Insurance companies will attempt to determine fault by applying state law pertaining to traffic laws and negligence. Arizona does not use a no-fault approach to dealing with car accidents, and does not require drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP covers medical expenses for both injured policyholders and passengers.
If a person violates a specific traffic law, there is strong evidence that he or she is at fault for a car accident. In the absence of any clear traffic violation, an analysis of evidence indicating negligence may be more complex.
First person testimony
Insurance companies typically collect a statement from each driver about how an accident happened. They may want to get sworn testimony in the form of a deposition.
The statements and observations in a police report may be among the most important evidence that insurers consider. They may also attempt to get more information from a responding officer.
The condition of vehicles involved in a collision may reveal a great deal about an accident. Damage can demonstrate key details about an accident such as how fast a car was going or whether a car had an unresolved maintenance issue that could have contributed to the accident.
People who are attempting to get compensation for a car accident should be aware that it is not necessary to prove fault beyond a reasonable doubt. The applicable burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. Under this standard, a claimant needs only to show that it is more likely than not that a defendant is at fault.
Attorneys can help with this determination by utilizing experts, such as accident reconstructionists or biomechanical experts. If you have been injured in an accident and they are disputing fault, you may want to see an attorney right away.