If you’re ever involved in an auto accident in Arizona, it’s important to know the basics of the law and how the situation might unfold after the incident. Taking the time to understand some of the high-level pieces can help you determine which direction to go in the days and weeks following and when it might be right to consider hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
What Comparative Fault Means in Arizona Auto Accident Law
Arizona is a comparative fault state, which means that courts will break down each individual’s responsibility for an accident when assessing damages in personal injury lawsuits. For example, if you were going fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit and were in an accident with someone who ran a stoplight, the court may find that you were 20% responsible for the accident, while the other party was 80% responsible. As a result, your settlement would be reduced by 20% of the normal damages.
Along with that, Arizona law has a statute of limitations that requires any lawsuit brought for injury, vehicle damage, or wrongful death be brought within two years of the incident. If the lawsuit isn’t brought within this amount of time, it will likely be dismissed.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Arizona
Especially in the sprawling Phoenix area, car accidents are not uncommon, especially at high speeds on the city’s expansive freeway network.
If you end up getting into an accident and have confirmed that no one needs immediate medical attention, it’s important to stay at the scene and answer any questions should the local police arrive to assess the situation. You’ll also need to exchange insurance and other important information with the other driver(s) and ensure everything has been answered and documented before leaving.
It’s also a good idea to take your own personal notes promptly following the incident while details are still fresh. The more facts that can be independently confirmed, the easier it may be if you decide to pursue damages. Taking pictures of injuries and vehicle/property damage also helps establish the actual severity of damage rather than returning at a later date when things might change.
Above all, if you feel that you’re entitled to damages following an auto accident in Arizona, it’s important to consult a qualified personal injury attorney to learn about your rights and options. Call Rabb & Rabb, PLLC today at (520) 888-6740 to learn more and schedule your free consultation.