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We have three convenient locations located in Tucson, Yuma, and Phoenix.

map

Tucson Location

(520) 571-9700

imageYuma Location

(928) 723-0088

mapPhoenix Location

(520) 571-9700

Se Habla Español

Category Archives: Blog

Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident?

13 Nov 2018
toy car on desk with calculator

A question often asked is whether a person’s auto insurance premiums will go up if they file a claim for an accident that was NOT their fault. This is a common dilemma for Arizona drivers, and it even influences many people to avoid reporting their accident to the car insurance company altogether.

In Arizona, the answer is NO. Insurance companies can raise your rates when you ARE at fault for an accident based on the assertion that the accident you caused demonstrates your risk as a driver. Insurance companies, however, cannot make the same assertion if the auto collision was NOT your fault. Insurance companies are prohibited by law from increasing your rates if you did not cause or significantly contribute to the accident.

Arizona Law Protects Car Insurance Premiums

The law states “No insurer shall increase the motor vehicle insurance premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured.” If an insurance company increases your rates as a result of an accident, the law requires the insurance company to notify you of the reason for the increase.

See the complete statute below.

A.R.S. Section 20-263 – Vehicle insurance; prohibited act by insurer; hearing; penalty

  1. No insurer shall increase the motor vehicle insurance premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured. Any insurer which increases the premium as a result of accident involvement shall notify the insured of the reason for such increase.
  2. The director, after a hearing, shall order an insurer that has raised the premium of an insured in violation of subsection A to refund the amount attributable to such premium increase and shall impose a civil penalty not to exceed three hundred dollars. In determining whether an insurer has violated subsection A, the director may conduct such investigation as he deems necessary and the costs shall be paid by the insurer pursuant to section 20-159.

Factors that Contribute to Car Insurance Premium Increases

While Arizona prohibits car insurance companies from increasing rates for an accident that was not your fault, many other factors can influence a rate increase; some of which are entirely out of your control. These include:

  • The Number of Uninsured Drivers in Your Area: When uninsured motorists claim payments go up, insurance companies offset the difference by raising the rates for insured drivers.
  • Local Weather Conditions: Your insurance premiums are likely to increase if you move to an area known for its extreme weather conditions like wildfires, tornados or hurricanes.
  • Rising Repair and Medical Costs: Insurance companies will increase rates parallel with the increase in costs for medical treatment and property repair.
  • Credit Score Change: A noticeable drop in your credit score will almost always result in a spike in your insurance rates.

As long as you own a car in Arizona, you will have to deal with insurance companies and even more so when you’re involved in a car accident. In such instances, it is essential that you have an experienced car accident lawyer by your side who can protect your rights every step of the way.

The Tucson car accident attorneys at Karnas Law Firm have over 50 years of experience successfully guiding personal injury victims through the claims process. Car insurance companies will often implement tactics to unnecessarily lengthen the financial recovery process and offer a subpar settlement at the end of it all. We can engage in negotiation with the insurance company to ensure that you are accurately compensated for all accident-related damages. Contact us today at (520) 571-9700 for a free case evaluation.

Happy Halloween from Karnas Law Firm!

31 Oct 2018
ladies dressed up in costume for halloween

Karnas Law Firm Wishing You All a Safe and Spooktacular Halloween!

ladies dressed up in costume for halloween

Do You Have Enough Car Insurance Coverage?

18 Sep 2018
car protection

Vehicle owners have numerous car insurance plans to choose from, but Arizona law requires all drivers to carry standard liability coverage insurance at minimum. Although this may be the requirement, many drivers choose to go with a more inclusive plan that will keep them protected in extraordinary circumstances.

Is Standard Insurance Coverage Enough?

Liability insurance covers bodily injuries and property damage after an individual gets into an accident. In other words, an individual can have his or her medical and property damage expenses paid for if he or she sustained an accident-related injury or requires vehicle repairs.

The minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state is as follows:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $10,000

This minimum coverage is often not enough to cover medical expenses and injuries in a crash. The law requiring this minimal coverage was first enacted more than 40 years ago and is outdated. You need more coverage than the minimum! It is for this reason and others why many Arizona drivers choose to sign up for additional coverage.

What Additional Coverage is Available for Car Insurance Policies?

There are various types of extra coverage available for car insurance policies. They include the following:

  • Medical Payments Coverage: Also known as “med pay,” this policy is additional coverage. Generally, it includes the cost of medical procedures that are not typically covered by a standard auto insurance policy, or even by a health insurance policy.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage is precisely what it sounds like; it is extra coverage that protects a driver in the event they get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have auto insurance. This type of policy can also protect a driver if the other person commits a hit and run.
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage: A policy that is available to protect drivers if they are involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for their damages. While this type of auto insurance coverage is not mandatory, it’s wise to have it because it can help in covering damages that would otherwise not be paid for by the insurance company.

