Uninsured Car Accidents in Phoenix
Driving in Arizona can be dangerous, with inherent dangers while on the road and potentially negligent drivers who may cause car accidents. For this reason, Arizona law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance that will provide coverage in case they are at fault in a collision. Liability insurance provides compensation for injuries incurred, medical bills, and property damage resulting from negligence or a mistake on the part of a driver who causes a crash. Liability coverage highly benefits victims of accidents, covering their extensive losses from injuries and damage.
Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience, especially when the person at fault for the accident does not have adequate insurance or any insurance to cover the losses and damage they caused. Phoenix drivers are often distraught when they find out that despite the law, the other driver does not have coverage and a way to compensate them. Fortunately, you do have options. You can file a claim against your insurance company using uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage will make up the difference between what the other driver's insurance policy pays and your pending bills. Having this coverage means you can recover damages for an accident; without it, you can be left to foot the bill for car accident damages that were not your fault. You must weigh your options with a Phoenix uninsured car accident lawyer.
Abels & Annes, P.C. handles all types of car accident claims, including those involving uninsured and underinsured motorist claims.
Why Choose Abels & Annes, PC?
The car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, PC, have a history of recovering successful results in uninsured claims, including:
- $220,000 for two children who suffered injuries due to an uninsured drunk driver (policy limits settlement)
- $600,000 for a multi-car accident in which one at-fault driver’s insurance paid $500,000, and the victim’s uninsured coverage paid $100,000 due to an uninsured second at-fault driver
- $250,000 policy limits settlement for a client with a herniated disc due to an uninsured driver
Contact our office to learn how we can help in your case.
Arizona Laws for Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Claims
Insurance carriers must offer uninsured motorist coverage when a driver signs up for an insurance policy. The insurance company will also offer underinsured motorist coverage. The two coverage options are different, but the premise is to protect drivers and pay medical bills in an accident with a Phoenix driver who does not have sufficient insurance to cover their damages.
The law only requires this coverage to be offered to new policyholders; it does not require uninsured motorist coverage to be purchased. When a driver refuses uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, they must sign a declaration page stating their understanding of the coverage options and their choice not to purchase them.
State law does require all drivers to have liability insurance coverage. The Arizona minimum for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage is 15/30, which means the insurance company will pay up to $15,000 for one person and a total of $30,000 per accident. These are the limits the insurance policy will pay out regardless of severe injury or wrongful death, and when drivers purchase the minimum coverage, it is usually inadequate to cover an injury victim's damages.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs Underinsured Motorist Coverage
While Arizona law requires drivers to have auto insurance, some statistics report that up to 25 percent of drivers go without it. Due to this, we strongly recommend that Arizona drivers purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage from their own insurance company.
Both types of insurance cover motorists and usually cover pedestrians and bicyclists who also suffered an injury in an accident. With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company is involved and effectively steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver to provide you with a financial recovery for your losses. Since you cannot control the behavior of other drivers, it is always a good idea to ensure you and your family have the proper protection by obtaining uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in the event of an accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage provides benefits if an uninsured driver hits you or you are involved in a hit-and-run crash where the other driver leaves the scene of the accident. Uninsured claims go only through your own insurance company.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage is insurance that allows for extra coverage in case a driver with low insurance policy limits like the state-mandated minimum coverage hits you. In the case of an underinsured claim, you first recover against the at-fault party and then seek additional compensation from your insurance.
How Are Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims Made?
If you were in an Arizona auto accident and the driver who caused the accident was uninsured, depending on your insurance coverage, Phoenix injury lawyers from our office can make an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.
The claim will be like a claim brought against a defendant, except that your insurance company will be involved. The claim can cover all the losses you incur, including any bills you receive for medical treatment, any lost wages you were unable to earn, the pain and suffering you endured, and whatever other damages exist in your case.
Arizona car accident lawyers can make the uninsured claim on your behalf, handling every aspect from obtaining your medical records and bills through settlement. Though a lawyer may represent you, the choice to settle is always your decision to make as you are the one who suffered the injuries in the accident.
