If you own a motor vehicle in Arizona, it’s essential to understand the state’s auto insurance laws to ensure you meet minimum requirements. Knowing the basics about auto insurance in Arizona can give you peace of mind in the unfortunate event that you’re injured in a car accident or your vehicle is totaled.
At Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, we are committed to advocating for injury victims and helping them seek compensation after traumatic car accidents. We’re here to explain the auto insurance requirements in Arizona and provide straightforward answers to some frequently asked questions about Arizona car accidents.
Arizona’s Mandatory Auto Insurance Requirements
Arizona follows a traditional “fault-based” auto insurance system. This means the driver who causes the crash is liable for the resulting injuries, property damage, and other losses. If you are hurt in a car accident that is not your fault, you could seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses through the other driver’s insurance policy.
Arizona’s lawmakers recently increased the minimum coverage amounts for all auto insurance policies in the state. According to the state Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, the minimum coverage limits are as follows:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person who suffers injuries
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage if two or more people suffer injuries
- $15,000 in property damage coverage
You may choose to purchase additional coverage in case you are in a serious accident that results in severe injuries or property damage that exceeds your policy limits.
Auto Insurance Recommendations from a Personal Injury Lawyer
One question many drivers ask about auto insurance in Arizona is, “How much coverage is enough?” The answer to that question depends on a driver’s preference and financial situation. While your insurance policy must meet the state minimum requirements, additional coverage is available to drivers who want more protection in an accident.
Here are some other auto insurance coverage options for Arizona drivers:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pay your medical bills if you are in a crash with a driver who does not have auto insurance or whose insurance is not enough to cover your bills. The minimum limits for UM/UIM are the same as for liability insurance.
- Medical payments coverage – Medical payments coverage, often abbreviated as MedPay, covers medical expenses for injuries you or your passengers suffer in a crash. MedPay coverage can help pay deductibles or co-pays not covered by your health insurance policy.
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) coverage – Depending on when you bought your car and how much you owe on your loan, your standard insurance coverage may not cover what you still owe if your vehicle is totaled in a collision. GAP coverage can cover the amount you still owe on your loan if your car is destroyed.
Auto Insurance FAQs
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions we get about Arizona’s car insurance laws and accidents. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation with an Arizona car accident attorney.
How is fault determined in Arizona?
To determine who caused and is at fault for an accident in Arizona, lawyers and investigators may gather various types of evidence. This may include photos of the accident scene, the official police report, and eyewitness testimony.
Keep in mind that Arizona uses a comparative negligence rule when determining who is legally responsible for injuries and other losses from a car crash. Under this rule, an injured motorist can seek compensation in court as long as the other driver is partly to blame for the crash — even if their share of fault is only one percent. However, any compensation the injured motorist is awarded will be reduced according to their share of the blame. For example, if you seek $100,000 in compensation but are 25 percent responsible for the accident, you cannot be awarded more than $75,000.
Do I need UM/UIM coverage?
While Arizona requires all insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, drivers are not required to purchase this coverage. That said, UM/UIM coverage can be helpful if another driver hits you and either does not have auto insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your medical bills and other losses.
Are there penalties for driving without insurance?
Under Arizona law, a motorist caught driving without sufficient insurance could face harsh penalties. A first-time violation is punishable by a fine of at least $500 and a three-month driver’s license suspension. A second violation within 36 months can come with a $750 fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension. Someone who violates the law three or more times will face a $1,000 fine and a one-year driver’s license suspension.
Do I need an accident attorney if I get into a car crash?
Although you may not need legal assistance if you are involved in a minor fender-bender, it’s in your best interest to speak to an accident attorney after a car accident involving injuries — even if they don’t seem severe. An accident lawyer can review your case, determine who is at fault for your injuries, and identify all possible sources of compensation for your medical bills and other crash-related losses. They can handle every detail of your case and keep track of important deadlines, allowing you to focus on healing from your injuries. An experienced accident attorney also can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Injured in a Crash? Contact an Arizona Car Accident Attorney Now
If you were injured in a car accident in Arizona, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. The team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer is ready to advocate aggressively for your rights and work tirelessly in pursuit of the best possible outcome. Contact us now to discuss your case and legal options during a free initial case review with an Arizona car accident lawyer.