Phoenix, AZ – Each state has a few different laws that determine issues like fault and negligence in motor vehicle accidents. When considering a civil lawsuit, the doctrine of negligence determines how a defendant will be compensated. This process to bring a case is separate from any insurance claims that may be made regarding the same incident. 

Arizona’s comparative negligence doctrine

Some states in the U.S. have a contributory negligence law that says anyone who is even slightly at fault for their own injuries cannot collect any damages from the defendant at all. Arizona’s comparative negligence law is much more forgiving. This law says that fault for injuries can be divided between everyone in an accident to equal one hundred percent. Regardless of each driver’s level of fault, they can bring a case for damages against the other drivers involved. If successful the driver’s damages will only be reduced according to their level of fault rather than losing their ability to collect money entirely. The specific amounts in play during a negligence lawsuit can vary greatly based on the severity of the accident

Relevant insurance claims

The driver should also file a claim with their insurance provider under their relevant policy. If the other driver is considered to be at fault, there may be some kind of claim money paid out to the victim. However, these amounts tend to be much smaller than the amounts paid out through negligence lawsuits. It is recommended for anyone who was involved in a serious accident to get legal help and explore their options even if they have insurance coverage. 

How does an attorney start the process to get their client paid?

The accident victim must initiate the process by contacting a local law firm for representation. If there is an agreement on representation after the initial meeting, the attorney can file the pleading that starts the case. This is a document that outlines when and where the incident happened, who was involved, a legal argument regarding responsibility for the collision, and a statement of damages or losses by the plaintiff. The defendant will have a chance to respond to these allegations and both sides will start to share evidence through discovery, which can take months or years depending on the complexity of the case. Most cases will end with settlement agreements when enough info is available, but it is possible that a trial will be necessary. 

Accident attorneys who focus on negligence cases 

Southwest Injury Law is available to assist with lawsuits and related problems after an accident in Phoenix. Potential clients can schedule an initial meeting with the firm to decide on a course of action.

Firm contact info:

Southwest Injury Law 

4425 North 24th St., Ste. 225, Phoenix, AZ 85016