If you get in a car accident in Maricopa County where another party is at fault, you likely think there’s nothing to worry about. After all, the other person’s insurance should cover your medical bills and repairs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when underinsured motorists are involved. What does underinsured mean?
What Does Underinsured Mean in a Car Accident?
An underinsured motorist is someone who carries liability insurance but not enough to cover the cost of a car accident. In cities such as Mesa, Chandler and Peoria, many drivers only have the bare minimum coverage required by law. An insurance company won’t cover any costs over this cap.
A look at the numbers shows how serious a problem this can be. Arizona only requires drivers to carry liability coverage for $25,000 in medical costs ($50,000 for two or more people) and $15,000 for property damage. In comparison, the average cost of car accidents in Arizona is about $550,000 for serious injuries and $150,000 for minor injuries!
What Can Insurance Do?
Insurance companies in Arizona offer Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage. If you carry UM or UIM coverage, you can file a claim with your insurer for the portion of the accident that the other driver can’t cover. Other types of insurance may help with costs as well, such as collision coverage or personal injury protection.
What Steps Should You Take After an Accident With an Underinsured Motorist?
What does an underinsured driver mean for the decisions you make after an accident? Use the following information to make smart decisions and protect yourself.
Should You Get Medical Treatment?
Your health should be a priority. If you believe that you’re injured, get medical care right away. Call 911. Some car accident injuries don’t show up immediately, so it’s smart to play it safe.
Should You Gather Evidence?
Gathering evidence can help support an insurance claim or lawsuit later on. As long as it’s safe, take photos or video of the following:
- Condition of your vehicle
- Location of both vehicles
- Cuts or injuries you sustain
- The other vehicle
You’re within your rights to take video of the other vehicle’s license plate and the other driver. Once the police arrive, ask for a copy of the police report.
Can You Sue an Underinsured Driver in Arizona?
Legally, you can take an underinsured motorist to court to recover damages. In practice, however, this option is rarely viable. The other driver is unlikely to have enough funds to compensate you unless the person owns real estate or another valuable asset.
Why Is It Important To Contact a Lawyer in Maricopa County?
Even if you have underinsured motorist coverage, you should get in touch with car accident attorneys in Maricopa County after an accident. Many insurance companies go to great lengths to avoid paying fair compensation. Our lawyers help you protect your interests, even when filing a claim with your insurer.
What Do Underinsured Accidents Mean for Your Future?
When an underinsured driver causes an accident that injures you, the situation feels unfair. You deserve to receive medical care and appropriate compensation.
Don’t give in to desperation. Only you can decide what an underinsured accident means for your life. Contact our team at Sargon Law Group Firm right away. We can help you evaluate your options and find a solution.