It’s essential to assess your driving situation according to your location and figure out what kind of policy you need the most. Accidents are unpredictable, and you never know what kind of damage might happen, but if you’re ever involved in one, it’s vital that you have seasoned legal representation.

The Tucson car accident attorneys at Karnas Law Firm have over 25 years of experience representing car accident victims and can help you recover compensation for all accident-related damages. Contact us today at (520) 441-3053 for a free case evaluation.

Medical Expenses Associated with Spinal Cord Injuries

11 Sep 2018

Spinal cord injuries are severe, and surviving such an injury usually results in a sudden change in lifestyle that requires much patience. If that weren’t enough, the cost of treatment can be noticeably high.

The Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation reports that treatment for a spinal cord injury in the first year can range from $300,000 to more than $1 million. Annual treatment costs are lower after the first year but still range from $42,000 to $200,000 depending on specific factors.

It’s essential for individuals who suffer such traumatic injuries to know what kinds of medical expenses to anticipate to help them plan for the associated costs.

Expenses for Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries

Generally, there is no set cost for the treatment of spinal cord injuries; however, the more severe the injury, the more expensive the care. Recovering from a spinal cord injury typically involves the following medical treatments:

  • Surgeries
  • Emergency care
  • Intensive care unit stays
  • Medications
  • Medical assessments
  • Hospital Stays
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Medication
  • Physical, occupational and exercise therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Equipment
  • Home modifications
  • Home health aides
  • Continuing care

Insurance often covers a small portion for medical treatment. For the more complex treatments, however, many must come out-of-pocket to cover medical expenses.

What is Covered by Insurance?

A person’s health insurance policy determines what type of treatment will be covered. It’s wise for anyone with a severe spinal cord injury to ensure that their doctors are included in the list of preferred providers so that they can have a chance at getting treatment expenses covered.

Generally, the insurance company only covers things that are medically necessary, which means that alternative medicine and will not be covered. Even if a doctor recommends such treatments, they may not be covered, which would require the individual to pay out of pocket.

Resources for Covering Additional Expenses

Anyone who struggles with these dangerous, debilitating injuries who finds out their insurance company has denied their claim must take action and speak with an attorney. Under the Affordable Care Act, people have more rights than ever. If your insurance company denies you coverage, the best thing to do is contact a legal expert who can help you.

The Tucson personal injury lawyers at Karnas Law Firm have over 25 years of experience helping Arizona residents recover the finances they’re entitled to by law. We can take on the insurance company on your behalf and push to have all necessary post-accident medical procedures covered. Contact us today at (520-) 571-9700 for a free case evaluation.

Differences Between Car and Commercial Truck Accidents in Arizona

04 Sep 2018

Sadly, road accidents happen every single day. However, not all of these accidents are alike. When a truck is involved, for example, it’s usually significantly more severe because of the vast size of the vehicle.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, accidents with commercial trucks make up 287,000 instances of property damage claims, 77,000 personal injury claims, and 4,321 fatalities each year. These vehicles are enormous and usually dwarf the cars which they collide with.

A truck accident will also require more investigation time than a regular crash. The analysis makes truck collisions more time consuming, complicated, and expensive to remedy.

Truck Accident Liability

Liability laws are one of the reasons why it may be difficult to settle a truck accident case. While the cause is often human error, there are other reasons for these encounters that may be the fault of the trucking company instead of the truck driver.

Sometimes, equipment failure is to blame for these accidents, so the driver cannot be accused. However, the driver may be held partially responsible if they did not perform an inspection before getting behind the wheel to ensure that everything was in proper working order. The company itself is also responsible for properly maintaining the truck and making sure that there are no potential hazards.

Compensation for Damages

If a person suffers an injury after an accident involving a truck, they have a legal right to receive compensation. If the truck driver was responsible for the accident, the individual can file a personal injury claim and recover damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Ongoing treatment
  • Vehicle damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • .. and much more

A motorist can also seek compensation if there was any damage to their vehicle or property, but it is important to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. A driver should also do their best to document the crash scene, as photos and witnesses can come in handy should the matter go to court.

Retaining an Attorney

It’s vital for anyone involved in an accident with a truck to obtain a personal injury attorney. These types of accidents tend to be complicated and may include a great deal of investigation and evaluation. The experienced Tucson personal injury lawyers at Karnas Law Firm will fight for you against insurance and trucking companies to help ensure that you are accurately compensated for all damages. Don’t try taking on massive trucking companies without legal representation. Contact us today at (520) 571-9700 for a free case evaluation.

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