Is Arizona a No-Fault State?

May 20, 2020

Depending on where you live in the country, car accident laws may differ significantly from other states. In the aftermath of a car accident, some states apply a “no-fault” rule, which means that, regardless of which party causes the accident, each driver will turn to their own personal insurance carriers for coverage of their expenses. However, Arizona uses what is considered a fault-based insurance system. It is important that you understand what this is, especially if you are going to be regularly driving in the state.

Determining fault in a car accident case

Because Arizona is a fault-based car accident state, drivers who are injured will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier to recover compensation for their injuries and property damage. Determining fault in these cases is vital, and car accident victims may need help from an attorney for their case. Generally, a skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer will use their resources to uncover the evidence necessary to prove fault. This can include:

  • Video or photographic evidence from the scene
  • Police accident reports
  • Accident reconstruction analysis
  • Witness statements
  • Electronic crash data (“black box” data)

After obtaining all the evidence necessary to prove fault, an injury attorney will use medical bills, proof of lost wages, and proof of other out-of-pocket costs to negotiate with all parties to secure compensation for their client.

What kind of compensation is covered in a car accident in Arizona?

There are various types of compensation that may be available to victims in the aftermath of a car accident in Arizona. In these cases, It is not uncommon for the following types of economic and non-economic damages to be awarded to victims:

  • Coverage of medical expenses related to the crash
  • Lost wages and benefits if a victim cannot work
  • Coverage of out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of personal enjoyment images

The total amount of compensation awarded to victims in an Arizona car accident case will vary depending on the facts related to each particular case. Generally, the more severe the injuries, the more compensation a person will be able to recover.

What if more than one party was at fault?

Arizona operates under what is known as the comparative negligence system. Arizona applies a “pure comparative negligence” approach to car accidents. This means that you can recover compensation for the car accident regardless of how much blame you had for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation a car accident victim recovers will be lowered based on how much they contributed to the incident. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 in damages, but are found to be 25% at fault, your total damages awarded would be reduced by $2,500.

What if the at-fault driver had no insurance?

If you are struck by a driver that has no insurance, you may need to rely on uninsured motorist coverage on your personal insurance policy. However, this type of coverage is not required to be purchased by drivers in Arizona. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you should consider purchasing it. This coverage is relatively inexpensive but will help cover your expenses in these situations. Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage in Arizona can help cover expenses you incur if an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your total accident costs.