Auto Insurance | Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog - Breyer Law Offices, P.C.
Inexpensive auto insurance gives you just enough coverage drive legally in the state of Arizona. But those minimums may be far too low if you are involved in an accident with injuries.
Arizona’s mandatory level of coverage is:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability for one person
- $30,000 for two or more people
- $10,000 in property damage
“Liability” means this insurance policy will go toward the other person if you are judged to be at fault for an accident. It will not cover you. That’s assuming quite a financial risk.
Top 12 Questions to Ask Your Car Insurance Agent
Why Do We Need Car Insurance?
Let’s start at the beginning. Why do you need car insurance? First, car insurance is required by law in the state of Arizona, and in all other states as well.
It can be shocking when a car crashes into your house—don’t even get us started on the damages. As a homeowner, the first thing you’ll want to know is how any property damage can be fixed, and what those repairs are going to cost you. Luckily, insurance companies exist for reasons like this, and it may be possible for homeowners to recoup their costs through insurance.
Arizona is known for having some of the lowest liability requirements for car insurance in the country. In fact, the state falls 25 percent below the national average in the liability insurance department. This is great news if you’re a driver on the road, as it doesn’t cost very much to become legal, but the news gets even better. Instead of pocketing that extra cash and using it for coffee money throughout the New Year, you can make the resolution to put that money towards full coverage – something that won’t cost much more than what you’re paying now.
Arizona auto insurance, like many other things surrounding driver safety and possible accidents on the freeways and other streets, is shrouded in mystery for most people. After all, you know that you’re supposed to have insurance, but do you really know what the limits mean, what minimums you’re supposed to have, and how that can impact you, your recovery and your finances in the event that you are involved in an accident? Unless you are an insurance agent, or you’ve had the unfortunate experience of learning first-hand what your insurance policy can and cannot do for you in the event of a collision, you likely need to learn these top four things in order to protect yourself.
- Insurance companies don’t concentrate on making money; they are more focused on being fair to claimants.
- If someone they insure is at fault in an accident, the insurance company will always admit to that fault and will be happy to pay for any damages. They will never try to deny a claim nor will they ever put the blame on the victim.
- An insurance company won’t point to pre-existing conditions as a cause for the injuries instead of the accident. Nor will they hire nurses, doctors, and other expert witnesses in an attempt to duck responsibility.
- When shown proof of injuries, the insurance company will make the process of paying out compensation quick and easy for the victim. They feel like the injured person has already been through enough and don’t want to add to their burden.
Very rarely will personal injury attorneys in Phoenix advise their clients or potential clients to give a recorded statement to the insurance company. In cases where a recorded statement may be appropriate, you should have your personal injury lawyer next to you in almost every situation.
Often, insurance companies will argue that a recorded statement is required. Yet there is no Arizona law that says an injury victim must make a recorded statement to the insurance company that caused the accident. This is more often a tactic that insurance companies use in an attempt to twist an injured person’s words, which they can later use against him or her.
As a specialist in personal injury law, I’m very surprised by how often people are willing to trust the insurance company for the driver that caused the car accident before they will trust a lawyer that they hire. Or, to be more specific, they refuse to consider even hiring a lawyer and instead try to handle the case on their own and talk directly to the insurance company that is against them.
Now, let’s be very clear. I understand I am a personal injury lawyer. I understand that all I do is help people who are hurt. I therefore recognize the fact that I have a “bias” when I talk about the need to trust a personal injury lawyer before trusting the insurance company for the other side.
An uninsured claim can be made only when the person who caused an accident had no insurance coverage at all. Your own insurance policy may, however, cover what the other person’s insurance should have covered.
For example, let us say that you or someone you love was seriously hurt in a car accident in Chandler that someone else caused. The person who caused the accident should be responsible for paying medical expenses, lost income, pain, frustration, and all other damages resulting from the accident for which the injured party can claim compensation. What would happen, however, if the responsible party had not bothered to pay for insurance? Just because the responsible party did not have an insurance policy does not mean that the injured party is without recourse or cannot make a claim.
A Chandler, Arizona car accident victim may be compensated in such cases if he or she had uninsured motorist coverage in the same manner in which they would have been compensated had the negligent party had at fault insurance.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer