I Got into an Arizona Accident Without Insurance, What Now?
Getting into an auto accident in Arizona is difficult enough, but if you’ve been caught in one without an insurance policy, you might not know what to expect. Hundreds of thousands of motorists choose to drive without insurance, whether due to financial hardships, legal reasons, or simply during a short lapse in coverage, and as such, insurance policies and traffic laws have adapted in kind. Arizona demands a minimum level of liability insurance from any driver:
- $10,000 for property damage
- $15,000 for bodily injury of one person
- $30,000 total for bodily injury per accident
Even if you don’t have an insurance policy, you might not be in legal hot water. Alternatives to insurance exist in Arizona, but your options to satisfy minimum coverage requirements are ultimately limited:
- A certificate of cash deposit filed with the Arizona State Treasurer, of at least $40,000, can provide an alternative to liability insurance. Note that if you don’t have enough coverage to cover the other driver’s damages, they might sue for the rest.
The Consequences of Driving Without Insurance
As an uninsured driver, the most obvious consequence of getting into an accident is that you won’t have any insurance company to file for compensation through if you’re at fault, which might leave you stranded when trying to pay auto repair and medical bills.
As far as the other driver is concerned, they might have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If they do, that’s good for you, as they’ll be able to file for their compensation through their personal insurance company—however, if they don’t, or if that claim doesn’t fully cover their damages, they can try to sue you directly to force you to compensate them in full.
Depending on where you live, your state’s legal penalties for driving without insurance will vary, but in Arizona, the consequences are somewhat moderate:
- First-offense uninsured drivers will have their license and registration suspended for three months, and will also receive a $500 fine.
- The second offense results in a six-month suspension and $750 in fines.
- The third offense nets uninsured drivers a full $1000 in fines and a one-year suspension.
Additionally, insurance companies in the future are likely to raise their rates significantly if you’ve been convicted of driving without proper insurance, as doing so suggests a disregard for traffic laws, safety, and financial responsibility.
You Can Still File for Accident Compensation in Arizona
Although you won’t be able to make an insurance claim, you can still pursue a settlement from an at-fault driver or their insurance company for all of your financial losses, as traffic laws protect every motorist, rather than just those with insurance. However, some states enact what’s known as “no pay, no play” laws, which bar uninsured drivers from receiving compensation for non-economic damages (i.e. things such as pain and suffering, distress, etcetera). Arizona has no such restrictions—even without insurance, you can sue at-fault drivers for all of your damages.
Without insurance, courts and adjusters are likely to be far less sympathetic to your plight, skewing the odds against you. ELG can level the playing field, so reach out to us at (623) 877-3600 to talk to an auto accident attorney in Phoenix today.