What to Do: Injured by an Uninsured Driver
A motor vehicle accident can leave you with severe injuries requiring costly medical treatment. It can also leave you with additional expenses as you might be unable to work for a long time. With Arizona laws entitling victims to compensation, most victims receive compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer. However, what happens in a scenario where the at-fault driver is uninsured?
Most road accidents are sudden and traumatic and can confuse victims. In addition to caring for your injuries, you must determine how to receive fair compensation for your damages. Having to deal with an uninsured driver further complicates the damage recovery process. You may not even be sure whether you will even receive compensation.
Some drivers cannot genuinely afford insurance. However, others do not bother to renew their policies or are uninsured because they don’t have the legal right to drive, including underage drivers. How you deal with an uninsured driver in an accident may depend on why they are driving without insurance.
Uninsured Drivers in Arizona
Even though Arizona law requires every motorist to be insured, some drivers are uninsured. According to a 2021 Insurance Research Council (IRC) study, an estimated 11.8% of Arizona motorists are uninsured. The national rate is even higher with an estimated 12.6% of American motorists driving without insurance coverage.
With 1 in every 8 motorists on American roads driving without insurance and considering the prevalence of motor vehicle accidents in the country, you will likely be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. Therefore, knowing what to do if injured by an uninsured driver is essential.
What to Do If You are Injured by an Uninsured Motorist
There are some basic things you should do in a car accident regardless of whether the at-fault driver is insured. First, you must contact emergency response services, including the police and medical professionals. You should accept medical assistance even if you think your injuries are not serious. Due to the effect of post-collision shock, many people cannot accurately assess the level of their injury’s severity after an accident
You also need to document the accident by taking pictures or video evidence of the accident scene. You should then file a police report regarding the accident. When dealing with an uninsured driver, resist their attempts to have you not involve the police. You also should not accept direct payments for your injuries or car repairs from them without legal advice.
While dealing with an uninsured driver limits your options, there are still ways you can recover damages for your injuries, including:
- Seeking compensation from your insurance company. If your insurance policy includes Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM), you can recover damages for an accident involving an uninsured driver. Notably, you can only receive compensation up to the limit of your coverage. Sometimes, UM is insufficient to cover your medical expenses and other damages hence the need to explore other options. Your insurance company will sue the uninsured driver to be reimbursed for the amount your insurance company paid you
- Suing the uninsured driver. You can recover compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, you need to have realistic expectations about what you can recover from them. Typically, a person who cannot afford automobile insurance is unlikely to afford to settle a compensation claim. However, it is not always the case that a person is uninsured because they cannot afford car insurance. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you strategize how to recover compensation, especially from someone who can afford to settle the compensation claim.
- Usually, utilizing your uninsured motorist coverage will not raise your insurance rates, as you won’t be at fault for the accident.
Contact a Tucson Personal Injury Lawyer
The damage recovery process in an Arizona motor vehicle accident is often complex. Getting injured by an uninsured driver further complicates the process. Fortunately, you can recover compensation in several ways, including by directly suing the at-fault party or from your insurer if you have UM coverage. However, these damage recovery strategies are not always straightforward, and you need a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney to help you explore them and to obtain fair compensation. If an uninsured driver in Arizona has injured you or a loved one, you can contact Barry Bellovin of the Bellovin Law Firm PLLC. He is a well-qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer and will help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Contact him today for a free consultation and to learn more about his services and experience.