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How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident in Arizona

September 9, 2020 By John Torgenson

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a serious car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another person, you should be able to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. However, recovering this compensation can be difficult, especially when you are left dealing with aggressive insurance carriers. The most important part of securing the compensation you deserve is determining the liability of the other party involved. Doing so may require the resources and experience of a trusted Phoenix car accident lawyer.

How Is Fault Determined in These Cases?

Fault for a car accident is determined in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, car accident victims are often left in a tough spot because they need to be focused on recovering from their injuries, not working to determine the cause of the accident. Here, we want to review the main methods of determining liability. Some of these can be done immediately after a crash, while others may need to happen in the days and weeks following a crash.

  • The police report. The police need to come to the scene of the crash to conduct an investigation. In most cases, the report they complete will include their analysis of which party was at-fault, though this may not be conclusive. Additionally, if the alleged negligent party broke any laws, the police may make an arrest and document this in their report (i.e. DUI, excessive speeding, racing, reckless driving, etc.).
  • Photos from the scene. If you are able to do so, you should always use your smartphone or other devices to take photographs at the scene of the crash. This includes photos of the damage to vehicles, any injuries, possible causes of the crash, debris laying around the crash, and more. These photos could be valuable evidence when working to show fault.
  • Video surveillance. It may be necessary to try and gather video surveillance from cameras on nearby homes or businesses. This may require assistance from an attorney who can obtain a court order to get the footage. If a picture is worth a thousand words in these situations, then a video showing liability is worth a million words.
  • Statements from eyewitnesses. You may have gotten the names and contact information of eyewitnesses to the crash. Your Phoenix personal injury attorney may be able to get recorded statements from these witnesses to help bolster your case against the negligent party.

What Kind of Compensation Is Available in These Cases?

If you are successful in determining the fault of the other party, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. This could include:

  • Full compensation for your medical bills
  • Lost income if you are unable to work
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Property damage expenses

Even if you are found to be partially at-fault for the incident, Arizona’s comparative fault laws allow you to recover compensation. This law allows a victim to recover compensation even if they are up to 99% responsible for the crash, though the total compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. Regardless of the situation, do not hesitate to call your Arizona Injury Lawyers at (602) 726-0747 if you suffer personal injuries in a motor vehicle collision.

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John Torgenson

John Torgenson is a highly experienced personal injury lawyer with over 20 years of practice in Arizona. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctor from Notre Dame. John has a proven track record of securing substantial verdicts and settlements, including an $8.25 million recovery for a gunshot injury victim. His expertise has earned him AVVO ratings and recognition as a Super Lawyer.

John is also a sought-after lecturer on personal injury law, sharing his extensive knowledge with peers and aspiring attorneys. Beyond his legal practice, John is an avid golfer and actively supports organizations like the Military Assistance Mission, Arizona School for the Arts, Page Balloon Regatta, University of Arizona Foundation, Junior Achievement of Arizona, and the Tim Huff Pro Bono Golf Classic.

Passionate about advocating for injury victims, John dedicates his career to battling insurance companies and corporate interests, ensuring that the rights of those who are hurt are vigorously defended.