While personal injury law typically talks about accidents being someone else’s fault entirely, in reality, many accidents are caused by a number of factors. Maybe one driver was going a bit too fast, and another driver turned left when they should have stayed put—crash! While the accident was mostly the fault of the left turner, the speed racer would have either lessened the impact or avoided it altogether if he or she was going the speed limit.
In this situation, how would damages pay out? Both drivers played a part in the accident, so it hardly makes sense to award the full amount to either one.
Arizona’s Pure Comparative Negligence Laws Say YES, You Can Receive Compensation
Arizona is one of the few states in the country that follows the pure comparative negligence system. This means that a judge will assign a percentage of the fault to each party involved in an accident, and the damages will be awarded according to the percentage of fault. In the above situation, let’s say that it was determined that the speeder was 30% responsible for the accident, while the left turner was 70%. A judge rules that the damages total $100,000, so the speeder will receive $70,000 in damages.
Most states follow modified comparative negligence laws have rules that say if you contributed more than 49% or 50% to your accident (12 states have a 50% cap and 21 states follow a 51% cap) you cannot collect damages, otherwise damages are awarded similarly. Only a small handful of states practice what is called contributory negligence law, which does not allow an injured party to collect damages if they contributed to the accident in any way.
If you were injured in an accident and were partially at fault, a personal injury attorney can help ensure that you are awarded a fair amount. For more information, feel free to contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.