Although you are required to show financial responsibility when registering a vehicle with the Arizona MVD, there are many circumstances where you may have a lapse in coverage. If you got involved in an accident during one of the gaps in coverage or don’t have insurance for some other reason, you can find yourself in a difficult situation.
The state of Arizona requires all drivers to possess a valid driver’s license and maintain at least $15,000 in bodily injury insurance and $10,000 in property damage insurance. In the event that you’re in an accident in Arizona with no insurance, or with insufficient insurance, you could receive a Class 1 misdemeanor citation. You may also face up to six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and your car may be impounded. Also, your driver’s license may be suspended until you provide the state with proof of insurance. That being said, if the other driver is at fault for the accident, then they will be responsible for injury and damages.
Another factor in this circumstance is the reason why you don’t have insurance. If the reason why you’re not insured is simply because you never bought it, you’re going to face a worse punishment than if there was just a lapse in your coverage, especially if your coverage expired very recently. Whatever the reason, you’re not going to be allowed behind the wheel again until you can show proof of current insurance coverage.
While you’re at the scene of the accident, it’s important to be honest. If it’s clear that you’re to blame for the accident, tell the other driver that you don’t have insurance. Hopefully, they have uninsured motorist coverage. If they do, they’ll file a claim with their company and after the insurer pays the claim, the insurer will probably sue you to recover the payment. Either way, do not refuse to answer questions about your insurance or say that you have coverage when you don’t.
It’s important to protect yourself and keep your insurance up to date. If, however, you’ve been in an accident during a period when you didn’t have coverage, speak to an experienced attorney today.