Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Claims
Driving in Arizona can be dangerous with inherent dangers while on the road as well as potentially negligent or careless drivers that may cause collisions. For this reason, Arizona law requires all drivers to carry automobile insurance that will provide coverage in case they are at-fault and cause a collision. This insurance is designed to provide for compensation for injuries incurred or property damage done as the result of negligence or a mistake on the part of a driver who causes a crash and to benefit the victims of the accident.
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 fact, we strongly recommend that Arizona drivers purchase both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with an auto insurance policy. Both types of insurance cover motorist and usually cover pedestrians and bicyclists who are injured in accidents as well. Since you cannot control the behavior of other drivers, it is always a good idea to make sure you and your family are protected by obtaining uninsured and underinsured coverage in the event of an accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that provides benefits in case you are hit by an uninsured driver or if you are involved in a hit-and-run crash where the other driver leaves the scene of the accident. Underinsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that allows for extra coverage in case you are hit by a driver with low insurance policy limits, like the state mandated minimum coverage.
With both uninsured and underinsured coverage, your own 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. Uninsured claims go only through your insurance while in the case of an underinsured claim, you first make a recovery against the at-fault party and then seek additional compensation from your own insurance.
If you were in an Arizona auto accident and the driver that 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 would be just like a claim brought against a defendant except that your insurance company would be involved. The claim can cover 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 you may be represented by a lawyer, 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 are often very good for victims who are hurt in auto accidents. 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. Many times these claims resolve faster as they do not usually involve a “he said, she said” debate that is common in claims where a defendant is involved.
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 fully compensate you for your losses. For example, in Arizona, minimum insurance coverage is only $15,000 per person / $30,000 per occurrence. This means that regardless of how many people are injured in an accident, at most the insurance company would be liable for only $30,000 worth of damages. It is very easy for total damages to exceed this amount in a large number of Arizona collisions and therefore if a driver has only a small insurance policy, those injured often have an underinsured motorist claim as well. After making a recovery from the defendant’s insurance, a personal injury lawyer can help you bring a claim against your own insurance policy even if your limits are not greater than the at-fault driver. This means that even if you are in an accident with a driver who has low insurance limits, you may still be able to be fully compensated for your losses, including any expenses you are forced to incur as a result of the collision. Often this helps accident victims pay their medical bills and provide for their families while they are unable to work and recovering from injuries.
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 claim in addition to any other forms of financial recovery. Many times additional compensation is available to accident victims who are unaware of it and who miss out on those payments because they did not receive proper advice.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, contact us today online or toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER to learn about your rights. Even if the other driver fled the scene or had very low or no insurance 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.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, call us today at (855) PHX-LAWYER or contact us online for a free consultation.