Arizona is a fault state. If you were driving recklessly (or at fault) in Tucson, you must pay compensation to other drivers who have incurred losses and sustained injuries in the accident. When it’s the other way around, you can recover your losses and damages from the driver at fault. You should consider talking to a Tucson auto accident attorney soon after the crash, no matter the circumstances. For your help, below is an overview of the auto accident laws in the state, along with other details worth knowing.
The statute of limitations
Like other states, Arizona has its statute of limitations. If you want to file a lawsuit against the other driver, you must take action within two years from the accident date. If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit within the same deadline. However, the statute of limitations does not apply to insurance claims, and you must inform your insurance company at the earliest.
Reporting accidents in Arizona
State laws require drivers to report all accidents that result in death, property damage (worth $1,000 or more), or injury. You need to call the local police from the accident scene, and if possible, get a copy of the police report. Do not leave the scene, especially if the accident had serious consequences. Also, call 911 if someone is injured. Regardless of fault, do not apologize, admit fault, or argue with the other driver. Just take as much information and evidence as you possibly can from the accident scene.
Contributory negligence laws
Arizona follows the pure comparative fault rule. If you were at fault for the accident, your settlement would be reduced by the percentage equal to your fault. You can, however, still ask for compensation, even if your fault is more than 50%. That said, let a skilled attorney evaluate your case and your claim’s worth. So, how does the pure comparative fault rule work? For example, if you were 20% at fault and were given $10,000 in the settlement, you will get $8,000 as final compensation.
Do you need a lawyer?
Working with an accident attorney has many advantages. Firstly, they can give a realistic overview of your case and the expected settlement. Secondly, they can negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurer on your behalf. Skilled attorneys know what it takes to negotiate and look into bad faith insurance tactics.
Call an accident attorney soon after your accident.