What happens if you’re in an accident and want to make a personal injury claim, but you find out the other driver has no insurance? This is a question we get asked periodically in our personal injury law practice.
I’m not an insurance agent. But from my personal injury attorney experience, I can help you understand your options if you are hurt in a car accident and want to file an injury claim but find out the driver doesn’t have insurance — or doesn’t have enough insurance coverage.
What is an Uninsured Motorist?
Here in Arizona, statistics from 2019 tell us that about 12% of the state’s drivers are uninsured, meaning they have no vehicle insurance whatsoever. What this means for you is, if you get in an accident with an uninsured motorist, there will be no coverage for your injuries and no way for you to be compensated for the accident — that is, unless you have uninsured motorist coverage.
What is an Underinsured Motorist?
Arizona drivers who are underinsured — meaning they’re insured but don’t have enough insurance to cover the specific damages caused by an incident — is a significant number as well.
Arizona recently passed a law to raise insurance coverage limits in an effort to try to help provide more coverage for accidents because the cost of medical expenses is going up. But the limit only goes up to $25,000. There’s still a chance a person’s policy only covers, for example, $25,000 — and they could still be underinsured for the specific situation they find themselves in.
About 12% of Arizona drivers are uninsured. If you get in an accident with an uninsured motorist, there will be no coverage for your injuries unless your insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage.
Benefits of Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
If your insurance policy includes uninsured and underinsured coverage and you get hit by a driver who is at fault, your insurance policy should include a provision to help compensate you for your injuries. Given the statistics in Arizona, there is a likelihood that if you’re in an accident, the driver will be uninsured or underinsured.
It’s important to know if you have this coverage, and my suggestion is to contact your insurance representative to find out. If you find out you have it, ask your rep about the coverage limits. If you learn that you don’t have it, ask about the cost to add it to your insurance policy.
Insurance Agent Recommendation
As a personal injury attorney, I want to make sure you’re properly taken care of if you experienced injuries at the hand of another person. But if I found out in the first discussion with you that the other driver was uninsured, it’s difficult for me to do much for your case if your insurance policy doesn’t include this add-on.
If you’ve been considering finding a new insurance agent — or if you recently moved to the Phoenix metro area — I’m happy to recommend someone we trust and work with at Fleming & Monroe. Please email me or call me at (480) 390-2057 if you would like that information.