In this article we want to educate you on what happens if you are in a car accident and you or the other driver does not have car insurance in Arizona. We will go over the types of insurance that are available, insurance you may want to consider and ways that attorneys find to help their clients if they or the other drivers do not have sufficient car insurance to cover their medical expenses.
Being involved in a car accident is hard enough, but having no car insurance can make it much harder on you and the people that may have been affected by the accident. You see, in Arizona, one must have one or two forms of Arizona Car Insurance. Can you guess what these types of insurance may be?
If you guess liability insurance, than you would have guessed correctly, but did you know that you could have another form of “insurance”? That’s right, you can. The other way to have “insurance” is to purchase a CD or Certificate of Deposit with a minimum of $40,000.00 assigned to the Office of the Arizona State Treasurer. More information about car insurance types can be found here.
Before we go any further, we must point out that to be a legal driver you must always have a drivers license and by proving financial responsibility ensuring you have liability insurance. This basically means that you must show that you can pay for any damages in the event of an accident. You may not even know it, but depending on your own Arizona Car Insurance it may already be included. It’s always best to contact your own auto insurance provider to get further details specific to your own coverage as it relates to you.
What are the minimum requirements for liability coverage in Arizona?
Liability insurance pays for damage to property and injuries to yourself by other drivers specific to accidents by which you are found at fault.
The Arizona minimum requirements for liability insurance are as follows:
Bodily injury coverage
- $15,000 for one
- $30,000 for two or more persons
Property damage coverage
- $10,000 per accident
To learn more about Arizona mandatory car insurance, click here.
What if I am pulled over in Arizona and do not have proof of Arizona car insurance?
If you are pulled over by not having either car insurance or the CD that we discussed earlier, and this is your first offence you may have to pay a minimum of a $250.00 fine.
However, if this is not your first offence you may go through harsher penalties which may include loss of your drivers license and registration.
What if I am in an accident with other passengers and the person that caused the accident has no liability insurance car insurance?
If you have been in an accident and you have friends or family members with you and each of you were injured there may be some additional questions that we may ask that you may have not even considered yet.
- Do you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
- Do you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
The reason why these are very important questions is because this type of car insurance may actually be your “saving grace” if you choose not to retain the services of an attorney, or if your case is not a litigation worthy case.
With Uninsured Motorist Coverage, this type of insurance protects you and even your passengers for any bodily injuries that you or your passengers may have sustained from a driver that had no liability coverage at all.
With Underinsured Motorist Coverage, this type of insurance protects you and even your passengers for any bodily injuries that you or your passengers may have sustained from a driver that had insufficient liability coverage.
What do I do if I have been in a car accident?
If you’ve been hurt in any type of car accident than there are a few things that you must do right away:
- Call 911 immediately and if you can pull off to the side of the road, please do so. If you cannot move yourself or the car, than stay put, do not try to move other than to try and call for help.
- If you ARE responsible for the car accident, and you are not seriously hurt, than assure that the other drivers are ok. Then, call your insurance company immediately and inform them of the situation.
- If you ARE NOT responsible for the car accident, and you are not seriously hurt, than assure that the other driver is ok. If the other person involved is not critically injured and responsive, advise them to call their insurance provider and inform them of the situation. What this does is it already discreetly establishes liability of the car accident.
- Once an officer arrives, give the full honest story of the event and then go to your local emergency room for an immediate evaluation.
- After you have been discharged, depending on the accident and how you are feeling, you may now want to make an appointment with a qualified attorney and your medical provider.
Sometimes you may not actually feel a thing right away right after your accident because your adrenaline may be pumping through your body so much. You may feel “just fine”, but the next day or next couple of days you may start to feel some type of pain. The last thing you want to do is to go on record with the other drivers insurance company stating that you are “just fine”. Instead, when the other drivers insurance company calls you mention the accident, but if you are unsure of your physical wellbeing at the moment let them know this. Inform them that you may need to speak with an attorney first, because what you say to them can be held against you later if you do end up making a claim of any bodily harm.
If you are in an accident, let’s quickly go over admission of fault next.
In short, an admission of fault is “Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry I just hit you. I was not paying attention, I was answering a very important phone call”. This conversation, although an obvious admission of fault could have been worded several different ways, but may have the same outcome. If you are at fault, try to never admit that unless you are advised by your attorney to do so. Just from this admission of fault, you could be held liable for the accident. Also your insurance policy likely requires that you do not make statements or admissions of guilt.
Let’s now go over if you have no insurance and you do not know what to do:
So far, we’ve discussed insurance and why you should always have it, what the fines are if you do not have insurance, types of insurance you should know about and why its not too wise to admit fault. Throughout all of this we have not covered the main question in great detail for a very specific reason, and that is to ensure you know how to protect yourself. You must be informed when it comes to an auto accident personal injury and the more you know, the better off you will be.
If you have become affected by the auto accident to where you needed medical attention and you are unsure how you plan to pay for this treatment, than it may be wise to speak to a qualified attorney next. When speaking to the attorney, be truthful about the auto accident and be truthful about the injuries you’ve sustained.
If you’ve retained an attorney, they may refer you to a medical provider that works on what is called a “lien basis”.
What lien basis means is that you work with the attorney advised medical provider, they do not send you any bills and instead wait until your case is settled. If your case goes to court or settled out of court any costs you had accrued through pain and suffering are covered in the suit.
It is always best to seek medical attention if you need it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more suspicious it may seem to someone questioning your pain and suffering. Lets look at an example of this: You seek medical attention 3 months after the accident due to severe pain somewhere in your body. The insurance company may argue that you didn’t get hurt during the accident because it took you those 3 months to seek out medical attention. This could cause the settlement amount to be substationally lower, if at all.
Although each case can and is different, and you’ve been injured in an auto accident personal injury it may be time seek the advice of a qualified attorney. Our firm offers FREE consultations, so give us a call at (602) 262-4357 or schedule a FREE consultation today.
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