The majority of car accident claims are part of the personal injury law. As such, the liability is determined on the concept of negligence. So if you were in a car accident that happened due to another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to be compensated for all the losses you sustained due to your injury.
When it comes to car accidents, there are many things that can be considered as negligence:
- Texting while driving
- Merging without looking, etc.
Factors like poor road maintenance or poor car maintenance can further support your claim, and Schenk Podolsky as your car accident law firm will conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine who is really at for the collision.
Since Arizona uses the traditional tort liability system, the person at fault will have to compensate you for your damages.
Arizona follows two key statutes and applies them in personal injury cases. These are Sections 12-542 and 12-2505 of the Arizona Revised Statues.
Under the Section 12-542, which determines the statute of limitation for car accident claims, the victim has two years to file a claim for the damages he/she suffered. In the event that the victim died in the car accident, the family also has two years from the date of death to seek compensation
Under the Section 12-2505 establishes comparative negligence. This basically means that you as the victim can seek compensation even if you were partially at fault for the car accident.
How can you determine who is at fault in a car accident?
In Arizona, fault in car accidents is determined based on the law of negligence. This of course requires extensive investigation in order to determine who was actually negligent. The investigation includes:
- reviewing photos of the scene,
- visiting the scene,
- examining the maintenance records of the vehicles,
- assessing the nature and severity of the injuries of those involved in the accident and
- reviewing other documentation.
Once all the information is gathered, experts are then able to reconstruct the accident and determine who was at fault.
If others witnessed the accident, make sure that you collect their contact information because they can play a significant role in determining who is at fault. Our attorneys at Schenk Podolsky will contact potential witnesses and determine whether their statements/testimonies might be beneficial for your case.
Another source of proof and support for your case can be police reports. When you’re in a collision, the first thing that you absolutely must do is call 911. Firstly, to determine if you have any injuries (and to asses them) and secondly so that the police can come to the scene of the accident and create a report. Police reports aren’t a must-have in order for you to file a claim, but it can certainly strengthen your case. The police report will usually contain:
- The other driver’s contact information
- Contact information of witnesses (if any)
- Description of the damage on each vehicle as well as skid marks
- The officer’s determination of fault
In our next post, we will dive further in the process of filing a car accident claim and what else might you expect in the process