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Arizona drivers are required to purchase liability insurance to legally operate a motor vehicle in the state. However, almost 12% of Arizona drivers do not comply with these mandatory insurance requirements. Additionally, about one in eight drivers nationwide do not have liability insurance.

Since few vehicle owners have the financial resources to pay out of pocket for serious injuries or property damage caused by an accident, most people who are injured or have their property damaged by uninsured motorists must use their own insurance or take out expensive loans. Drivers who do not have enough insurance or do not have insurance at all cost insured drivers in the United States about $13 billion, so it pays to prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver.

How To Prepare for a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver

What should you do in a car accident with an uninsured driver?

There are several steps to take to prepare for an accident with an uninsured driver.

1. Know What an Uninsured Driver Is

An uninsured driver is a driver who is legally liable for damages caused to another person but does not have insurance to pay for those damages. A hit-and-run driver who causes an accident may also be considered an uninsured motorist if the driver is never identified or does not have insurance.

What If I Hit a Driver With No Insurance?

There are a few states that have “No-Pay, No-Play” laws that limit the damages uninsured motorists can collect from an at-fault driver. Arizona is not one of them. If you cause an accident with an uninsured driver, that driver may be ticketed for not having insurance, but it won’t change your legal liability for their damages.

2. Purchase Insurance

Insurance is one of the most important tools you need to prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver. There are several types of coverage to consider.

Uninsured Motorist

Uninsured motorist coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages that you or passengers in your vehicle may have because of injuries caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Insurance companies in Arizona are required to offer a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident uninsured motorist coverage. However, drivers are not required to purchase the coverage if they reject the offer in writing.

When considering how much uninsured motorist coverage to purchase to prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver, take into account how much you can afford to pay in premiums and how much you can afford to pay if you or a family member suffer a serious injury in a car accident. The average bodily injury claim in 2019, was $18,417; however, the value of serious injury claims can be much higher.

Collision

Uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona does not pay for property damage. However, if you purchase collision coverage on your vehicle, you can use it to cover damage to your vehicle whether the at-fault driver has insurance or not. If you get hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, your collision coverage will pay for the damage to your vehicle less your deductible.

Medical Payments

Insurance to cover your potential medical bills is another important component when you prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver. Medical payments is an optional coverage that pays for medical and funeral expenses of drivers or passengers in your vehicle up to the policy limit. Medical payments is no-fault coverage. This means it applies regardless of who caused the accident. However, it only covers medical expenses. It does not pay for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages an uninsured driver may be liable for. 

Health Insurance

While health insurance will not cover all of the damages caused by an uninsured driver, it does ensure that you have coverage for your medical bills. Ensuring that you and your family members have health insurance can be a safety net for devastating medical bills that may result from a serious accident with an uninsured driver.

Other Insurance

Life, disability and other types of insurance may also be an appropriate part of your plan to prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver. Talk to your insurance professional or financial advisor about other types of insurance that may protect you in the event of a serious accident.

3. Know What To Do After an Accident

Know what to do after a car accident with an uninsured driver.

The aftermath of an accident can be stressful, so it is best to prepare before it happens. Keep your proof of insurance and registration in your car, and make sure you have emergency supplies.

If you experience an accident:

  • Pull your vehicle to a safe location off the road
  • Check for injuries and call 911 if needed
  • Take photographs of the damage to both cars and the scene
  • Call the police and don’t leave the scene
  • Get contact information of witnesses
  • Write down the other driver’s and any passengers’ names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance information and relevant details about the accident
  • File a police report and get a copy
  • Call your insurance company

If you are hit by a hit-and-run driver, do not attempt to pursue the driver. Leaving the scene could harm your case and you risk either causing a second accident or confronting a potentially dangerous person. Let the police deal with it.

4. Consult With an Attorney

An attorney is a valuable resource to help you prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver. First, you may need an attorney’s help to identify and attempt to collect damages from a hit-and-run driver or uninsured motorist. Second, if you must file an uninsured motorist claim, your insurance company may try to settle your claim for less than it is worth. You may need a car accident attorney to help you establish the value of your claim and collect it from your insurance company.

Sargon Law Group Can Help You Deal With a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver

Sargon Law Group is dedicated to assisting injured clients. We can help you prepare for a car accident with an uninsured driver, or if an accident has already occurred, we can help you collect the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us to schedule a consultation.