Is Arizona a No-Fault State?
A no-fault state is a state where, in a car accident, both sides are assumed to be roughly 50% at-fault. Thus, each driver’s insurance company pays the other’s damages.
Arizona isn’t a no-fault state. In Arizona, who is at-fault for the accident determines who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant in a personal injury case. Yet it’s also a comparative negligence state…which means even if you aren’t “at-fault” for the accident you could see your award being reduced by a significant margin.
How do I know if an accident was my fault?
Usually police officers will make some determination of fault. Insurance company adjusters may do so as well.
You generally won’t know until a determination is made, but you may be able to make a few guesses from the facts of the case.
For example, if you were breaking traffic laws at the time of the accident then you might be found at-fault. You are extremely likely to be found at-fault if you were on any substance during the accident, or if you were texting while driving.
Who is usually at fault in a sideswipe?
Usually the car that is changing lanes is the one that is at-fault. Usually the sideswiper fails to see the car they hit in their blind spot. These accidents almost always occur when someone attempts to merge or pass.
Yet this isn’t always the case. For example, the driver who stayed in their own lane might speed up as the other vehicle changes lanes. Aggressively trying to keep the other car from merging can also result in a sideswipe accident.
Who is usually at fault in a T-bone?
T-bone accidents usually occur at intersections. The driver who fails to give the right-of-way is usually the driver who is at fault. If one of the drivers ran a red-light, then that driver is usually at fault.
Sometimes both drivers fail to observe the right-of-way, or the driver who would have had the right-of-way was too distracted to see that a collision was imminent. In that case, fault might be assigned to both parties.
Who determines fault, and how is it determined?
Police officers and insurance companies can only make recommendations about fault. In the end, the matter of fault is ultimately decided by a judge. If your personal injury case never gets to court then agreeing on fault percentages is something that will happen during your settlement conference.
Your attorney will do their best to shift as much blame as possible onto the other party. To help, you should be careful about what you say, or what you post on social media. You should also make every effort to gather any information your attorney asks for.
Ultimately, fault is about who wins the argument over who is at-fault. Unless there is clear-cut wrongdoing, the best way to prevent being found at-fault is to work with a skilled personal injury attorney.
Reach out to our office to schedule an initial appointment today.