CAN YOU FILE A CLAIM AGAINST AN INSURED DRIVER WHEN YOU HAVE NO INSURANCE?
Car accidents are traumatic experiences that can have life-altering consequences – especially if you are uninsured. The legal and financial consequences in such a situation can be devastating if you are at fault. If you are not at fault it’s still illegal to drive without insurance in Arizona, and that can create a tricky situation when it comes to car insurance claims.
Let’s explore the ramifications of filing an auto accident insurance claim against an at-fault insured driver if you have no car insurance.
AUTO INSURANCE ALTERNATIVES
Despite the existence of auto insurance requirements in the US, some authorities allow drivers the option of provisioning financial securities for use in case of an accident instead of having car insurance. So-called “financial responsibility” statutes stipulate that drivers wishing to forego traditional auto insurance must maintain bonds, certificates of deposit, or other securities in a specific amount determined by the state. In Arizona, that amount is $40,000.
If you are holding securities as automotive insurance coverage, your lack of insurance should not present a problem if filing a claim against another at-fault driver in a traffic accident. However, it’s worth noting that the insurance company would likely have their investigators and attorneys on hand to negotiate a settlement or take the matter to trial. You may wish to retain your own legal counsel for guidance in these circumstances.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES?
When an insured driver hits an uninsured driver, the uninsured driver can still file a claim for damages against the insured driver. However, the uninsured driver may be reported to the authorities. Likewise, if an uninsured driver files a police report to support their claim, they may be cited and fined for driving without insurance.
The state may revoke their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and license plate number. If this was the first offense, there is a $500 fine, and their license, registration, and plates will be revoked for three months. A second offense bumps that fine to $750 with a six-month revocation, and for a third offense or more, the fee is $1,000, and the loss of license, registration, and plates for a full year.
Another potential consequence of filing an insurance claim for an accident is the other driver may decide to file a claim for damages. That could happen whether a claim is filed or not. The other driver may seek damages from their insurer using the uninsured driver coverage from their policy. Alternatively, the other driver may file a claim for damages against the other driver if they dispute that they are at fault and believe they have a strong case.
NEED TO FILE AN AUTO ACCIDENT CLAIM? SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY FIRST
If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident and have no car insurance, you may have some problematic negotiations ahead when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. The details of your accident affect your options in regard to filing a claim as an uninsured driver. If you were injured in a car wreck and are uninsured, the Phoenix Injury Law Firm of Folger Law can advise you best on managing your case.
As an uninsured car accident victim, you may need the help of an attorney to sort out the legal ramifications and work towards a claim that provides fair compensation for injuries and vehicle damage. Our qualified team can help. Call (602) 774-0033 today to schedule a confidential, free consultation.