Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Claims
Phoenix Auto Accident Lawyer Handling Underinsured & Uninsured Motorists Throughout Arizona
Being involved in a car accident in Phoenix — or any other area in Arizona — can be a challenge, but discovering that the at-fault driver has no car insurance (or is underinsured) can turn a difficult situation into a seemingly impossible one. If you cannot adequately recover from the defendant’s insurer, then you could be left with no path to full compensation for your losses. Most defendants who lack insurance coverage or have minimal coverage, are also those who lack the personal assets necessary to pay in the event of an auto accident.
So, what can you do?
Fortunately, injured plaintiffs do have options in the event of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist. In most situations (when the at-fault driver has no car insurance to compensate you for your injuries and losses), you may be able to make a claim against your own insurance company under your own uninsured motorist coverage. A Phoenix auto accident lawyer can ensure that you receive just compensation.
Underinsured motorists are a significant problem. Even if the at-fault driver does have automobile insurance, the coverage may not be enough to fully pay you for losses, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income and other damages. In such cases, your own underinsured motorist coverage can be stacked on top of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
For example, if a driver with only $25,000 in coverage slams into your car causing you to suffer $50,000 in injuries and damages, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance carrier to compensate you for your losses above $25,000 up to the amount of your underinsured coverage limit.
Confused about how to proceed with injury claims against an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Contact an experienced Phoenix auto accident lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Your Claims Will Be Made Against Your Own Insurance Company
The language of the uninsured or underinsured motorist provision in your insurance policy will ultimately dictate your legal rights and your insurance company’s obligations to you. Beware of “gotcha” language hidden in the fine print of the insurance contract that can deny coverage to certain accident victims. Make no mistake, it is you against the insurer!
To put it simply, your insurer will look for any reason to deny and undervalue your claim. In some cases, the insurance company may take steps to outright interfere with your ability to put forth a well-supported claim. To the insurer, their ability to devalue your claim and shift the conversation towards coverage exclusions is critical to their strategic approach. The more legitimate claims that they can wrongfully deny, the higher their profit margins.
In order to gain the upper-hand, insurers will often attempt to communicate with you without your attorney being present. During these conversations, they will try to get you to disclose sensitive information that could undermine your claim for damages. You should therefore consult a qualified Phoenix auto accident lawyer who can serve as your communication “middleman” and prevent any unnecessary disclosures.
Roughly one out of every four accident cases that Hirsch & Lyon handles involves representing a client against their own insurance provider. While uninsured and underinsured motorist claims happen quite regularly, it’s important to treat them with the seriousness they deserve. Make sure you are represented by a Phoenix auto accident attorney who has a strong understanding of the complex language used in auto insurance contracts. Our lawyers are experienced personal injury attorneys who know how to interpret uninsured/underinsured coverage provisions to make certain you receive all amounts you are entitled to.
Oftentimes passengers, pedestrians and individuals driving someone else’s car are injured in an accident where the at-fault driver was either uninsured or underinsured. In these situations, it is important to know that uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is “portable,” which means that you may be covered for your injuries even when your own vehicle was not actually involved in the accident. In other words, if you’re driving your friend’s car when you get into an accident with an uninsured defendant, you can still make an uninsured motorist claim and obtain benefits through your insurance policy. As this is a very important source of compensation in your case, our automobile accident law firm will carefully identify all policies that may apply in your case.
Targeting Other Defendants in Your Phoenix Car Accident Claim
Of course, your own insurance policy isn’t the only way to recover damages. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may have actionable claims against additional defendants — not just the uninsured or underinsured motorist. By pursuing litigation against these other defendants, you gain access to additional “pockets” for securing adequate compensation.
Suppose, for example, that you are injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an uninsured motorist. Your damages total $1 million, but the defendant is uninsured and your own uninsured motorist coverage pays out only $250,000. You still have a $750,000 gap in compensation to account for. Fortunately, you learn that the defendant’s vehicle had faulty brakes, which actually led to the collision at issue. You sue their car manufacturer pursuant to a product defect claim and thereby secure the damages you need to fully recover for your losses.
Targeting other defendants is an excellent strategy, but it requires a thorough assessment of the case at an early stage so that you can identify all avenues for recovery.
Don’t Delay – Contact a Phoenix Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a car accident where the at-fault driver was either uninsured or underinsured, it is important to speak with a Phoenix car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The language in your insurance contract is likely to include strict time limits and notice requirements for filing your claim. When you contact our firm, we will carefully review your policy and inform you of what must be done to preserve your rights.
Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law P.L.L.C. offers free consultations to car accident victims – call us at 602-535-1900 to schedule yours today.