Arizona Car Accident Insurance Laws: Proactive, Liberal & Good For Consumers
Arizona Attorney Dave Wattel
Dave Wattel, an Arizona attorney who has been handling plaintiffs' cases exclusively for over 20 years, says that insurance laws in Arizona are fairly proactive and liberal and that is good news for consumers. However, it wasn't always that way. He told us, You can thank former Chief Justice Stanley Feldman and the court that he oversaw a number of years ago, because many of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions for years found in favor of the insurer as opposed to the insured.
Tackling underinsured claims
Although Wattel says that reasonable expectations of the insured doctrines seemed to apply, his firm has the ability to collect for people on their underinsured claims when a defendant causes an auto accident and doesnt have enough coverage to compensate. He explained:
We can present an underinsured claim and if the insurance company has failed to have a sign off on underinsured coverage equal to the liability limit purchased, theyve got to give that to the underinsured. Over the years, we have found that a number of carriers have not been diligent in terms of getting their insured to sign off on those, not be able to produce selection waivers and be able to find money for clients where we didnt think money existed.
He provided the following example:
Youre involved in an Arizona car accident and your claim is worth $100,000. The other driver that causes the accident only has $50,000 in liability coverage, which you collect. You have purchased a $50,000 / $100,000 liability limit, and yet your insurance company only sold you $15,000 / $30,000 underinsured coverage. So, we ask for the selection waiver and they cant produce it. Now, rather than only collecting the $15,000 underinsured coverage which you purchased, youre going to collect the $50,000.00 underinsured coverage so that youre able to be made whole.
There are many different situations and nuances under the law that Wattel's firm has dealt with over the years, but he says that they'll always use their thinking caps and do what they can to find money for a client when they're deserving of the same.