After a crash, you need to pursue compensation for lost income, medical expenses, property damage, and more. Unfortunately, it’s easy to feel confused after a crash with the shock you experience and the physical, mental, and financial hardships that you may endure.
It helps you to understand how Arizona laws manage car accident cases, so you know who to take legal action against to pursue compensation. Arizona is an at-fault state. We’ll explain what this means and some other very important information below, so you know what to expect moving forward.
Here are a few things you’ll learn below:
- What Arizona’s at-fault laws mean
- Medical payment coverage and both insurance companies
- Arizona’s Collateral Source Rule
What Arizona’s At-Fault Laws Mean
Arizona’s law allows you to hold someone accountable when they cause your harm. You must take the necessary steps to build a strong case to prove liability and fault. There are numerous factors that impact your ability to obtain compensation, but these are some of the ways to prove someone else was responsible for your damages.
- Show the other driver had a duty of care (ARS 28-701 states that “a person shall control the speed of a vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with any object, person, vehicle or other conveyance on, entering or adjacent to the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to exercise reasonable care for the protection of others.”)
- Prove the driver breached the duty of care (they put you at risk because of negligence)
- Show the injuries resulted from the breach (causation is a vital part of a claim)
- Show your physical and emotional damage from the crash, including medical expenses, loss of enjoyment in life, and pain and suffering (damages impact your compensation)
The more severe your losses, the more you must factor in to determine how much you may recover. While you may gather evidence that helps you build your case, it is not always easy to navigate the legal process without the help of professional representation.
Medical Payment Coverage and Both Insurance Companies
In Arizona, drivers have the option of getting medical payment coverage on their own auto insurance policy. This option means you can deal with your own insurance company for help paying the costs of your medical bills. Of course, you can still collect from the responsible driver’s insurance provider to get the compensation you need.
Your medical care is one of the most important things you should prioritize after a crash. Unfortunately, insurance companies are quick to try and take advantage of your rights. They’ll claim that because your own insurance provider covered your medical expenses, they don’t owe you anything. Know that Arizona has a Collateral Source Rule to protect your rights.
Arizona’s Collateral Source Rule
The Arizona Collateral Source Rule prevents insurance companies from trying to use medical coverage payments to reduce their own payment to victims. For instance, if your own insurance provider covers your medical bills for $5,000, the Collateral Source Rule prevents the responsible driver’s insurance provider from using this payment to reduce how much they pay you.
The responsible driver’s insurance provider is still responsible for the full coverage, no matter how much your own insurance company covers.
When insurance companies try to take advantage of your rights, it’s vital to protect yourself with skilled legal counsel. Having the right representation can make a difference in your ability to obtain compensation after a crash.
At Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC, we’re committed to your rights. We know insurance companies, their tactics, and their priorities. They focus on their own profits instead of providing maximum compensation when injury victims need it most. Because of this, we go the extra mile to safeguard your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Our Mesa car accident attorneys remain dedicated to our community. Our neighbors mean the world to us, and we want to ensure you feel peace of mind throughout the process. We’ll protect your rights, seeking the outcome you need and deserve during one of the most difficult times of your life.