3 Types of Negligence in Arizona Personal Injury Cases

Personal injuries can lead to significant setbacks for victims. Not only does a person who sustains an injury have to deal with the pain and suffering of the situation, but they are often left with tremendous medical bills as well as disabilities that prevent them from working. Often, victims in a personal injury case can recover compensation for their losses, but this often hinges on proving the negligence of another party involved. Here, we want to discuss a few types of negligence that could be used in a personal injury case in Arizona.

1. Comparative Negligence

Some people confuse the terms “contributory negligence” and “comparative negligence.” While the two may seem similar, they have a fundamental difference. Both revolve around the idea that more than one person could be to blame for an accident. However, states that use a contributory negligence system bar a person from receiving compensation if they contributed in any way to the incident.

Arizona, however, operates under a pure comparative negligence system, which means that an injury victim can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault. When it is determined that the plaintiff in a case was partially responsible for their own injuries, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if a slip and fall accident victim is awarded $100,000 in damages, but they were found to be 20% at fault for the incident, then they would only receive $80,000 in total compensation for their claim.

2. Vicarious Negligence

If you hear the term “vicarious negligence,” which is also referred to as imputed negligence, this means that some other party will also be held liable for the negligent actions of a party they are legally responsible for. The best way to illustrate this point is a parent being held responsible for the actions of their minor child. When it comes to personal injury cases, dog owners are routinely held liable for any injuries caused by their dog.

Vicarious liability is often regularly referred to in medical malpractice practice cases in which the employer is held responsible for the negligent actions of a healthcare employee in their system.

3. Gross Negligence

Negligence is usually defined as a person acting, or failing to act, in a certain way that causes harm to someone else. However, gross negligence is going to be much more serious. Gross negligence is typically defined as extreme indifference or recklessness and a disregard for the safety of others. This will be more than just carelessness or a failure to act. Gross negligence is often willful behavior that takes no regard for the health and safety of others.

A simple comparison may help readers understand the difference between negligence and gross negligence:

  • A driver who runs a stop sign because they did not see the sign, strikes another vehicle and causes a crash will typically be found to be negligent.
  • A driver who intentionally speeds through an area of heavy pedestrian traffic due to a scheduled parade will usually be found to be grossly negligent.

Contact Torgenson Law

If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the negligence or gross negligence of another party, you should work with a skilled personal injury attorney in Phoenix to help prove your case. An attorney will have the resources and legal experience necessary to handle every aspect of your case and help secure maximum compensation.