It can be tricky trying to determine who is at fault in a multi-car accident. Sometimes the scene requires a reconstruction expert to determine how an accident transpired. It’s possible that there may be more than one party responsible for your injuries, including you.
If you are hurt in an Arizona car accident involving multiple parties, you need an experienced lawyer to represent you and ensure your rights are protected. Having an attorney who knows how to navigate the complexities surrounding fault determinations is a must if you want fair compensation for your injuries.
How Do Arizona Fault Determinations Work in a Multi-Car Accident?
Arizona is an at-fault insurance state. With traditional tort insurance, the person responsible for the accident pays for the other driver’s expenses. The problem is that accident cases involving more than one party are far from clear-cut in terms of liability. Usually, an investigation is required to sort out what actions drivers took or failed to take that caused the accident. These matters become quite complicated, so hiring an attorney to help with your case is necessary.
Many factors can contribute to multi-car collisions. Your lawyer looks at a number of issues of driver negligence to support your case:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Distracted driving
- Failure to observe posted traffic signs
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
Other parties besides drivers in a multi-car accident can play a part in causing the accident. For example, if hazards are present, there may be cause for naming other entities, such as construction companies or local governments responsible for roadway safety, as parties to a claim. This makes it critical to have a knowledgeable attorney who looks for variables that could affect the outcome of your personal injury case.
How Does Arizona Determine Fault?
All states have regulations that determine how fault is assigned in personal injury cases. Arizona is one of thirteen states that follows the pure comparative negligence system. Under this method, each party is assigned a percentage of fault in a multi-car accident, and the damages owed by each are split according to the percentages. If you bear responsibility for your own injuries, you can recover damages under this rule even if you are 99% at fault.
In some states, there are joint liability rules that allow plaintiffs to seek joint damages from multiple defendants as a whole. In Arizona, the law holds that, in most cases, the parties are severally and not jointly liable.
How Do Pure Comparative Fault Damage Awards Work?
Once percentages of fault are assigned to each party, you receive a damage award that is reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if a total damage award in an accident is $75,000, and you are 20% liable for your injuries, your award is reduced to $60,000. An attorney fights to ensure liability is assigned justly and you receive fair compensation under the law.
Why Is Assigning Liability in a Car Accident Essential?
It is crucial to prove liability to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit. In a multi-car accident, the stakes are even higher in determining liability. You must clear the bar on these four critical areas to pursue your case:
- Duty: A defendant owed you a legal duty of care.
- Breach: A defendant breached that duty.
- Causation: The defendant’s actions were directly responsible for your injury.
- Damages: You suffered harm due to the defendant’s actions or negligence.
While proving these four factors may seem straightforward, having multiple parties involved in an accident adds significant complications. Witnesses to the event may have a difficult time establishing how the event started. Interviews may show what people think occurred is not an accurate assessment of the situation.
How Does an Attorney Develop Your Case?
A thorough investigation is typically a critical part of a multi-car accident case. An attorney may seek the assistance of experts to bolster your claim. These are a few types of evidence that are used to establish fault:
- Admissions by the defendants
- Police reports
- Accident reconstruction analysis
- Smartphone videos or pictures from the accident scene
- Videos from nearby business security cameras or traffic cameras
- Reports from auto shops detailing vehicle damage
- Law violations
- Witness testimony
- Driver behavior, such as negligent or willful actions
Choose an attorney who knows what to look for in complex car accident investigations.
What Does an Attorney Do for You?
Preparing an accident case is a time-consuming and highly detailed process. Most accident victims lack the legal training or skills to face off with insurance companies or legal teams. If you are seriously injured, you need time to concentrate on healing.
An attorney walks you through your responsibilities as they apply to your case and informs you how things will proceed. In cases with multiple parties at fault, it can take time before a lawsuit is decided. Knowing you have a trustworthy and dedicated law firm behind you is key to going the distance until your case is resolved.
Get an Arizona Attorney To Handle Your Multi-Car Accident Case
Getting injured in a car accident is often a devastating physical and emotional event. If you can’t work, bills start to pile up, and the frustration and anxiety deepen. Don’t hesitate to seek legal help if you get hurt in an Arizona multi-car accident. Lawyers understand how to deal with these situations and provide you peace of mind at a difficult time. They assist with critical legal matters while you take time to heal and discover the extent of your injuries.
MDK Law Group is the team you need on your side when there are multiple parties involved in a claim. It is essential to clearly prove liability to make a damage recovery, and we know how to use the law to support your case in a multi-car accident. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay fees unless your case is settled or won. Don’t let time slip by when we are available to help. Contact us to request a free consultation, and we will call you to schedule an appointment.