Uninsured Motorist Claims
It is often less difficult to resolve an uninsured motorist claim with your insurer than with the defendant's insurance company, and we often obtain a higher settlement on a UM claim. Often, these claims resolve faster as they do not involve the “he said, she said” debate common in claims where a defendant is involved.
To ensure that your insurance claim gets paid promptly, be sure to collect copies of all official documentation from your accident for your insurance company. These documents should include the other driver's insurance, but when the other driver has no insurance, or you have no record of it because of a hit-and-run, a police report will support your claim.
A driver without auto insurance is typically documented in police records since Arizona requires it. A copy of this police report will assist your claim to receive payment from your insurance company to cover the cost of property damage or injuries caused by an uninsured motorist.
Underinsured Motorist Claims
We also represent drivers in underinsured motorist claims. If an at-fault driver has low insurance limits and you have significant damages, there may not be enough money to compensate you for your losses fully.
For example, in Arizona, the minimum insurance coverage is only $15,000 per person / $30,000 per occurrence. These low limits mean that regardless of how many people get injured in an accident, at most, the insurance company will be liable for only $30,000 worth of damages. It is effortless for total damages to exceed this amount in many Arizona collisions. Therefore, if a driver has only a small car insurance policy, those injured often have an underinsured motorist claim as well.
After making a recovery from the underinsured driver's insurance, a personal injury lawyer can help you bring a claim against your own insurance policy even if your limits are not higher than the at-fault driver. This process means that even if you are in an accident with an underinsured driver, you may still get fully compensated for your losses, including any expenses you incur due to the collision. Often this helps accident victims pay their medical bills and provide for their families while they cannot work and recover from injuries.
Who Can Recover Compensation Through a UM Claim?
If you have UM or UIM coverage, you can recover compensation through your insurance policy when the other driver was liable for your accident and does not have adequate insurance coverage.
Some examples of UM claims we see include:
- You were on your bike and got struck by an uninsured driver
- As a pedestrian, you got hit by an uninsured driver
- You are a passenger in a vehicle that an uninsured driver hit
- You were in a hit-and-run accident
Commonly, victims of car accidents do not know the insurance status of the other driver. Perhaps the driver even provided insurance information at the scene when their policy lapsed.
However, as you go through the claims process, you may find out that the driver did not have coverage or doesn't have enough insurance to cover all your car accident injuries. The best way to protect yourself after an accident is to contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer immediately. Abels & Annes, PC is ready to take your case and ensure you get the justice you deserve after an accident, no matter what type of claim you need to file.
Challenges When Seeking Compensation
There are different ways you can obtain additional compensation when you are involved in an accident by an uninsured or underinsured driver. You can start by filing a claim with your insurance company. The primary purpose of the uninsured policy is to pay out these kinds of claims, so it is not wrong to seek coverage from your own policy when someone else caused the crash.
What might be surprising is that the insurance company might try to avoid paying what you deserve. Insurance companies are businesses first, and they are not keen on dishing out cash settlements. They are even less willing to pay out when you deserve a particularly high cash settlement. Do not fret; you have legal options with the help of a Phoenix uninsured car accident lawyer.
When you purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist policy provisions, the language within can make it challenging to understand your coverage. The fine print can ultimately lower your claim if you are not careful.
Since you pay your insurance policy monthly, you assume your carrier is on your side. However, their end goal is to save money, and the insurance company does that by denying legitimate claims and using sneaky tactics to prevent victims from filing claims.
One tactic the insurance adjuster will use is to get you to provide sensitive information that can help them deny your claim. While you must report the accident within a few days, you should not provide details; stick to the basics. The best way to handle communication with the insurance company is to use a third party, like a car accident attorney from Abels & Annes, PC.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Lawsuits
Passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists in Phoenix will also have the right to obtain compensation through a UM or UIM lawsuit. In Arizona, your insurance policy moves with you, so you can still file a claim against your insurance policy even if you are not in your vehicle. A prime example is when you are driving a friend's car and get into an accident with an uninsured motorist. Even though it is not your vehicle, you can still get essential compensation for your losses through your insurance policy,
Many car accident victims will want to sue the other driver directly, but that may not be the best option. An uninsured Phoenix driver does not have car insurance for one of two reasons: they cannot afford it, or no insurance company will cover them. If the other driver cannot afford to purchase the state minimum of insurance, they will not have the funds or assets to pay for your damages in a lawsuit. The only outcome you will get from the other driver will be that you feel like there is justice, but there is no monetary recovery. They will never pay you back for your losses like an insurance company will. The best option might be your own coverage.
