How To Determine Liability In a Multi-Car Accident In Arizona
Navigating The Complexities Of Liability In Multiple Vehicle Accidents & Seeking Justice
When an accident happens that involves just two vehicles, it is often relatively easy to determine who is responsible for the collision. Although there are many variables in two vehicle accidents, most collisions will be the result of distracted driving, a violation of traffic laws, or negligence.
When it comes to accidents involving multiple vehicles, determining who is liable can be much more complicated. One driver may have violated a traffic law or been negligent, but in many cases there were multiple wrong actions that caused the accident. Insurance adjusters, law enforcement investigators, and your Gilbert car accident lawyer may need to seriously evaluate the evidence to determine who is liable.
Assigning Fault & Determining Compensation In Multi-Vehicle Accidents With a Comparative Negligence System
Determining who is primarily at fault for a car accident is essential because Arizona is an “at fault” state, which means that the at-fault driver is legally liable for the damages and injuries of the other parties, including other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who may have been involved.
Few accidents are completely the responsibility of just one person, especially when there are three or more vehicles who are involved. This is why Arizona uses a system called comparative negligence. Under this system, drivers are assigned percentages of fault based on what the evidence from the crash indicates. The driver who is at least 51% responsible for causing the accident is considered liable for the accident.
What Evidence Is Used To Determine Liability In a Multiple Vehicle Accident?
Your car accident attorney, investigators, and insurance companies will gather a variety of data as they analyze the situation and determine who might be liable for the accident. Evidence that may be used includes:
- Police report from the accident
- Witness testimony
- Mechanic’s reports of vehicle damage
- Pictures and video from the scene of the accident
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Traffic camera footage
It’s common for different parties to have different interpretations of what happened in the accident and who is therefore liable. Insurance companies want to protect their bottom line and will do whatever they can to share some or all of the liability with another party. That’s why hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can be extremely helpful to your case. Your attorney will investigate the circumstances leading to the accident, uncover available evidence, and build a strong case in your defense that can reduce or exclude you from liability, as well as maximize the compensation that you are eligible to receive.
Can Only One Driver Be At Fault & Bear The Full Burden?
It’s not common, but in some circumstances, one driver can be 100% responsible for a multiple car crash. This is most common when there is a violation of traffic laws, such as drunk driving, reckless driving, or criminal speeding. In these cases, the at-fault driver will bear 100% liability for the crash and will be responsible for compensating others for their damages and injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover If My Claim Is Successful?
If you’ve been injured in a multiple vehicle accident in Arizona, don’t try to face insurance companies alone. It can be extremely difficult to try to build a strong case for yourself while you’re also recovering from painful injuries or coping with trauma. Your car accident attorney will provide guidance through the process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and help you demonstrate the severity of your damages in order to maximize your compensation.
Damages that you may be able to recover include:
- Property damage, including repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Medical bills, including ambulance transportation, emergency services, imaging, surgeries, medications, hospitalizations, physical therapy or rehab, and other care related to your injuries from the accident
- Any future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Lost wages, if your injuries forced you to take time off work
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries forced you to reduce your hours, change careers, or stop working altogether
- Pain and suffering
- PTSD and other trauma related to the accident
- Wrongful death
Not all of these damages will apply to your situation, so be sure to consult with your car accident attorney.
Can I Seek Compensation If I Am Partially At Fault For The Accident?
If you are found to be less than 51% responsible for an accident, you can still seek compensation, although your compensation will be scaled according to the percentage that you are at fault. For example, if you are 30% responsible for the crash, you will receive 70% of the total compensation that you were entitled to receive.
Looking For Help After a Multiple Vehicle Accident In Arizona?
If you’ve been injured in a crash in Arizona that involved more than two vehicles, reach out to the trusted car accident lawyers at Chris Jones Law. Our firm has successfully represented hundreds of car accident victims and are ready to guide you through the process. We will handle all of the details of negotiation with insurance companies, uncovering evidence, and building a strong case on your behalf so that you can focus on your recovery. If you’re ready to learn more about how a car accident attorney can help you, Contact our firm today to schedule your obligation-free consultation!
This blog is purely for marketing purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.
Chris Jones – Esq.
4704 E Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ 85206
Tel: (480) 390-5157