simultaneously. When simultaneous mistakes by drivers cause collisions and injuries, liability is determined using the comparative negligence principle that is the basis for Arizona’s traffic laws.
How is Comparative Negligence Applied in Arizona?
Comparative negligence in Arizona allows a driver who is injured in a traffic accident to recover compensation even if that driver was partially at-fault for the accident. In fact, even if you were 99 percent at-fault for an accident, if you were injured, Arizona lets you recover compensation.
Here’s how comparative negligence works: Driver One makes a reckless and sudden lane change and collides with Driver Two, who was moving twelve miles per hour above the speed limit.
An Arizona judge, jury, or insurance company may determine Driver One was eighty-five percent at-fault due to driving recklessly and Driver Two was fifteen percent at-fault due to speeding.
If Driver Two’s damages total $100,000, under the comparative negligence rules in Arizona, Driver Two’s compensation is decreased by fifteen percent and that driver will recover $85,000. The other driver would then be able to recover fifteen percent of her damages against the driver that was fifteen percent at-fault.
How Are Personal Injury Claims Settled in Arizona?
Most personal injury claims arising from traffic accidents are resolved when the lawyers for both sides meet privately and out-of-court to negotiate a settlement. However, if no reasonable settlement offer is forthcoming, or if liability for the crash is disputed, the case may go to trial.
At a personal injury trial, jurors consider testimony from each side, view photographs of the collision and the vehicular damages, and are asked to determine which motorist should be held liable. If both motorists have liability, a jury decides how much liability to assign to each.
What Will an Arizona Injury Attorney Do on Your Behalf?
Personal injury lawyers in Arizona negotiate with auto insurance companies on a regular basis. They know all about the negotiating tactics these companies employ, and they also know what it takes to recover the full compensation that the injured victims of negligence need and deserve.
Your Phoenix car accident attorney needs to examine the evidence and question the witnesses as quickly as possible. If you don’t contact a lawyer at once, memories fade, evidence deteriorates, and it becomes more difficult to prove your injury claim and to recover your compensation.
Your traffic accident lawyer will explain how the comparative negligence rules in Arizona apply to your case. Your lawyer will negotiate – and if necessary, go to trial – for the justice and compensation you need and deserve as the injured victim of another driver’s negligence.
Why Does an Injury Victim Need an Attorney’s Help?
Too many traffic injury victims do not seek a lawyer’s help. They often end up settling their claims too early, and they accept inadequate settlements. If you do that, you will also be waiving your right to receive further compensation as well as your right to take additional legal action.
A Phoenix traffic accident lawyer will fight aggressively to make sure that you are fully compensated for your medical bills, your lost income, your personal pain and suffering, and all of your related losses and damages after you have been injured by another driver’s negligence.
What is the Deadline for Taking Legal Action?
In most cases, Arizona’s deadline for bringing a personal injury claim based on a traffic accident is two years from the date of the accident. If you are bringing a personal injury claim against a government employee or government agency, the deadline is one year.
Exceptions to these deadlines are limited, but if you’ve missed a deadline, speak to an attorney to determine if your case qualifies as an exception. And if you have been recently injured in a traffic crash, or if you are injured that way in the future, contact a personal injury lawyer at once.
Quick action allows your injury attorney to examine the evidence before it deteriorates or disappears and to question the witnesses before their memories fade – or before those witnesses also disappear.
How Can an Injured Accident Victim Afford a Lawyer?
If you are seriously injured in a traffic crash, you may be unable to return to work for weeks, months, or in the worst-case scenario, you may be permanently disabled. With medical bills piling up alongside your regular monthly obligations, how can you pay for a lawyer’s help?
These are issues that victims must deal with if they are unrepresented. Personal injury lawyers in Arizona offer a free first legal consultation to the injured victims of negligence. It’s your opportunity to receive personalized legal advice and to learn how Arizona law applies to your case.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, so if you move forward with an injury claim, you’ll pay your lawyer no fee upfront, and you’ll owe no lawyer’s fee until and unless your lawyer recovers an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf.
If you and your attorney can prove your personal injury claim, you will be compensated, and the law will be on your side. Finally, and again, this cannot be stressed strongly enough: If you are injured by a negligent driver, arrange at once to speak with an Arizona personal injury attorney.