How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in AZ?
Auto accidents can be traumatic experiences that result in significant physical, emotional, and financial losses. After a car collision, one of the critical questions that may arise is, “How long do I have to file an auto accident claim in Arizona?” Victims of car accidents should understand their rights and the time frame within which they must file a claim to recover compensation for their damages in Arizona. The following briefly covers the time limit for filing an auto accident claim in Arizona and the procedure to follow after a car accident.
Statute of Limitations in Arizona
A statute of limitations refers to a time limit set by law within which a person must file a legal claim. Typically, the deadline to submit a personal injury claim for a car accident is two years after the accident. If victims do not file a claim within 24 months after the accident, they will likely be barred from pursuing legal action to recover compensation for their damages. However, victims of car accidents in Arizona must initiate a legal claim promptly to protect their rights and recover the compensation they deserve.
Circumstances Where the Deadline for Filing a Claim in Arizona May Be Altered
In Arizona, circumstances that may change the deadline to file a claim include the following:
If the Individual Who Suffered Harm is Under the Age of 18
In Arizona, if the victim is under 18, the time limit for filing a claim may be extended until they turn 18.
Rule of Discovery
If the victim discovers the injury from the accident later, the legal deadline for filing a claim may be altered until the victim discovers the injury.
After an Arizona auto accident, it is crucial that you inform your insurance company about the accident at your earliest convenience. The insurance company may try to limit the compensation they pay or deny the claim entirely if you do not notify them about your accident on time or file your claim within the appropriate time frame. Filing a claim on time also helps preserve evidence, as witnesses may be difficult to locate, and memories may fade.
How Fault Works in Arizona Car Accident Cases
Arizona uses an at-fault system for car accidents, which means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the damages and injuries that result from the accident. This system is based on the legal principle of negligence, which states that a person has a duty to have reasonable care in their actions to avoid causing harm to others. If a person breaches this duty and causes an accident, they can be held liable for the damages and injuries.
Under the at-fault system, the person who caused the accident (the “at-fault driver”) is typically liable for the costs of damages and injuries sustained from the accident, either through their own insurance company or out of pocket. The injured party may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for damages and injuries.
Comparative Fault in Arizona
Arizona uses a pure comparative fault rule in auto accident cases, which means that a victim’s compensation can be reduced in proportion to the degree of fault they are determined to have had in causing the accident. If a victim is found to be 50% at fault for the accident and the total damages incurred are $100,000, under Arizona’s comparative rule, the victim will be entitled to $50,000, which is 50% of $100,000. However, suppose the other driver is found to be entirely at fault for causing the accident. In that case, they are responsible for covering all medical bills and all other losses from the accident.
Steps to Take Following an Auto Accident in Arizona
After an Arizona auto accident, you need to take certain steps to protect your rights. The following are some of the steps to take after an Arizona auto accident:
- Document the scene of the accident
- Call the police if the accident involves injury, death, or property damage
- Exchange contact information with the other motorist
- Seek medical attention
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Do not admit fault
- Consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate the insurance claims process.
Contact a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in Arizona
If either you or someone close to you was involved in an auto accident in Arizona, contact the car accident attorney at the Ruhmann Law Firm and book a free-of-charge consultation today. We can help you navigate the insurance claims process and to protect your rights.