Car accident cases are difficult enough to navigate without a complicating factor such as an uninsured driver. Unfortunately, when the at-fault driver for your crash does not have insurance or is underinsured, it can be even harder to obtain fair compensation for your losses. You may have to take your case to court since the driver does not have adequate insurance. Hire a Glendale car accident lawyer to help you with this complex type of car accident claim in Arizona.
Arizona Car Insurance Laws
Uninsured drivers are breaking the law in Arizona. The state’s motor vehicle code makes it mandatory to carry at least the minimum amounts of insurance to operate a motor vehicle. A driver is underinsured if he or she carries less than the minimum amounts or uninsured if he or she has no auto insurance. Either way, it can be difficult to obtain a fair settlement from a driver that is breaking Arizona’s car insurance laws.
- Bodily injury liability per person: $15,000
- Bodily injury liability per accident: $30,000
- Property damage liability: $10,000
All drivers must have insurance that meets or exceeds these minimum coverage requirements. Otherwise, the driver will not have proper proof of financial responsibility unless the driver qualifies for an exception. Arizona will accept other proofs of financial responsibility in the form of $40,000 worth of cash, a certificate of deposit, a bond or a certificate of insurance. Unless the driver qualifies for one of these exceptions, he or she must maintain car insurance coverage.
Who Pays for Your Damages?
Arizona uses a fault-based car insurance system to determine who will pay for damages after an accident. A fault-based system pins financial responsibility on the party at fault for the car accident. The driver or person that caused your car accident, therefore, will have to reimburse you for damages. This could be the driver guilty of speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving or another act of negligence or recklessness that caused your crash. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy will provide coverage. This may not be an option, however, after a collision with an uninsured driver.
If you have uninsured/underinsured car insurance on your policy, this could pay for your damages instead. Your own insurance provider may cover the costs of your medical bills and property repairs since the at-fault driver does not have insurance. This is an optional kind of insurance in Arizona, however, meaning you may not have it – especially if you wanted the cheapest possible premiums. Without uninsured/underinsured car insurance, your only other option for recovery would be a personal injury lawsuit.
Can I Go After an At-Fault Driver’s Personal Assets If They Are Uninsured or Underinsured?
You may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if he or she does not have enough insurance to fully cover your losses. Arizona’s civil laws allow car accident victims to seek recovery directly from at-fault parties as long as they can prove duty, breach, causation, and damages. You or your lawyer will need to establish the at-fault driver’s breach of duty of care to you, responsibility for your accident and your related damages through a preponderance of evidence.
If the uninsured driver is an exception to the insurance laws, and thus has enough money to cover your damages without insurance, he or she may owe you a financial award out of pocket to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, and pain and suffering. If, however, the driver was driving without insurance illegally, he or she may not have enough to reimburse you for your losses. You may need to search for another at-fault party in this case, such as an auto manufacturer. Contact a lawyer who can help you explore all possible outlets for recovery after an accident with an uninsured driver in Arizona.