A car accident is a jarring experience. A crash can take a severe physical, emotional, and financial toll. The best way to move forward is to understand your situation and make educated fact-based decisions. So is Arizona a no-fault state for car accidents?
What Is a No-Fault State?
In a no-fault state, responsibility for a car accident (fault) is not a primary factor in determining who pays for damage and injuries caused by a crash. In no-fault states, the insurance policy of each participant in the accident pays for their injuries damage and injuries.
While no-fault states do not consider fault a primary factor in deciding who will pay for damages, there are exceptions. For example, some no-fault states have provisions that make fault a relevant factor if a crash causes costly damage and injury. The laws of every state vary, so if you are in a no-fault state, make sure to familiarize yourself with any potential exception to no-fault rules.
Is Arizona a No-Fault State (or Tort State) for Car Accidents?
No. Arizona is a comparative fault state, which means who is at fault is a relevant factor in determining who pays for damages that result from a car crash. Moreover, in comparative fault states, responsibility for an accident is non-binary: fault comes in degrees. If you are the hit in a car crash but still found 30% at fault, then when you are awarded damages they will be reduced by 30% to account for your fault.
Arizona is also a tort state, meaning people in Arizona can sue for damage and injury that results from a crash. This is true for any crash no matter how little damage it causes.
The statute of limitations for a car accident in Arizona is two years. Therefore, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident.
Who Is Liable for a Car Accident in Arizona?
While the process for determining liability for a car accident in Arizona is on its face simple, in practice, it is far from it.
In Arizona, two factors primarily determine fault.
- Negligence – A driver is guilty of negligence if they broke a law that resulted in a car crash. For example, running a stop sign.
- Breaching the standard of care – In Arizona, the standard of care is the reasonable person standard. Meaning, a court can determine someone at fault for an accident if they acted in a manner that they deem unreasonable.
Determining liability for auto-accidents in Arizona is not tricky because of what established liability; instead, it is tricky because you can fault can be partially distributed. Even if you are in the right, it is possible that you will be found at fault to some degree.
Laws in Arizona Regarding Car Accidents
- Liability insurance is required in Arizona.
- You can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company directly.
- If you get into a car accident with an uninsured driver, uninsured motorist insurance is the only way to guarantee compensation for damages.
Car accidents cause a great deal of stress. The best way to manage that stress is to take proper measures to protect yourself moving forward. Given that Arizona is a comparative fault state, liability is complicated. The difference between being found 10% and 20% liable for an accident can amount to thousands of dollars. If you are dealing with the aftermath of an Arizona car accident, your safest bet moving forward is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.