How does fault factor into an award for damages in Arizona?

Some minor auto accidents in Arizona are relatively simple. For example, someone might have struck your vehicle at a low speed, causing little damage and no injuries. Instances like these do not always lead to a civil or criminal trial, as it is easier for the parties to resolve matters between themselves or through their insurance.

However, many car accidents are much more complicated than that. What if, for instance, you were struck in an intersection by someone who should have yielded to your right-of-way, but you were also speeding when the collision occurred? Sometimes, when there is a car crash, both parties are liable in some fashion albeit one party may be much more at fault than the other party. Still, if you were partially at fault for a car accident, does this bar you from suing for damages?

The short answer is, probably. Arizona is a "pure comparative negligence" state. This means that if you sue following a car crash, and your case goes before a jury, the jury will determine how much each party is at fault, and award damages proportionally. Keep in mind, though, that in Arizona if the jury determines that one party intentionally, willfully or wantonly caused or contributed to the crash that injured or killed another person, that party may not receive compensation.

Of course, this post only provides a brief overview of fault in car accident cases in Arizona. Every car crash is different, and thus, legal strategies used in one case may not be applicable to another. Those in Arizona who want more information on pure comparative negligence should consider seeking professional advice, so they can make informed decisions.

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