Injured Arizona Passengers – Who Pays?

In Arizona, car accidents involve more than the drivers of the vehicles. It’s not uncommon for one or both of the cars to have passengers. When you are a passenger who is injured in a car accident, you will have medical bills, pain and suffering, and possibly lost wages. The question then becomes, “Who pays?”

The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
If you are a passenger and you are injured in a car accident in Arizona, the driver that caused the accident is responsible for your bills and expenses related to the accident. Every driver in Arizona is required to have car insurance. The State requires that you carry liability insurance up to $15,000 per person, including passengers. When you are an injured passenger, you may submit a claim for your injuries to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Your Health Insurance – With An Expectation of Reimbursement
After a car accident, the drivers’ insurance companies will conduct investigations to determine which driver caused the accident. This can take weeks, or even months, to complete. You don’t have time to wait to seek medical treatment. You should use your health insurance to obtain the medical treatment you need, and you should keep track of all your related bills and lost wages. Once the car insurance companies determine who caused the accident, you and your health insurance company can seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Your Car Insurance – Through UM/UIM Coverage
Arizona does not requires drivers to have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage as part of their car insurance. However, it is something you should have and have the most coverage that you can afford. If you are injured in a car accident and the person who caused the accident does not have insurance or enough insurance to pay for your injuries, lost wages, and pain, then your own car insurance will step into the shoes of the at-fault driver and pay your bills up the maximum amount allowed by your UM/UIM coverage.

It may seem odd that you can use your own car insurance to pay for injuries that you sustained in a car accident where you were not one of the drivers, but that is absolutely true. When you have UM/UIM coverage, it protects you for injuries that were not your fault, regardless of whether you were one of the drivers.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.

Photo credit: George Kelly from Flickr