An injured party has two claims when they are injured in a car accident: a claim for their personal injuries and a claim for any property damage sustained in the wreck. Both claims are made against the driver’s automobile liability policy, but both are technically separated and have different amounts available for recovery.
There are several hurdles for achieving just compensation for auto injury victims in Arizona. Arizona has an unrealistically low state-minimum insurance requirement for drivers—$15,000 for a single accident victim’s injuries and $30,000 for all injured parties in an accident. The law mandating this minimum amount was enacted in 1972 and has never been updated to reflect inflation and the rising rates of medical bills. What this means in practicality is that it is common for drivers to carry inadequate amounts of insurance coverage to pay for the injuries they cause.
A potential option to help bridge this gap is to tap into any optional coverage the injured party has through their own insurance, Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is available to help supplement the insurance coverage for drivers who are inadequately insured. Medical payments coverage is an additional add-on for insurance policies that may cover part or all of an injured party’s incident-related medical bills. Unfortunately, these coverages are optional and not every motorist has them.
Another potential hurdle is when the at-fault party is a government entity. Although there is a two-year statute of limitations on claims against public entities, there is a requirement to give a notice of claim to the government. You must notify the government of a potential claim within 180 days of the date of the incident. If the notice of claim is missed then the injured party’s case is forever barred (even if within the two-year statute of limitations). Unfortunately, identifying if a government actor is involved is complicated and not always readily apparent. Certain actors may seem like independent companies but be under governmental control. Additionally, generating a notice of claim can be a a difficult and complicated process.