Liability means that a person or entity is legally responsible for and obliged to make good any loss or damage they have caused.
In Arizona, personal injury and wrongful death liability is defined as ‘several’ only and not joint. This means that in personal injury cases, each liable party is responsible only for the damages proportionate to their percentage of fault.
For example, if you are injured in a truck accident, there may be several parties who share in the liability. Our investigation may find that the truck driver had not slept in over 24 hours and carelessly drove through a red stoplight. That driver is liable for violating a traffic law. However, we may also find that the trucking company scheduled the driver for a double shift and he feared repercussions if he did not comply. The trucking company would, therefore, be partially responsible, as well.
We might also find that an overgrown tree obscured the stoplight and that the maintenance department had been made aware of this road hazard but failed to remedy it. If a freight company overloaded the truck and prevented its stopping quickly, they could be liable, as well.
In another example, let us assume that your injuries were caused by medical malpractice. Part of the liability may rest with a doctor who failed to diagnose and treat your septic infection properly. However, we may discover upon investigation that your nursing home was aware of an outbreak of sepsis and did not take the proper steps to prevent it from spreading. In that case, the nursing home administration would share in the liability for your damages.
It is important to note that a court may also consider the percentage of fault of parties not named in an action. In the example above, this means that if a court decided that nursing home administration was 60% liable, the doctor would only be held accountable for 40% of your damages. You would be left to fund the remaining 60% of the costs of medical care, rehabilitation, and any other expenses stemming from your injuries.
As you can see, the concept of liability can become quite complicated in personal injury cases.
Your attorney and our team at Zanes Law understand just how critical it is that your claim is investigated and all at-fault parties identified. We make sure that each liable party can be made to pay the compensation you deserve.
We investigate the full scope of your injuries and what caused them. Each liable party is identified, and we gather the evidence necessary to prove that liability to insurers or, when necessary, in court. Our entire team at Zanes Law are passionate advocates for personal injury victims. Reach out to us at 866-499-8989 for a free consultation in your home or hospital room.