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How is fault assigned in auto accidents?

When a collision occurs, determining who is at fault is often one of the most important determinations. This determination is so important because it clarifies who is liable for the accident. Liability plays a role in the outcome of auto accidents, particularly with regard to insurance and charges. Here are some things Arizona drivers should know about how fault is assigned.

Fault is interpreted relatively similarly across states; however, states approach the matter differently. Overall, there are three types of negligence that can be assigned in determining fault: contributory negligence, pure comparative negligence and modified compared negligence. An Arizona lawyer can help to clarify how these rulings are determined and applied in the state in the event of a collision.

While police assess fault at the scene, insurance companies will be the final determiners of fault. The police's opinion is still important, as it will factor into the ruling. However, the police report may not align with the final determination. An insurance adjuster must consider relevant information, including but not limited to the police report, to ultimately determine fault. Evidence, therefore, plays a significant role in the ultimate decision.

There are several considerations an adjuster must look into when determining fault for auto accidents. Did one or both parties break a traffic law? Is this all one driver's fault, or is responsibility shared? Depending on insurance coverage, the fault decision can often determine whether a driver is entitled to compensation. This is why it can be helpful to involve an Arizona lawyer soon after a collision to better understand the fault determination and overall legal process for compensation.

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