Comparative Negligence

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Hi, I’m attorney Chuck Franklin and I’m going to tell you something that I bet you don’t know.

Typical Scenario:

You’re coming up, approaching an intersection.

You pull into the intersection (Taking a left turn).

Everybody has a green light.

You’re waiting for traffic to clear.

The light cycles red.

Now you’re sitting here in the intersection waiting for this traffic to stop so that you can proceed and make your left turn.

Well you see traffic slowing down but there’s a guy way down here; he doesn’t look like he is slowing down.

But you’re making an assumption that he’s going to stop here (At the intersection).

One: don’t make that assumption.

Two: In Arizona, if in fact you continue to make that left turn and failed to yield to this driver that’s in this “danger zone”, he’s so close to you that he poses an immediate threat to your safety and he runs that red light and hits you.

Even if the witnesses all say “Hey this guy ran the red light” and he impacts you as you’re making your left turn, you are half at fault.

At least.

For your damages and for the accident itself.

It’s called Comparative Negligence in the realm of proceeding against somebody that’s at fault for an accident.

But you end up with half the responsibility for your damages.

In a hypothetical:

If you have a hundred thousand dollar case, you’re only going to get 50 (thousand) from that defendant driver because he’s going to come back and say “You failed to yield the right-of-way when you turned left.

Your argument is (that) he ran the red light.

As I said we’re one of the few states in the United States that require you to make your left turn in safety even if it means yielding to a red light running driver.

And that’s my free advice for the day, thank you.