You’re driving along, minding your own business, when suddenly and without any warning at all, your car is struck violently by another car. As the accident was the other driver’s fault, their insurance will certainly cover the costs associated with your injuries and property damage, right?
The assumption that an at-fault driver’s insurance will cover an accident victim’s injuries and property damage is not an uncommon one. Yet, all too often, injured motorists and passengers in Arizona discover that the at-fault driver in a collision is carrying insurance coverage that is insufficient to address the situation at hand. While some coverage is available, there is not enough coverage to meet the needs of those who have suffered harm as a result of the at-fault driver’s actions. This is where a victim’s own insurance policy comes into play.
Uninsured Vs. Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Aspiring Arizona motorists are required to secure a valid driver’s license before they can lawfully operate a vehicle in The Grand Canyon State. Yet, many motorists on the road have either never secured a license or are operating vehicles despite the fact that their licenses are expired, have been suspended, or have been revoked entirely. Similarly, Arizona vehicle owners are required – by state law – to purchase liability insurance coverage offered by a company that is legally authorized to conduct business in the state. At minimum, motorists must purchase and maintain a policy that provides:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for one person and $50,000 for two or more persons
- $15,000 in property damage liability coverage
Yet, as is the case with driver’s licensure, many individuals who operate vehicles in Arizona do so without this requisite coverage in place.
As a result of this reality, many responsible and financially stable motorists choose to invest in supplementary auto insurance, including uninsured motorist (UM) and/or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. In the event that the at-fault party in a collision does not have any liability coverage or their coverage is insufficient to cover the costs of the damage that has been incurred, a victim can file a claim with their own auto insurance provider to better meet their financial needs.
The primary difference between uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage is that UM coverage is leveraged in the event that an at-fault party doesn’t have any liability coverage and UIM coverage is leveraged in the event that an at-fault party has some insurance coverage but not enough to meet the demands of the moment.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is Often A Worthwhile Investment
Say that you were the only one in your vehicle at the time of your collision and were involved in a crash with another solo driver. The accident, which was their fault, caused you to suffer a brain injury, multiple broken bones, internal bleeding, and an injury to your right eye. The at-fault party has purchased the minimum amount of liability coverage as required by state law. Given the cost of medical care in the U.S., the at-fault driver’s $25,000 in liability coverage is not going to cover the costs of your ambulance ride, hospital stay, surgical costs, and the costs of your ongoing care.
If you have invested in underinsured motorist coverage, you can work with an attorney to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and then to file a secondary claim against your own UIM coverage. This dual process will better ensure that the costs stemming from the crash don’t dramatically impact your family’s finances and that you can continue to afford access to the ongoing care that you require.
It is now common knowledge that the vast majority of personal bankruptcy filers in the U.S. cite overwhelming medical debt as a primary motivation. Instead of having to navigate the complexities of the bankruptcy process and the harm to your credit that will occur if you avail yourself of this option in the wake of an injurious, costly accident, consider investing proactively in UIM coverage to prevent your medical debt burden from spiraling out of control.
Investing in UIM coverage can allow you the peace of mind that is associated with knowing that if something should happen to you while you’re out on the road, you have the ability to cover the difference between what an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage may reimburse you for and what the costs of an accident may actually prove to be.
Contact A Reputable Arizona Uninsured Motorist Crash Attorney Today For More Information
If you have recently been injured in an auto accident and you’re concerned that others involved in the crash may not have adequate insurance, don’t panic. Regardless of whether you have invested in underinsured motorist coverage yet or not, there may be multiple opportunities available to you that will allow you to secure the compensation you deserve.
With that said, navigating the insurance claims process – and possibly a personal injury lawsuit process involving multiple defendants, depending on the unique circumstances of your collision – is a stressful, complicated, contextualized, and detailed process. As a result, you’ll want a legal advocate on your side who will not hesitate to advocate aggressively on behalf of your interests. The dedicated and client-focused car accident lawyers at Perez Law Group, PLLC can provide you with the representation that you both need and deserve during this challenging time.
Call (602) 730-7100 or fill out a contact form on our website to schedule a risk-free, confidential consultation with our team to get started. As soon as have assessed your circumstances and provided you with informed legal guidance, we’ll support whatever next steps you choose to take advantage of as you pursue any and all compensation to which you are rightfully entitled. We look forward to speaking with you.