At Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC, we remind everyone to be alert and drive safely. As the weather gets nicer, we see more car accidents and serious injuries on our roadways.
Yes, winter weather is the cause of many wrecks. But we all know Flagstaff is one of the nicest places to spend those beautiful summer days. Nearly 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. Flagstaff is the gateway to the Grand Canyon. We have tourists, athletes, students, workers, Phoenix residents escaping the heat, and all kinds of additional traffic in the warm spring and summer months. We are at the heart of the I-17 and I-40 intersection.
We want to take a moment to talk about insurance policies as they relate to car accidents. As Flagstaff’s car accident law firm, Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC litigates all aspects of car insurance policies. There are often misconceptions about insurance policies, so we want to share some insight.
Do I Need More Than Minimum Insurance Coverage?
We understand the difficult economy of today. Times are tough, and we know that. That said, insurance policies are not always the best way to save money. We all hope we are never going to be in an injury-involved car accident, so why pay more for insurance?
The required coverages in Arizona are called bodily injury and property damage. Under Arizona personal injury law, the minimum required limits are as follows:
- For bodily injury: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- For property damage: $10,000 per accident
If a person is injured in a car accident, and medical bills are $50,000, the $15,000 limit for bodily injury will not be enough. If you're in a serious accident, the minimum coverage won’t even be close. The uncovered expenses can force people in debt, collections, and ultimately bankruptcy. Therefore, to avoid the horrible circumstance of not being able to afford necessary medical care, it is important to work with your insurance company to come up with an affordable rate that provides more than the minimum coverages required in Arizona.
Can I Collect Compensation as an Injured Passenger?
Yes, it is possible. It depends on the circumstances of the case, but you do not have to be driving to recover damages from an insurance company, including your own.
As an Injured Pedestrian or Bicyclist, Can I Recover Damages?
Yes, it is possible. As always, it depends on the facts of the case. But most people don’t know that they can recover damages from their own car insurance policy, even if they were not inside a vehicle at all when they were injured. At Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys recently obtained a $75,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle, and some of that recovery came from the pedestrian’s car insurance policy.
If the Driver Is Uninsured or Underinsured, Am I Out of Luck?
Not necessarily. We will search for every insurance policy that could help you. We check for collateral sources of recovery. And most importantly, we will look at your policy for uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists. It is very important that you purchase an uninsured and underinsured policy. That way, if you are injured in an accident, we can push to get the maximum recovery for you.
If I Take on the Insurance Companies by Myself, Will I Get More Money?
Generally, no. What we do is maximize your recovery and negotiate down your bills and liens, so that the large majority of our personal injury clients actually recover more money than if they accepted what the insurance company offered to them. Usually, insurance companies offer very low settlements. Don’t let them trick you into giving up your legal rights. Insurance policies are complicated and adjusters never want to give you the money that you deserve. Contact us today.