In Arizona car accidents, the party at fault or their insurer is responsible for the losses they caused. However, in some situations, there is more than one party at fault. If you’ve been in such a situation, you should consult a Gilbert car accident attorney.
They will explain the Arizona laws in force and how they apply to your particular case. Until you get a chance to talk to an auto accident lawyer, we will cover the basics below.
Basic Car Accident Attorney Advice on Shared Fault in Gilbert AZ Crashes
Let us say you were in a mild accident. The other driver was drunk, lost control of the vehicle and got into your lane, causing a head-on collision. You slammed the brakes but could not avoid the accident because you were speeding.
The fault for the accident belongs both to you and the drunk driver. Under Arizona laws, in such situations, each party is responsible for the share of damages they caused. In order to determine liability, a jury will look at the available evidence and assess liability.
They will assign fault percentages to each driver. Consequently, each driver will cover the percentage of the damages corresponding to their fault percentage. Unlike other states, Arizona does not bar recovery rights.
This means that someone more than 50% for their accident can still seek compensation. Of course, doing so would mean that they incurred most of the damages. Returning to our example, let’s say the jury concludes you were 20% at fault for your accident. This would mean that the other party was 80% at fault.
Let’s say the total damages from the accident reach $25,000. Following the shared fault principle, you would be responsible for $5,000 of the damages. If the damages you incurred exceed this amount, it makes sense to seek compensation. If not, you should probably give up.
There is one more aspect to keep in mind though. Under the circumstances, it is in the best interest of each party to blame the other party. There are no clear standards on determining fault percentages. As a result, you should expect the other party or their insurer to try to blame you for the accident.
With every percentage of fault they attribute to you, they reduce the money they need to pay. The best way to make their efforts worthless and defend your rights is to work with an auto accident lawyer.
How a Gilbert Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Let us return to our example above. Your damages are much higher than the $5,000 you should answer for, so you decide to move forward. The fault percentages will depend on the evidence you present. It is up to you to prove that the other driver was more at fault.
You may have to do this in front of an insurance claim adjuster or in front of a jury. The former scenario implies that you will seek compensation from the insurer of the driver at fault. The latter implies suing the driver at fault in civil court.
In either situation, you should not expect to win without a fight. For both the other driver and their insurer, every percentage of fault attributed to you means less money out of their pocket. Since you are the claimant, the burden of proof falls onto you or your auto accident attorney.
If you are still wondering, yes, working with a car accident lawyer could benefit your case. The latter can help you gather evidence to support your case. They will cite witnesses and experts, use case precedents, and accident scene recreations if necessary.
They will take over all the paperwork and hassles, advise you, and guide you every step of the way. They will negotiate a convenient settlement for you and they will not rest until they get you the compensation you deserve. To find out more about what a lawyer can do for you, consider scheduling a free case review.
Schedule a Complimentary Review of Your Case by a Warnock MacKinlay Car Accident Lawyer
Shared liability cases are among the most complicated but at Warnock MacKinlay, we love challenges. Our Gilbert car accident lawyers have extensive experience in helping accident victims receive compensation. You too can benefit from their experience.
Use the online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our Gilbert car accident attorney will review your case details and let you know where you stand. You will receive answers, advice, and guidance on how to approach your case, all free of charge. If you let us, we will take over everything and get you the money you deserve.