Arizona Negligence Law
The most common basis for recovery in personal injury lawsuits is negligence. Most personal injury cases see the plaintiff use the legal theory of negligence to establish that another person is at fault for their injuries.
Negligence Law Definition
Almost all accidents occur due to a person’s carelessness. Carelessness is termed as negligence when looking at it from a legal point of view. Negligence is when a person is doing something they shouldn’t be doing such as running a red light. In addition to this, negligence is also when a person doesn’t do something they should have done such as failing to wear glasses while driving.
Punishment for negligence in Arizona
If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant broke the law, the plaintiff doesn’t need to show that the defendant owed them a duty and breached that duty.
In Arizona, negligence is only available in situations where the law that the defendant broke was enacted for the safety as well as the protection of the public. In addition to this, the law explains the rules of conduct in specific terms instead of general or abstract principles.
An example of this is as follows. In Arizona, all cars must be at a complete stop at a school crossing when a portable sign is in front of the school crossing. This law’s wording tells drivers specifically what to do and was enacted for the safety of the public. A driver who fails to stop before a crossing which results in the driver injuring a pedestrian is guilty of negligence. The law would save the injured pedestrian the trouble of proving that the driver owed them a duty.
What Forms a Case of Negligence?
The plaintiff needs to prove the following when establishing that the person who caused their injuries was negligent.
- Duty – The plaintiff must prove that they were owed a duty of care. Duty of care refers to an obligation to conform to a certain standard of conduct to ensure the protection of another person or party from an unreasonable risk of harm. An example of this would be of a person operating a motor vehicle. The driver must observe a duty of care so as not to harm other parties.
- Breach – The plaintiff has to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. A breach is said to have occurred if there is a failure by the defendant to meet the standard of care required. An example of a breach of duty of care is when a driver runs a red light.
- Causation – The plaintiff must prove that the above-mentioned breach caused the injury.
- Damages – In addition to proving that an injury was caused, the plaintiff has to prove that they’ve suffered an injury. It can be an injury to property or a physical injury.
What is the Negligence Law in Arizona?
Arizona follows the pure comparative fault theory. This theory states that the amount of damages a plaintiff is entitled to receive can be reduced. It can be reduced by a percentage which reflects how much of the fault is their own.
It’s easier to understand the above with an example. If a defendant doesn’t stop at a stop sign and crashes into the plaintiff while your headlights were off, a judge could rule that you are 30% at fault while the defendant was 70% at fault. As a result of the comparative fault law, you’d only be able to recover 70% of any damages you suffered from the defendant.
The pure comparative negligence law makes talking to a lawyer worth it. If you’re in a situation which demands legal action, talking to a lawyer will always improve your odds of walking away in a good position.