Arizona is a “Comparative Negligence” state:
12-2505. Comparative negligence; definition
A. The defense of contributory negligence or of assumption of risk is in all cases a question of fact and shall at all times be left to the jury. If the jury applies either defense, the claimant’s action is not barred, but the full damages shall be reduced in proportion to the relative degree of the claimant’s fault which is a proximate cause of the injury or death if any. There is no right to comparative negligence in favor of any claimant who has intentionally, wilfully or wantonly caused or contributed to the injury or wrongful death.
B. In this section, “claimant’s fault” includes the fault imputed or attributed to a claimant by operation of law, if any.
What exactly does this mean if you’re involved in a personal injury claim in Arizona?
It means that each person determined to have fault for an occurrence that results in injury to another is only responsible for the percentage of fault attributable to him/her.
Example: Car A is stopped, then is rear-ended by Car B, who is then rear-ended by Car C and pushed again into Car A.
Car A driver sustained injuries. But—who caused the injuries? Car B or Car C?
In Arizona, this determination must be made, and if the case cannot be settled by agreement, it will be settled at a jury trial.
So, if Car B is found 75% at fault, and Car C 25%, then Car B driver is responsible for 75% and Car C is responsible for 25% of Car A driver’s damages,
That is how “comparative negligence” works in Phoenix, Arizona. Personal injury law can be very complex. Having the right law firm will make all the difference in your case.
Related: Do you have a personal injury case?