Serving Injured Clients & Their Families Throughout Arizona
Do you have a case?
Call us today for a free consultation
Practice Areas Menu

Contributory and comparative negligence in Arizona car accidents

Arizona, like many other states, has a specific formula for determining fault, and therefore available compensation, in the litigation phase of a car accident trial. The formula is predicated on the notion of two types of liability. These are known as comparative and contributory liability, and may affect the outcome of a case by adjusting the potential jury award lower than the plaintiff initially demanded.

Comparative negligence guides the jury rulings on awards in most car accident cases. The premise of contributory liability assumes if both parties' actions in some way contributed to the accident, the plaintiff is not entitled to the full amount of damages specified because the plaintiff's actions increased the likelihood of an accident. If the jury finds the plaintiff was 20 percent at fault, the requested award may be reduced by at least that amount and may be eliminated altogether if the plaintiff is determined to be more than 50 percent liable.

Few states have retained the contributory negligence precept. This idea states the plaintiff should not be able to retrieve any damages if the accident was at least partially the plaintiff's fault. Most states use modified contributory negligence, where a plaintiff can only recover damages if the plaintiff's negligence contributed to the accident by less than 50 percent, or comparative negligence in determining awards.

In a crash case with serious injuries, an attorney might begin by examining the evidence and reports from investigators to determine the strength of the plaintiff's case. If the less than 50 percent rule is met, the attorney may submit a demand for compensation to the defendant and the defendant's insurance company. If the settlement is not accepted, the attorney may take the case before a jury to obtain a fair compensatory award.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super Lawyers
  • State Bar Of Arizona
  • MCBA
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum | Life Member | Million Dollar Advocates Forum | Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum | The Top Trial Lawyers in America | Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability | 2017
  • Listed In Best Lawyers | The World's Premier Guide
  • BBB | Accredited Business | A+
  • Ethical | Arizona
  • Best Lawyers Law Firm 2020 Personal Injury Medical Malpractice Arizona
Email us for a response

how can we help you?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

Submitting your information to us through this web form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Information submitted through this web form is not confidential, not subject to attorney-client privilege, and will not preclude this law firm from representing a different client in the same legal matter. We do not represent you until you meet with us and sign a fee agreement. Please do not send us any confidential information about your case until we meet. Re jurisdictional limits and information is info only, does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client or attorney-prospective client relationship.


Privacy Policy

Office Building
Office Location:

361 East Coronado Road, Suite 101
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Toll Free: 888-691-0990
Phone: 602-730-7453
Phone: 602-271-9344
Fax: 602-252-2099
Phoenix Law Office Map