Arizona is the place to be: from its gorgeous natural attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, to an unparalleled selection of sporting events, there is always plenty to do -- and plenty to drive to. Whether you are a local taking in a Suns or Cardinals game, or an out-of-towner visiting for Spring Break baseball or feasting your eyes upon one of America's greatest treasures, if you get into a car accident in the state, you'll want to know about Arizona car accident compensation laws. Fortunately, they're among the most favorable to drivers in the nation.
'At Fault' Rules Apply
Arizona is one of many states that employs an "at fault" (often called a "tort") system for insurance claims. For a successful claim, a driver must show fault on the part of the other driver before insurance claims will be paid out.
An interesting local wrinkle is that Arizona is a "pure comparative negligence" jurisdiction. This means that should your case proceed to trial, a jury will assign percentages of fault to each driver, and if a driver is even one percent at fault, the other driver, who is 99 percent at fault, will recover some amount of damages. In many other states, if a party is more than 50 percent at fault, they recover nothing.
Below, you'll find a table highlighting important aspects of Arizona's car accident compensation laws.
Types of Damages
Lawyers and insurance companies often divide damages into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the easy ones to calculate: car repairs, past and future medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages cover harder to value damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disability or disfigurement.
Examples of common car accident damages include:
- Replacement vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Medical Expenses
- Rental cars
- Lost wages
- Loss of affection or companionship
Limits on Damages
It should come as a relief to seriously injured drivers that Arizona has no cap on damages in personal injury or car accident cases whatsoever -- a state constitutional provision outright prohibits damage caps.
There is one limit that does apply, however: every car accident has a time limit (Statute of Limitations) for filing a legal case, which in Arizona is two years for auto accidents. Before you file a legal case, of course, you'll want to try filing an insurance claim, and since delays are common with insurance companies, it is in your interest to file your claims quickly, so that you still have time to file a lawsuit if needed.
Better Understand Arizona Car Accident Compensation Laws: Talk to a Lawyer
Arizona's comparative negligence system exposes you to liability if you have a modicum of fault for a car accident. Additionally, the lack of a damage cap makes the value of a car accident case, especially for damages like pain and suffering, hard to predict unless you deal with car accidents regularly. Contact an experienced car accident attorney to learn about the strength of your claim and the amount of compensation available for your case.