We all know how common car accidents are; there are thousands in Arizona alone every year. As our population and tourist industries continue to grow, it is more likely than not that traffic and therefore accidents could increase as well. The state has taken measures lately to try to create laws to help fight distracted driving, including the very recent ban of texting while driving. Hopefully these measures will help, but it is best as always to be prepared in the event an accident occurs with you, and to know where your rights stand within the law and who your insurance company will hold at fault.
Would you know who is at fault legally if you were to get into an accident? Ideally you will get your car insurance company to handle most of the heavy lifting if and when you are in an accident, but it is still important for you to know where fault lies so that you can decipher what is happening throughout the process.
Arizona is a “Fault” Accident State
In Arizona, the person who is determined to be at fault for causing an accident is also responsible for any resulting damage or injury. This typically then falls to the insurance to cover as far as cost; however, whether or not your insurance or the other party’s insurance pays can depend on fault.
This is contrary to some other states which are considered no-fault states and do not operate under the same determinations. This may be important to know if you are ever traveling and driving. No-fault states include Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Your insurance company (and that of the other party) will review all evidence provided, which is why it can be so important to get a police report. Any evidence, including photos and this report primarily, will help your insurance company determine what level of fault you held vs other factors. Other factors can include the other driver, as well as road conditions, road design, and any other external factors.
What to Do if You Are the Victim
If you are the victim of an accident, you have three options depending on the severity of the damage:
- You can file a claim with your own insurance company.
- You can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit if damages are substantial enough.