Victim's Rights

questions & answers

Question: I was on the highway when a vehicle rear ended me. Highpatrol exchange insurance information and never gave the driver a citation. I had to get medically treated and my car is not safe and messed up. When i filled a claim with my insurance company they said they couldnt do anything because the driver that hit me was not insured and the information he gave the officer was not valid. What can i do, i am hurt and my car is not safe to drive.

Answer:

Arizona law allows for car accident victims to be compensated for their damages by the party or parties responsible for causing those damages. Arizona law also requires that every automobile being operated on the roadways be covered by some form of statutory financial responsibly , the most common being liability insurance, to help ensure these victims are able to be compensated.

Unfortunately, however, there are numerous vehicles being operated on the roads every day that are uninsured leaving accident victims with little recourse. The fact a vehicle is uninsured at the time of an automobile accident does not make the vehicle less responsible for the damages; it does, however, make it much more difficult to collect those damages. 

 It can be helpful to determine if the owner and the driver of the vehicle was the same person. Since both the owner and the driver of an automobile can be held responsible for an automobile accident, knowing if the owner and driver were the same person will help determine who you have the right to pursue to collect your damages. Further, if the owner and the driver of the responsible automobile were different people, there is a potential for there to be another insurance carrier out there that may have coverage for your damages.

Assuming there is no available insurance coverage available from the owner and/or driver of the at-fault automobile, your options are to go through your own insurance carrier-if you have first-party coverages, or pay for the damages yourself and file a lawsuit against the liable owner and/or driver. First party insurance coverages include collision coverage for your vehicle damages and medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage for your bodily injuries. Collision and medical payments coverages can be utilized regardless of who was at fault for the automobile accident or if the other automobile was insured. Uninsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, will require proof that the other vehicle was responsible for causing the accident and that the vehicle was uninsured (e.g. a written denial letter requested from the insurance company the driver provided at the scene of the accident). If you do not carry any of these coverages under your own insurance policy, it is likely that your insurance carrier will not get involved in your pursuit of the at-fault automobile. Another option for you in this situation is to file a lawsuit against the responsible owner and/or driver. If your damages are $2,500 or less, you can file the lawsuit in small claims court. If your damages exceed $2,500, you would need to file your lawsuit in Superior Court. Please speak with an attorney for detailed legal advice.

QUESTIONS

  • I was on the highway when a vehicle rear ended me. Highpatrol exchange insurance information and never gave the driver a citation. I had to get medically treated and my car is not safe and messed up. When i filled a claim with my insurance company they said they couldnt do anything because the driver that hit me was not insured and the information he gave the officer was not valid. What can i do, i am hurt and my car is not safe to drive.

STORIES

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  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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