Understanding Arizona’s Auto Insurance Laws

Understanding Arizona’s Auto Insurance Laws

October 11, 2023

If you drive in Arizona, it’s vital to be aware of the state’s traffic and insurance regulations. Being well-informed not only makes you a safer driver but also ensures you know your rights and duties. This knowledge will be indispensable if you ever find yourself in a car accident and need to claim compensation.

The professionals at Avian Law Group possess a comprehensive grasp of Arizona’s laws related to car accidents. We dedicate ourselves to safeguarding the rights of victims and ensuring they get justice for the adversities they’ve encountered. Be it through settlement discussions or court trials, our goal is to secure the funds you deserve post-accident.

Arizona Red Light Laws

Intersections in Arizona are known hotspots for vehicular mishaps. As per data from the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT), almost 5,000 drivers were found guilty of neglecting traffic signals, leading to accidents in a specific year. The state’s red light regulations are pivotal when discerning responsibility for intersection accidents. Here’s a summary of the main laws:

  • Section 28-644 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) prohibits the running of red lights or stop signs, unless a police officer instructs otherwise.
  • ARS Section 28-645 mandates that cars facing a steady red light should halt before proceeding into the intersection, waiting for a go-ahead from the light.
  • Vehicles must stop ahead of any crosswalk, marked or unmarked, to let pedestrians cross safely.
  • After a complete stop, drivers may turn right on red, but they must defer to pedestrians and other traffic. If a sign prohibits this action, it must be followed.
  • For those wanting to turn left onto a one-way road, a left turn on red is permissible unless indicated otherwise. However, yielding to incoming traffic and pedestrians remains obligatory.

Auto Insurance Laws in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI) mandates all drivers to provide evidence of financial accountability when driving. The existing insurance prerequisites in Arizona are:

  • $25,000 for a single individual’s injuries or death
  • $50,000 for injuries or death of two or more individuals
  • $15,000 per incident for property damage

While these figures are the bare minimum, it’s advised to opt for enhanced coverage. Any costs surpassing your insurance limit will be your responsibility.

Arizona also compels all auto insurance providers to offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This provision acts as a safeguard against accidents with uninsured drivers or those with insufficient coverage. This also applies to hit-and-run incidents where the culprit remains unidentified.

It’s not mandatory for Arizona drivers to have this coverage, but it’s beneficial. In instances of hit-and-runs or when the other driver’s coverage isn’t sufficient, this can prevent potential financial dilemmas.

Drivers without the required insurance face substantial repercussions. As per ARS Section 28-4185, the initial violation results in a $500 fine and a three-month license suspension. A second infraction within three years incurs a $750 fine and a half-year suspension. A third offense within the same timeframe attracts a $1,000 fine and a one-year suspension.

Reporting an Arizona Car Accident

If an accident results in injury or death, ARS Section 28-661 mandates the involved parties to stop near the scene. This also applies to accidents leading to property damage, as stipulated by ARS Section 28-662.

Upon halting, ARS Section 28-663 lays down the next steps:

  • Inform the police and ensure medical aid for the injured.
  • Provide your name, address, and vehicle registration to the other driver.
  • If asked, also share your driver’s license number.
  • After abiding by the state requirements, inform your insurance agency, ideally within a few days. Keep the narration concise and fact-based. Refrain from recording any statements until consulting with a lawyer.

In Arizona, the police are obliged to investigate accidents leading to death, injury, or property damage over $2,000. A written report should be submitted within 24 hours, which can later be used for insurance or legal purposes.

Arizona Comparative Negligence: Is Arizona a No-Fault State?

Negligence laws significantly influence compensation claims post-accident. In no-fault states, barring grave injuries, drivers can’t file personal injury lawsuits. They typically claim from their own insurance for medical and other expenses.

Conversely, Arizona operates on an at-fault system. This entitles you to initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the liable driver. However, proving their negligence is crucial. Evidence can include:

  • Police reports
  • Crash scene imagery
  • Surveillance visuals
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Forensic investigations
  • Medical documentation
  • Expert testimonies

It’s not uncommon for both parties to share some blame. Yet, even if you’re partly responsible, Arizona’s pure comparative negligence rule allows you to claim damages. The catch is, if you’re deemed partly responsible, your compensation diminishes by that percentage.

In essence, if you’re found to be 10% responsible for an accident, your compensation reduces by 10%.

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