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How To Prove Liability After a Rear-End Accident in Phoenix

February 17, 2021

Proving Liability After a Rear-End accident in Arizona

Car accidents are not uncommon throughout the state of Arizona, and this is particularly true for rear-end accidents. While rear-end accidents may seem relatively minor, that is not always the case. A rear-end collision can lead to significant injuries and property damage. It is crucial for any victim in these accidents to be able to determine liability so that they can secure the compensation they deserve. Here, our car accident lawyers want to discuss how liability is proven following a rear-end accident in Phoenix.

How Rear-End Accidents Occur in Arizona

According to data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were nearly 48,000 total rear-end accident collisions across the state during the latest reporting year. This accounted for more than 43% of all collisions that year. Out of these incidents, there were 63 fatal collisions and 13,491 injury collisions.

Rear and accidents occur in a variety of ways. In the vast majority of these situations, liability for these collisions will fall onto the rear driver. Some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions in Arizona include the following:

  • A driver following another vehicle too closely
  • Drivers operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Drivers operating while distracted by phones or another device

Determining liability in these cases will revolve around gathering evidence to prove fault. This evidence can be gathered but the car accident victim or with assistance from their attorney, and can include:

  • Photos taken at the scene of the crash
  • Video surveillance of the incident
  • The police report
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • An examination of the damage

Is Fault Always on the Rear Driver?

Even though most rear-end collisions are the fault of the rear driver, that is not always the case. There may be various exceptions to this, including the following:

  • The front vehicle’s tail lights or brake lights not functioning properly
  • The front driver operating erratically, including slamming on their brakes
  • The front driver changing lanes unexpectedly or without a turn signal
  • The front driver being impaired by alcohol or drugs or distracted by a cell phone

In cases where liability for a rear-end collision is in question, the same types of evidence mentioned above will be used to help prove fault.

Read More: Distracted Driving Laws By State

How Does Shared Liability Change the Compensation?

It could be the case that more than one driver shares fault for a rear-end collision. Arizona operates under a pure comparative negligence system that allows parties to recover compensation even if they are partially at fault (up to 99% at fault) for a collision. However, the total amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if Driver A was following Driver B too closely and caused a rear-end collision, it may be tempting to place all of the fault on Driver A. However, if one of Driver B’s brake lights was out, they may be partially responsible for the incident. In this case, it is entirely possible that Driver B could share 10% of the blame for the incident. If Driver B sustained $10,000 worth of medical bills, their percentage of fault would lower the compensation they receive to $9,000.

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