Driving is a privilege, and those who want to use their own motor vehicle transportation in Arizona must comply with state law. All drivers need to have a state-issued license. If they own their own vehicle, they need to register the vehicle and display a valid license plate.
Drivers also need to carry liability insurance coverage. The policy that you carry protects you from financial responsibility if you are the one who causes a crash. When another driver hits you, you depend on their insurance for compensation.
What happens if the other party does not have an active insurance policy?
You may need to negotiate an insurance claim using your own policy
State law does not limit how much insurance you can carry. It simply creates a minimum level that you must obtain to legally drive. Drivers across Arizona always have the option of buying more coverage.
You can increase the policy limits for your liability protection and add additional forms of insurance. Many drivers choose to carry uninsured motorist protection. Underinsured motorist coverage is also popular.
If you get into a crash with an uninsured driver and have this coverage on your own policy, you can potentially make a claim for anything the other driver’s policy would have paid for if they complied with the law. Of course, making a large claim against your own insurance coverage will likely increase your future insurance costs. Are there any alternative options?
Some drivers can go to civil court
Arizona does permit those affected by motor vehicle collisions to file civil lawsuits. Personal injury claims can compensate drivers for vehicle damage, hospital bills and lost wages. Wrongful death lawsuits can compensate those who lose a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle collision.
Such lawsuits are possible even if the state has not brought criminal charges against the uninsured driver responsible for the crash. Proving that they were negligent or that they broke state law will be part of your claim. You will also typically need to show loss is related to the collision.
Learning more about rules that protect drivers after motor vehicle collisions caused by uninsured drivers can help you defray crash-related expenses.