In our Phoenix personal injury law firm, we often have clients who are victims of careless drivers who do not carry motor vehicle insurance, or sometimes only a small policy. They are left with no recourse if they do not have uninsured and underinsured coverage in their own motor vehicle insurance policy; all their medical bills will have to be paid out of pocket.
Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage is especially important in Arizona because by law our minimum required motor vehicle liability insurance coverage is:
- $15,000 bodily-injury liability for one person and $30,000 for two or more people.
- $10,000 property-damage liability.
Why is that a problem? Say you are waiting for a red light to change and you are rear-ended at a high rate of speed. The force of the impact bounces your foot off the break and your car slams into the rear end of the car in front of you. In turn, that car slams into the car in front of it. The person who hit you has only minimum coverage to cover all repair and replacement of three cars and to pay for medical bills for three other drivers plus all passengers in three cars. One of the children in the car in front of you had a defective car seat that broke on impact, slamming the child into the back of the seat in front of him.
It only takes a second to ruin many lives.
When the emergency medical transport arrives, the emergency medical technicians decide the child ought to be taken to Phoenix Children's Hospital by helicopter. When the child arrives at the hospital, the emergency physician orders x-rays and CT scans, trauma laboratory tests, and perhaps a consultation with a neurosurgeon. If there is a broken bone, there are casts, braces, or surgery. The child remains in the hospital for several days until the physicians are sure he can safely go home.
All car accidents cause trauma to the muscular and skeletal systems of the persons involved. They ought to go to the emergency room to be examined and to ensure that they do not have fractures or dislocations. The most common injury from a vehicle accident is a muscle strain/sprain, which can take months to heal and often requires physical therapy.
How much will all this medical attention cost? The average medical bills for treatment after a minor car accident is $38,642.56, ranging from a few hundred to one hundred thousand dollars or more. When the minimum insurance coverage is divided among four or more people, bills remain unpaid. This is why you need robust uninsured/underinsured coverage in Arizona.