What Happens If I’m at Fault in a Car Accident?
Were you the cause of a car accident? If so, it’s important you understand the implications of being found at fault in Arizona. There are numerous factors that go into determining fault status, including your driving record, the location of the accident, and if anyone was injured.
This blog will outline how Arizona handles fault, what it means if you are found at fault, and the potential consequences.
Is Arizona a Fault-Based State?
Laws surrounding personal injury lawsuits differ between fault and no-fault states. In fault states, the insurer of the person who is liable is responsible for paying damages. On the contrary, in no-fault states, both parties’ insurers can be held responsible for injuries and damages.
Arizona is a fault state, meaning you or your insurance company is responsible for paying out damages if you are found at fault. Bystanders, passengers, animals, and cyclists can all hold you responsible for damages in Arizona.
What Does Being at Fault Mean?
Being at fault means your actions directly contributed to the accident. This could be running a red light, texting while driving, trailing a vehicle too closely, or driving too fast. Even if you played a major role in the car accident, you might not be found 100% at fault. Arizona has a comparative negligence system, assigning a negligence percentage for each party’s involvement.
You will only be held responsible for the amount you contributed to the accident. Let’s say that you rear-ended someone, but their brake lights didn’t work. You aren’t on the hook for the entire liability since both parties contributed to the accident.
What are the Consequences of Being at Fault?
There are additional consequences for being found at fault outside of monetary fines. First, you might lose your license. If a judge found that you were acting carelessly, they could revoke your license. This doesn’t mean you lose your driving rights altogether, but they can be restricted.
Insurance is another consequence of being found at fault. Your insurance carrier might impose higher premiums or drop your coverage altogether. Your driving history is one of the main factors that go into your rate calculation.
The state of Arizona also enforces stiff fines and penalties for at fault drivers. Some car accidents can be classified as felonies, such as driving under the influence and causing bodily harm. Failing to yield, following too closely, and speeding are all punishable offenses with fines and penalties.
Finding a Qualified Arizona Attorney
The good news is that working with a qualified Arizona attorney can help you minimize the consequences associated with being found at fault. The best time to contact an attorney is right after the accident occurred, regardless of if you are at fault or not.
Having someone advocate on your behalf can result in reduced fines, fair comparative negligence percentages, and timely correspondence with regulatory officials.
Our team at The Law Office of Zayed Al-Sayyed is here for you. Contact our team to schedule a consultation today.