Arizona Car Accident Laws

Posted On February 2, 2024 Arizona Laws,Car Accidents by John Allen Phebus

Every year, thousands of drivers get involved in car accidents in the State of Arizona. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to understand basic car accident laws and how to navigate them in a way that protects your legal rights. To receive guidance with Arizona’s laws from an experienced local car accident attorney, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer.

Car Accident Reporting Rules

Car accidents that take place in the State of Arizona must be reported to law enforcement authorities if they result in “injury to or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person,” according to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-663.

In these circumstances, a driver is responsible for calling the police as soon as possible – ideally while still at the scene of the accident – to report the crash. The police will arrive and complete a written report that describes the crash and contains important information about the involved parties.

Other driver responsibilities after a car accident in Arizona include immediately stopping at the scene, rendering aid to any injured victims and exchanging information with the other driver. Failing to meet these obligations could lead to misdemeanor or felony charges.

Fault-Based Car Accident Law

An individual who suffers physical injuries or property damage in an automobile accident in Arizona has the right to seek financial compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.

This is how the insurance system works under Arizona’s fault-based law. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, drivers file claims with their own insurers, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.

All motor vehicle operators in Arizona are legally required to maintain at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance, as well as $15,000 in property damage coverage.

If a victim proves that another driver caused the crash – such as by texting and driving, speeding, or failing to yield the right-of-way – the at-fault driver’s insurance policy will pay for related medical bills and property repairs.

Comparative Negligence Law

Arizona’s comparative negligence law entitles a claimant in a personal injury action to recover damages, or financial compensation, even if he or she is found to be partially at fault for an accident. Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Section 12-2505 states:

  1. 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.

Under this law, if a driver is given a proportion of fault for an automobile accident, his or her financial award will be reduced by an equivalent percentage. For example, if a driver is awarded a $100,000 settlement but is allocated 20 percent of the fault for the crash, his or her settlement would be reduced by a matching 20 percent ($20,000) to a total of $80,000.

Statute of Limitations

A car accident insurance claim in Arizona should be filed as quickly as possible. Car insurance companies often have tight filing deadlines. If the victim needs to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit after a motor vehicle crash, a state law known as the statute of limitations (ARS 12-542) sets a time limit of no more than two years from the date of the crash or the date of injury discovery. Certain circumstances can extend or shorten this deadline.

For more information about the laws that pertain to your car accident case in Arizona, contact us for a free consultation with an attorney.