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If you are the owner of a car in Arizona, it is your obligation to have insurance that covers you should you get in an accident. This is a requirement, and any person who does not have insurance can be subject to a ticket, fine, or a duration of time in confinement. The reason behind requiring insurance of motorists is obvious. The reality is that every person will get in at least three accidents on average their lifetime, and so having car insurance to protect you for this inevitable occurrence is a necessary evil to help protect you, any person in your vehicle, and any other person involved in the accident.
Insurance Policies Vary
In Arizona, a person is required to either have insurance or to pay a certificate of deposit of $40,000 to the Office of Arizona State Treasurer. While the state does not require that people have insurance, they do require that there is some form of protection that covers accidents, should you get in one.
The reality is that most people get some form of insurance. How much that insurance protects them or others who are involved in an accident depends on the amount of coverage they choose. A person may select anywhere from $15,000-$50,000 for each person who sustains bodily injury in the accident and can have $10,000-$25,000 in property damage as part of their coverage.
Insurance companies give a number of different kinds of protection and coverage. You can opt for as much insurance coverage as you want or choose the bare minimums. It is solely up to you based upon the amount you can afford and what you feel is necessary to protect you and any other person involved in the same accident that you are also involved.
When Insurance Doesn’t Cover All the Costs
While this is a great protection for every person to have, the reality is that there are instances where a person will get in an accident and their coverage amount is not sufficient enough to cover the injuries and damages involved.
For example, you may have $50,000 in bodily injury coverage, but if the injuries you sustained costed you over $100,000 you may not have enough coverage to pay the medical expenses. The other person’s insurance will pay some of those costs, likely up to the same $50,000 limit, that means you only have $100,000 in total coverage. What do you do then?
This is the troublesome situation that many people find themselves in. They believe that the coverage they have is sufficient but later find that it is not. It becomes even more troublesome for them when they are not the cause of the accident but still find themselves paying for the expenses related to their medical care.
One in Ten Accidents Exceed the Insurance Policy
According to a study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, one out of every 10 accidents that occur will result in injuries and damage that exceed that of the insurance policy coverage.
It is true that most accidents result in no more than $4000 in damage. Usually it is a small amount of damage to the vehicle that can easily be repaired for a few thousand dollars. Most bodily injury claims are a little over $17,000, still far below the amount of coverage that a person has with their insurance.
However, 10% of the time the accident will result in an injury or in damage that exceeds the amount of coverage provided by the insurance companies. Since a person averages at least three accidents during their lifetime, that means there is a one in three chance that you will get involved in an accident at some point in your lifetime where your medical bills and damage to your property far exceeds that of what the insurance company covers.
That is a scary statistic to think about. Even if you have done everything to try to protect you and your family, you may find that the coverage that you have is insufficient.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Hopefully this will never be an issue for you, but should it become so be aware that it does not mean you are without resources. You are not expected to pay out of your own pocket for the negligence of another person.
Should they cause an accident and leave you with medical bills or damages that go far beyond what the coverage of their and your insurance company provides, you do have legal remedies. You can seek to take legal action to force them into paying your medical costs. This may mean that their wages will be garnished, property seized, or they have to pay money directly to you to compensate you for the amount of medical costs you have incurred.
Your first line of defense in an accident caused by another person is the insurance coverage. Your own insurance company will then provide additional coverage to assist you should their insurance coverage proved to be lacking. That still may not be enough.
If you are in a situation like this, it is necessary that you seek the assistance of an attorney. Contact someone who can help represent you through this entire process. The insurance companies are actually out to make money, which means they will try to give you the least amount to compensate you for the accident. Having someone represent you who understands the inner workings of the insurance companies can be invaluable in getting you the kind of compensation you need for the injuries and damage you suffered.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.