Arizona is a fault-based car insurance state. This is a traditional system in which the party at fault for causing the car accident will have to pay for victims’ damages. The at-fault driver will compensate people he or she injured through negligence or recklessness. It is important to prove it if you did not cause a car accident in Arizona. Otherwise, your insurance company may end up paying for damages you were not responsible for – leading to an increase in your insurance premiums.
You could also end up as the defendant in a civil action, potentially paying out of pocket for an accident you did not cause. A lawyer can help you prove your case in Phoenix.
What You Must Prove
To prove you were not at fault in an auto collision, you must prove someone else was at fault. You or your car accident attorney will need evidence that someone else was responsible for the collision. Otherwise, you may end up paying for the damages unfairly. Most car accident and personal injury cases in Arizona require four main elements of proof to hold someone liable for your auto accident.
- Duty of care owed. Your side of the case must establish that the other driver, the defendant, owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. All drivers owe this duty to other roadway users.
- Duty of care breached. The other driver must be guilty of a breach of the duty of care, such as texting and driving, distracted driving, breaking a roadway rule, failing to yield, running a red light, or speeding.
- The other driver’s breach of duty of care must be the main reason your car accident happened. His or her failure to exercise reasonable care must be the proximate cause of your wreck.
- Finally, your lawyer must prove that you have compensable losses or damages due to the other driver’s negligence. These damages can include physical injuries, pain and suffering, property damages, and medical bills.
These are the four elements you will need to establish that you were not at fault for the auto accident, in most cases. If your car crash involves strict liability, such as the doctrine of product liability, you may not need to prove negligence. Conversely, these are the same elements another driver would have to prove against you to establish your fault for the collision. Hiring an injury lawyer in Phoenix can help you prove your case.
What Can Help You Prove Fault?
Proving your car accident claim will come down to the strength of the evidence you have against the other driver. You can take steps immediately after a car accident to help your case against the at-fault party. Start gathering any evidence available as soon as you can – from the scene of the crash, if possible.
- Photographs and videos from the accident site
- An official police report
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Medical documents and x-rays
- Cellphone records
- Accident reconstruction
- Testimony from car accident experts
Do not admit fault after an auto accident in Arizona. Do not apologize to the other driver or tell the responding police officer that you caused the crash. Do not admit fault to an insurance company or its claims adjusters, either. Only answer the questions asked of you – do not offer up any additional information or speculation. Then, contact an attorney for assistance proving fault.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer will be familiar with all the steps and actions it takes to prove someone else’s fault for your collision. Your attorney can investigate the wreck, collect evidence against another party and help you refute allegations of fault against you. A lawyer can help you with every stage of the claims process to improve your chances of securing fair compensation. Contact a car accident lawyer in Phoenix right away after a crash for your greatest odds of a successful case.