Can a minor traffic mistake open someone up to a lawsuit?

On Behalf of The Kaiser Law Group

The more time someone spends on the road, the greater their chances of getting into a crash. Both miles traveled and a sense of complacency can lead to increased risk on the road. There are hundreds of motor vehicle collisions in Arizona every day. Some of them just minor cosmetic damage to the vehicles. Other collisions send people to the hospital. Some of these cases will inevitably lead to large insurance claims or contentious civil litigation.

There can be questions about who is truly to blame when a collision results in massive property damage or personal injury expenses. As a result, does someone who has made a relatively minor mistake in traffic, such as exceeding the speed limit or failing to turn their headlights on during dusk, have to worry about a lawsuit?

Partial fault concerns can complicate claims

In a scenario where there is reason for someone to claim that the other party involved in the crash contributed to it occurring, the case may need to go to court. Arizona has a modified comparative negligence statute that allows anyone affected by the negligence or misconduct of another party to potentially ask for compensation in court.

Even if the courts agree that someone was partially to blame for a crash, that partial responsibility will not negate their right to compensation. Instead, the courts will determine what percentage of fault they have and then will reduce the compensation awarded to them by that percentage.

Claims of comparative negligence are often in response to lawsuits rather than the basis for a lawsuit. If someone hurt in a major crash seeks compensation, the other party might try to limit their own liability by making a claim of comparative negligence as part of their defense strategy. The defendant attempting to blame the plaintiff for a recent collision would have the burden of proof for their assertion.

In a scenario where someone could reasonably claim that one driver was partially to blame for a crash that occurred, a personal injury lawsuit may be an option. Filing an insurance claim or pursuing a civil lawsuit is possible even in situations where someone made a small mistake that may have contributed to a recent car crash. This is one of the many reasons why anyone who has been involved in an injurious accident can benefit from seeking legal guidance.

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