Arizona Car Accidents: The Inside Scoop On Bodily Injury & Property Damage

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Car accidents are handled a bit differently in every state. To get the inside scoop on how they are handled in Arizona, we interviewed Dave Wattel, an Arizona attorney who has been handling plaintiffs’ cases exclusively for over 20 years. He explained the importance of attending to both bodily injuries and property damage after an accident occurs and how Arizona’s pure comparative fault liability system works.

Arizona Auto Accident Lawyer Dave Wattel

In a recent interview, Wattel told us the way Arizona car accident cases are handled by his firm may be different than how they are handled by other firms. He told us,’We pride ourselves on assisting people with their property damage claims. Most other attorneys, as far as we know, don’t represent people on their property damage claims and often ignore them completely.’

Property damage

Wattel says that a client’s first and foremost concern, other than their health needs, is their vehicle’ whether it not be repaired or whether or not it be totaled. He explained,’Their major concern is getting that property damage resolved. We have a property damage department that is not only there to help, but to guide, direct and take control of the client’s property damage, making sure that it’s resolved to the client’s satisfaction.’

Bodily injury

At the same time that Wattel’s firm is dealing with property damage issues, it is also making certain that the client’s medical needs are being addressed. He told us:

Some people have health insurance and we recommend they follow through with their family care doctor and/or other specialists that the family care doctor recommends. For people that don’t have health insurance, we can help guide them to appropriate medical providers from family care on up to neurosurgery, depending upon their needs. Of course, we’re not going to make any medical recommendations, but we will certainly put people in the hands of excellent providers who are either able to get the client well or try the very best they can. We’re also able to help find physicians on a no-out-of-pocket basis and that even includes elective surgery if necessary.

Arizona’s pure comparative fault liability system

Arizona is a pure comparative negligence state when it comes to auto accidents. But what does that mean? Wattel provided the following example:

You take a pie that represents 100 percent of the liability and however many people have some responsibility; their liability has to add up to 100 percent. Other states have contributory negligence, which means that if you have any responsibility as a plaintiff, you don’t get to collect.

In Arizona, if you’re the plaintiff or claimant and you have a comparative responsibility, all it does is lessen the amount that you can collect by that comparative fault. For example, if the scenario is an 80/20 split, 80 percent is the responsibility of the defendant and 20 percent lies on the client’s part, the client can still collect 80 percent of their damages from the other driver.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries.

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