In some cases, you might file a claim against an additional defendant. While the primary cause may be the driver's behavior, there can also be underlying liability issues. It can come to light that the defendant's vehicle had a product defect, such as a faulty braking system. The faulty brakes contribute to the accident, so you can sue the car manufacturer. An employer might share liability if the driver was on the job when they caused the crash.
By adding the other party to the claim, you can obtain compensation from other sources, which can be essential if you have a severe injury and there is inadequate insurance. Often, to recover total compensation, you must file claims against as many liable parties as possible. Our attorneys explore all avenues for compensation for you.
Damages From an Uninsured Motorist Claim
When a negligent Phoenix driver does not have insurance, they cannot pay for your damages, which can seem unfair. However, there is hope, as your insurance policy should kick in and pay your losses.
When the other party does have insurance coverage, but it is insufficient to cover your losses, you can also recover compensation from your insurance policy. This requires you to file two different claims - one with the at-fault party to seek a policy limits settlement, and another with your underinsured motorist policy to seek the difference in your damages that exceeds the
You must hire a Phoenix car accident lawyer to decipher the best options for your claim and recover the compensation you deserve after an accident.
You may seek compensation for damages, such as:
- Ambulance and emergency transportation
- Medical expenses
- Pain management
- Emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Prescription medication
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
Shockingly, a significant percentage of Arizona drivers do not have insurance coverage, which is why exploring all legal options after an accident is vital. Hiring a Phoenix car accident lawyer is essential since insurance companies will move at lightning speed to delay or deny valid claims. Your focus should always be on your physical recovery while we handle the financial recovery. A car accident is a burdensome experience, and you need to return to your life.
How Our Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
Your car accident lawyer will handle everything from beginning to end. We will work with the insurance company and determine who to file a claim against. The first thing Abels & Annes, PC, will do is gather evidence. The entire basis of your claim will rely heavily on the evidence we can present. Without proof, the insurance company and the court will not offer you compensation.
Some injuries will require long-term care, and we will work with medical experts to determine how much you will need. They will also inform us of the costs of the care and if your injuries affect your earning capacity in the future. Our firm will also enlist the help of an accident reconstruction specialist who will explain to the jury how the accident occurred and how the negligent party was the sole reason behind it.
Your Phoenix car accident lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company and ensure they do not try to delay your claim. Our attorneys will attempt to negotiate with the insurer and reach a fair and just settlement during the pre-litigation phases. We will move the case into litigation if we cannot resolve it. Remember that entering litigation doesn't mean you will immediately go to trial. The claim can settle at any moment before trial.
The Statute of Limitations
All personal injury claims have strict deadlines that you must adhere to. If you pass any deadlines, you cannot recover compensation. The insurance company will have time limits for how fast you must report the accident, typically within 48 hours. They can delay or deny your claim if you fail to meet the insurance deadline.
Arizona also has deadlines to file a claim. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury civil lawsuit against any party. If you do not file a personal injury lawsuit within the state deadline, you lose all of your rights to compensation.
Contact a Lawyer with Abels & Annes, P.C. Today
Following an accident, it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn whether you may have an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim in addition to any other forms of financial recovery. Many times additional compensation is available to accident victims who miss out on those payments because they did not receive proper advice.
If you suffered injuries in an automobile accident, contact us today online or at (602) 819-5191 to learn about your rights. Even if the other driver fled the scene or doesn't have enough coverage available, you may have one or more claims, and we will discuss your options with you. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to take your call, so please call us now.