Can I Pursue Injury Compensation If I’m Partially at Fault?
Fault isn’t as simple as “they caused it!” in a court of law. Most states use a comparative fault system when distributing damages, meaning that your level of fault for your injuries will affect your compensation in some fashion.
A hypothetical accident displays this concept well: Another car is stopped lawfully at a red light, and in an inattentive state, you rear-end them at moderate speeds, damaging both vehicles and hurting both drivers. You might assume that you’re entirely to blame for the accident, but an investigation could change that—if the other driver, say, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, they’d be partially at fault for their injuries, as choosing to not wear a seatbelt compounded their wounds. If they were 50 percent at fault for their medical costs, you’d only have to compensate them for 50 percent of said costs; however, you’d still likely be at full fault for the accident itself, so you’d be responsible for their repair costs. Similarly, if the other driver didn’t have their brake lights on, you could argue that they’re at least partially to blame for the speed at which you hit them and compounded your injuries, so you could file for partial compensation for your medical expenses.
Assigning Fault In Different States
Unlike other states that bar you from receiving compensation if you’re at 50/ 51 percent fault, Arizona has no cutoff point. Even if you’re 95 percent to blame for your injuries and the incident overall, you can (technically) still pursue compensation of five percent, though this usually is ill-advisable and is almost never worthwhile, as most legal costs will result in a net loss.
Conversely, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia are the only states to practice a pure contributory negligence rule, which completely bars you from compensation if you were even slightly negligent; these states don’t use the common comparative, percentage fault systems detailed above.
Talk To An Arizona Personal Injury Attorney
Assigning fault is rarely cut and dry, so it’s nearly impossible for a layman to evaluate whether or not filing for compensation for a personal injury is worthwhile. An experienced, compassionate personal injury attorney in Arizona can help determine and maximize your odds of getting a reasonable settlement. Don’t assume you’re to blame and give up—contact us at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation. We can answer your questions, and there’s no reason not to call. Odds are, we can find a way to secure you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.