Mesa AZ | Personal Injury attorney Brian T. Allen discusses fault and no fault laws as they relate to vehicle insurance in the following post:
Each state has a scheme of laws to regulate vehicle insurance. These laws will typically cover topics such as mandatory coverage requirements, how to proceed in an accident against an uninsured driver, and who can be covered by insurance. If you drive, it is wise to know at least the general parameters of your state’s vehicle insurance laws in the event you are involved in a car accident.
It is especially important to know whether you live in a “fault” state or a “no fault” state. As the term implies, states with “no fault” laws purposely limit the importance of finding out who was at fault for an accident when the accident results in personal injury. No fault states do this by mandating that each driver is responsible for his or her injuries after an accident, notwithstanding who was actually at fault for the accident. So, if you live in a no-fault state, and you get in a car accident, your own insurance will probably cover the costs of your personal injuries, even if the other driver was at fault. Alternatively, even if you were at fault for the accident, you will probably not need to worry about covering the other driver’s personal injury costs. No fault states also limit your ability to sue for damages due to the fault of another driver in an accident.
Conversely, the more traditional “fault” states make it very important to determine fault in every accident. In such states, fault determines who pays whom and how much they pay in the event of an accident with personal injuries. After an accident, a driver can file a claim with his own insurance, or file a claim with the other driver’s insurance, or go to a court of law and file a personal injury claim for damages against the other driver. Whatever option is chosen will lead to a determination of fault, whether by an insurance company, a judge, or a jury. After fault is determined, payment might be required from the at-fault driver to the not-at-fault driver.
Arizona is a “fault” state. Thus, you have three options in Arizona if you are injured in a car accident: 1) you can file a claim with your own insurance; 2) you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance; or, 3) you can file a personal injury claim for damages against the other driver. Any of these options will lead to a process to determine fault for the accident. If you are found at fault, you and your insurance might be liable for the other driver’s costs.
Which of the three options listed above is best? Well, it depends on your specific circumstances. If you have been injured in a car accident, and you believe the other driver was at fault for the accident and your injuries, please give us a call. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you decide how to proceed after an accident, and can help you navigate through the complicated processes of insurance companies or take your case to a court of law.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Arizona Fault or No Fault, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at 480.461.5335, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.