Insurance is confusing to lawyers and non-lawyers alike, but it is important to have it, especially for your automobile, your home and your health. Many people would rather take the risk than pay the expensive premiums. But when the risk becomes a reality, and the uninsured suddenly finds himself in a bad situation, that situation just got worse due to the fact there is no insurance to help cushion the fall. All it takes is one incident to make purchasing insurance more than worth its cost.
Kinerk, Schmidt and Sethi unfortunately sees a lot of situations where a driver carelessly causes a car accident but has little or no insurance to compensate the person they injured. This can present numerous problems for the negligent driver. Below are some of these
1. It is illegal to have NO car insurance
First and foremost, if you are driving a car without any insurance, you are breaking the law. There is a reason the police ask you for proof of insurance and cite you if you do not have it. Arizona requires drivers in its state to have a minimum of $15,000/30,000 liability insurance. Don't know what that means? Check out my previous blog on limits.
2. You will have to pay for your own legal representation
If you get into a car accident and it is your fault, your car insurance will provide you with the legal representation you need to defend the claim (assuming you have not violated any provisions of the policy, are fully cooperating with your insurance company and up to date on your premium payments). You will not have to pay the lawyer-the lawyer comes with the price tag of purchasing insurance.
If you have no insurance, however, you will not get your Free Legal Representation Card. You will have to pay for your own lawyer to defend you. Because lawyers are expensive, oftentimes people cannot afford them and end up representing themselves. This is not a good situation to be in.
3. You will be personally financially responsible for compensating the person and property you injured.
When you do something stupid and injure someone, insurance is there to cover you and compensate the person you injured. Without insurance, you may suddenly find yourself either paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a lawyer to defend you or representing yourself. Worst of all, you may also find yourself picking up the entire tab if the jury decides you are 100% at fault. If you seriously injure someone (which is not hard to do when cars are involved), this could easily make you responsible for six or even seven figures.
This applies to those who carry the minimal amount of liability insurance as well. A negligent driver who has the minimal $15,000/30,000 liability automobile insurance policy could be in a world of financial trouble if he seriously injures someone. The insurance company will only pay $15,000 to compensate the injured person, leaving the driver on the hook for the rest of it. With the rising cost of medical care these days, $15,000 will not go very far at all-a surgery or an overnight stay in the hospital can eat that policy up in a heart beat.