Just because you hit the other vehicle does not immediately mean that you are to blame and will be held liable for the accident. Nor does it automatically mean that you are barred from recovering compensation to pay for damages. Many other factors need to be considered before the fault can be placed on a driver.
The most important thing to do is stay on the scene of the accident, insist on a proper police report, exchange insurance information with the other driver, and take a lot of pictures of the accident scene, including:
- The damage to your vehicle
- The damage to other vehicles
- The roadway conditions
- Skid marks if applicable
- Injuries that occurred during the accident
Arizona follows a “fault” based system when dealing with car accidents. This simply means that the driver who caused the accident—their insurance provider—will be financially responsible for the damage and loss resulting from a collision.
However, Arizona also follows a “pure comparative fault” rule under AZ § 12-2505 when determining liability in a car accident. If there is more than one person partly responsible, the at-fault parties will be held accountable for their percentage of fault.
It is never a good idea to assume responsibility. A car accident lawyer will assist you with understanding liability in your case.
Car Insurance Requirements in Arizona
The law in Arizona requires that every driver has at least a minimum coverage policy with an insurance provider. These legal requirements are:
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for total bodily injury or death liability
- $10,000 for property damage
These types of minimal coverage policies apply only to accidents that you are responsible for causing. This type of policy would not cover injury to your person or property damage. You would need additional coverage called personal injury protection (PIP) and collision coverage to make a claim for personal damages and loss sustained in an accident you cause.
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Common Options for Pursuing Damages Following an Accident in Tucson, AZ
A car accident lawyer will help you understand which course of legal action you can take after enduring injury or loss in a car accident. Even if you hit the other vehicle and are partially responsible for the car accident, you may still be able to pursue compensation by:
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver
- Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider
- If you have the proper coverage, you can file a claim directly with your insurance provider.
Because of “pure comparative fault,” the threshold is 100% liability before you are unable to pursue damages. Therefore, if you are partially at fault, it is important to know two things: specifically, the percentage of your liability and the total value of your damages. After all, if you are found to be 40% at fault, you may still be able to pursue 60% of the total value of your claim, which could still be a substantial amount.
Common Damages You May Recover in a Successful Personal Injury Claim
The total value of a personal injury case depends on the extent of calculable economic losses and the estimated value of your non-economic damages.
This includes any expense related to the accident that is quantifiable and can be calculated. Damages include medical expenses for a doctor’s appointment, ambulance transportation, medications, treatments, medical scans, and future care needs.
If you had to miss work or have a diminished working capacity due to a partial or permanent disability caused by the accident, lost wages and missed advancement opportunities may also be recoverable damages.
In many cases, there are also out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. It is important to keep all receipts for any cash spent on needs related to the accident and your injuries.
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic, non-quantifiable damage that will have a total monetary value, in many cases, determined by a jury. Physical pain and emotional suffering are generally determined based on the extent of your injuries and personal loss.
Mental anguish and loss of consortium are also examples of non-economic damages.
If you lost a family member due to injuries sustained in a car accident, you may also be able to pursue compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, as well as a loss of protection, companionship, and support.
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How a Car Accident Lawyer at Zanes Law Will Help
Our dedicated attorneys at Zanes Law have already collected millions of dollars for clients who have been wrongfully injured from accidents occurring in Tucson.
When you are dealing with injuries, the claims process can seem like an unwanted burden. After all, when you have experienced loss following a car accident, you should be focused on recovering and supporting your family. Zanes Law will offer you the support and guidance you need during these tough times.
Even if you hit the other vehicle in your Tucson, AZ car accident, call our team today at (866) 499-8989 to receive a free consultation. We will evaluate your claim and answer all of your important questions. AZ § 12-542 limits your time to act.