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Exploring the Rise in Uninsured Motorist Accidents and Your Coverage

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14 Apr
Exploring the Rise in Uninsured Motorist Accidents and Your Coverage

Estimates indicate that one out of every seven drivers in the US is currently operating a motor vehicle without having insurance coverage in place at all. These individuals consistently drive without caring about whether they have insurance or not. Because of this, you might want to review your current coverage to determine if you are going to end up receiving everything you are entitled to after being in an accident with one of these individuals without insurance.

Failing to Drive Without Insurance is Costly for the Injured

With the economy being what it is, countless people in the country make the decision to drive without insurance in place. They figure they cannot afford it, so they can go without it. They might start off with coverage, but they end up not making the payments and the coverage lapses. So, what happens to you in the event you happen to be in an accident with one of these individuals? The answer is actually quite simple, provided that you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy and guidance from an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney.

Here is what you need to do:

  • If that is the case, you just need to file a claim with your insurance company, get a copy of the police report and proof of what happened on the date in question.
  • You will need to show that the other party did not have coverage in place when the accident occurred.
  • You have to submit a claim for any past and future medical expenses and any damages that you would have claimed against the other party.

The process is going to vary based on where you live, but most have the same basic practices.

Knowing the Rules of Your Jurisdiction

Based on certain state laws, auto insurance policies issued have to have coverage on them for uninsured motorists that equals the limits of any other types of clams. The only exception is if this coverage is waived when you get your insurance policy. It is best to speak with an Arizona accident lawyer to find out if this applies to you. Not all states have the same requirements, so you would want to verify this information when getting a new policy. You do not want to wait until an accident occurs to find out.

Follow these simple tips:

  • After this information is verified, you will want to get a copy of the police report.
  • The DMV will need a copy of the accident report.
  • You will also have to fill out a request for proof of financial responsibility.
  • If the DMV sends this information back that shows neither the vehicle nor the driver had insurance in place, that is all the proof you need to file for an uninsured motorist claim.

Make Sure You Submit Medical Records for Your Claim

After going through all of your medical treatment, you will need to submit any medical bills, records and reports that show how much your past treatment cost and what you can expect to pay in the future. You will also want to request a settlement for your claim that includes such things as damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress and lifestyle disruptions. If you and your insurance company are not able to come up with an agreed amount for the settlement, you will have no other option than to demand arbitration.

Going Through Litigation

Some states do allow litigation for these claims. In Arizona, there is a mandatory arbitration provision. You would have to conduct a discovery phase that is going to include such things as an interrogatory, oral deposition and any requests for documentation from one another. There might also be a medical exam at this point in time to make sure that all of your injuries can be verified.

After you have gone through the discovery process, you would continue arbitrating the claim. This is quite similar to a trial in that your evidence is presented, testimony is given and witnesses are called into question. The process ends with a decision being issued by the judge. They will determine whether they are going to grant you an award and how much that award is going to be for.

Knowing How Much You Are Going to Get

According to Arizona law, the judgement can be offset by any payments received from collateral sources like an insurance policy that paid out a small amount to the other party. Once the award has been issued, the insurance company will often end up paying out the amount awarded even though they have the power to correct the total award amount. Most cases are able to be settled before going through the whole arbitration process.

Uninsured motorist claims often result in settlements or awards that exceed beyond what you could get if the other party had insurance and they were the one at fault for the accident. Because of this, you want to make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage in place at the highest amount possible for your situation. Review your policy in full to make sure you are getting what you need.

Read 1069 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 April 2016 15:00
Patrick Grozinger

Patrick Grozinger is an experienced criminal trial attorney with an eclectic background including studying in France and serving in the United States Peace Corps. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Texas, District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and the Northern, Middle and Southern District Courts of Florida. He is proficient in French, and he is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association.

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