In Arizona, drivers are required to have insurance before they operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers in Arizona often operate vehicles without insurance. Some of the uninsured drivers are Arizona residents who fail to follow the law. Others may be visitors from other states or countries who simply do not have insurance when they enter into Arizona. The State of Arizona prescribes civil penalties for drivers who are caught driving without insurance coverage. (A.R.S. 28-4135.) However, this deterrence is not always enough to coerce drivers to purchase the requisite insurance.
Additional complications arise when a driver or passenger is struck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. When such crashes occur, the injured party will have extra obstacles before they can receive compensation for their injuries. For example, the injured person may be able to seek damages from the negligent driver’s personal assets. However, many uninsured and underinsured drivers do not have sufficient personal assets to compensate the injured person for his or her injuries. A fancy way of saying this is that drivers without insurance are not always “collectible”.
That said, there are steps drivers can take to avoid the scary situation of being struck by a driver who is driving without insurance and is not collectible. Specifically, insurance companies sell policies that provide drivers additional coverage in the event the driver is involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. These policies generally also cover the passengers of the driver who holds he policy. These policies are called uninsured motorist policies and underinsured motorist policies.
It is important to know the difference between an “uninsured” motorist coverage and “underinsured” motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist’s coverage protects a driver and his or her passengers for bodily injury the driver or passengers sustain in an accident involving a driver who has no liability coverage. (https://insurance.az.gov/uninsured-and-underinsured-motorist-coverage) Alternatively, underinsured motorists coverage protects a driver and his or her passengers for bodily injury sustained in an accident involving a driver who has insufficient insurance to cover the injuries to the driver or the passengers. (Id.)
The attorneys at Karnas Law regularly represent drivers and passengers who have been involved in car crashes. Unfortunately, the attorneys at Karnas Law will often meet injured persons who were struck by drivers who were either uninsured or underinsured. As discussed, if there is an uninsured or underinsured motorist’s policy upon which to make a claim, the injured party will have a safety-net from which to seek compensation. The attorneys at Karnas Law have years of experience tendering claims, negotiating claims and conducting litigation regarding uninsured and underinsured motorists policies. Contact Karnas Law for your free consultation today.