How Your Choice of Insurance Coverage Can Affect Your Recovery

If you are injured in a vehicular collision, the amount you will receive for your damages is related to the insurance coverage available.  As a result, your auto or motorcycle insurance coverage can be as important as the negligent driver’s coverage.  The three types of coverage that can increase your chances of recovery are Medical Payments Coverage, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.


If you are making a personal injury claim against another driver’s liability insurance, or an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim against your own, you often will not collect any money to pay for your medical bills until months after your medical treatment has been completed.  Medical Payments Coverage allows you to collect money from your own insurance company without regard to who caused the collision.  Medical Payments Coverage is typically available several coverage levels between $1,000.00 and $10,000.00.  This recovery is based completely on your medical bills and expenses.  The cost of this coverage is relatively inexpensive.  Depending on your coverage level and your carrier, the cost of Medical Payments Coverage could be between $10.00 and $50.00 for a six month policy.

You can make a claim under your medical payments coverage upon receiving a bill.  For example, if you go to the emergency room following a collision, upon receiving the bill from the hospital, you can make a medical payments claim, despite any ongoing physical therapy you may be receiving.  Additionally, medical payments claims can be made in an as needed basis, so if you have ongoing treatment, you can continue to send medical bills to your carrier as you receive them.

Medical Payments Coverage allows you to collect for expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.  You can send your receipts for prescriptions.  If your doctor suggests that you get an elastic bandage or another type of brace, this expense may also be covered.  If you have health insurance, Medical Payments Coverage can reimburse you for any deductible you pay.  Finally, Medical Payments Coverage covers you and your passengers.  For example, you and two passengers were injured in an automobile collision.  You have $5,000.00 in coverage.  Each injured person would be able to collect up to $5,000.00 in medical expenses.


In the United States, if someone is injured in an automobile collision, the odds that the negligent driver is uninsured are about 14% or about 1 in 7 collisions.  Though Arizona law requires that all drivers have liability insurance, the Insurance Research Council estimated in 2009, that roughly 12% of drivers in Arizona were uninsured, although some studies placed the number as high as 20 to 25%.  The one thing that these researchers agree on is that the number of uninsured drivers is rising.

 Uninsured Motorist Coverage protects you and those living in your household from the negligent uninsured driver.  It also protects you from hit-and-run collision medical bills and medical bills resulting from collisions involving stolen vehicles.  Further, you may also preserve a potential recovery if you are injured while biking or as a pedestrian.  Additionally, an uninsured motorist claim is often less difficult on the injured person, as you and/or your attorney are working with your own insurance company.


Arizona law requires that all drivers carry minimum liability insurance of $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per incident.  Thus, a negligent driver could cause a multi-car collision, and the maximum recovery would be $30,000.00 to be divided by all persons injured.  Every year in Arizona, negligent drivers with minimum auto liability insurance create an estimated $37,100.00 in economic costs for each person they injure who is incapacitated, plus an estimated $2,200.00 for each person they injure who is not incapacitated – after policy limits have been exhausted.  If every Arizona driver were insured, but just had minimum coverage, injured accident victims would have a 1 in 10 chance that over 70% of the economic costs of their injuries would not be covered by insurance.  Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you and those living in your household from a negligent driver who does not have enough liability coverage to pay for all of the injuries caused.

If you have been injured in a collision, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your case.  We accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not receive a payment unless you receive a recovery. You may contact us at (623)551-9366 to set up a free consultation.


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