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What Are The Different Types Of Negligence in Arizona?

What Are The Different Types Of Negligence in Arizona?

shapiro.admin November 24, 2020 Personal injury

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of another individual, business, or entity, you have likely heard the word “negligence” tossed around. However, many injury victims may not understand exactly what negligence is. The Cornell Law School dictionary defines negligence as “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.”

That may give us the book definition of negligence, but we want to dig down further in order to help you explain what negligence is and what it looks like in the real world. For the purposes of this brief article, we want to stick to only the types of negligence used in Arizona injury cases.

Basic elements of negligence

In order for an injury victim to recover compensation for their losses, they need to prove the four basic elements of negligence. Briefly, this includes:

  • Duty. It needs to be established that the defendant owed some duty of care to the plaintiff. A duty of care will look different depending on the particular situation. For example, all drivers have a duty of care to others around them to operate safely on the roadway. Doctors owe a duty of care to their patients when a doctor-patient relationship has been established.
  • Breach. It needs to be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care in some way. A breach occurs when the defendant fails to meet the standard of care required for the particular situation they are in with the plaintiff.
  • Causation. The plaintiff will need to show that the injury was directly caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.
  • Damages. Finally, the plaintiff must show that they suffered some sort of monetary losses as a result of the breach of duty.

Arizona comparative negligence laws

Arizona operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that injury victims can recover compensation even if they are partially or mostly at fault for the incident (up to 99% at-fault). However, an injury victim will receive reduced compensation for their claim based on their percentage of fault.

For example, if Driver A is awarded $100,000 after sustaining a significant neck injury caused by Driver B, but it is determined that Driver A was 20% at fault for the incident because their brake lights were malfunctioning, then Driver A would be entitled to $80,000 as opposed to the full $100,000.

Negligence per se in Arizona

As we discussed above, negligence requires proving that the defendant owed a duty of care and that they breached their duty. Under the doctrine of negligence per se in Arizona, a defendant’s duty and breach of duty will be proven automatically if the incident surrounds the defendant breaking the law. In other words, if it can be proven that the defendant broke the law, you will not have to provide evidence that there was a duty and a breach of duty. Negligence per se is not available in all cases.

Vicarious negligence in Arizona

The term vicarious negligence is also sometimes called “imputed negligence,” and means that some other party will be held liable for the negligent actions of another party they are legally responsible for. This is commonly used in dog bite cases in which dog owners are routinely held liable for injuries caused by their pet.

Vicarious liability is also used when an employer is held responsible for the negligent actions of their employee, but only if the employee was acting within the scope of their duties at the time an incident occurs.


Our Scottsdale personal injury lawyers can help you understand the burden of proof in your claim. Call David Shapiro Law, PLLC 24/7 at (480) 571-2375 to schedule a free consultation.

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