Yuma, AZ – When someone needs to file a lawsuit after any kind of car or truck crash, their attorney’s main job will be to prove that the defendant party was negligent in some capacity, which led to the accident and associated injuries. Every state has its own negligence laws, and while they are all similar, each state has some important nuances that experienced attorneys know are important to the outcome of the case.
The elements of negligence
The basic structure of a negligence action is similar in every state in the U.S. This includes proving four elements against the defendant which are the existence of a duty to drive carefully, a breach of the relevant duty of care, causation of the accident resulting from the breach of duty, and damages. The duty of care always exists on the road due to things like traffic laws and regulations, and causation is normally a simple element to prove in most cases, due to the fact that the accident happened and the presence of the vehicles involved. Damages can be a complex and challenging element, because this is where all economic and non-economic losses are added together and fault can be divided between all parties involved in the collision.
Arizona’s negligence statute
The specific differences of Arizona’s negligence rules are laid out by a statute passed by the legislature. The plaintiff’s injury attorney can cite Arizona Revised Statutes 12-2505 to show that negligence can be divided between all parties involved in a collision. This is called pure comparative negligence in American law, and it means that there is no level of fault that will stop a victim from filing a lawsuit. However, their available damages will be reduced relative to their level of fault in the accident. The Arizona statute also contains another nuance which says that anyone who is found to have willfully or intentionally contributed to the accident will be totally barred from any kind of recovery. The statute says that the exact amount of fault attributed to each party is a question of fact that is only to be decided by a jury at the conclusion of the trial.
While it is not possible to know how fault will be divided in advance, attorneys with experience in this area can try to estimate based on their knowledge and previous cases.
Scheduling a meeting with a local accident attorney
A good way to start the process of bringing a case and proving negligence is to arrange a meeting with an injury lawyer who is licensed in the state. Schneider and Onofry have successfully provided guidance related to various kinds of motor vehicle incidents to Arizona residents.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364