School BusI just saw in the news that there is a collision near Grand Avenue and the Loop 101 causing traffic delays. Nothing was reported yet about injuries. This incident reminded me of a child I represented a few years ago who was injured when a pickup truck hit the school bus he was on. He and several other children were really hurt and needed medical attention, including surgeries.

What if this happened to your child? Who would pay for the financial and other harms?  Well, this can be complicated.  Obviously, in Arizona, if the other driver was at fault for the collision, then he is financially responsible and his insurance will pay the bills and for the harm, right?  Not necessarily.

What if the at-fault driver has no insurance? Good luck collecting anything.  What if the driver has the minimum insurance required by Arizona law? Well, that is only $15,000 per claimant or $30,000 total (yep–rates set in the 70’s). So, that wouldn’t even cover the harm done to one of the kids (think about hospital bills!), much less 10 or more on a bus.

Well, then the school would step in and cover, right? No. In this example, the bus driver did not cause the collision, so the school owes nothing.

So, as a parent, what do you do to protect your own child?  Easy answer: Adequate Uninsured and Under insured Insurance coverage on your own policy.  That insurance will step in and act as insurance for the at-fault driver, and help address your child’s claim for damages.  And, your child is the only one who can claim against it for the bus accident–not the other kids–so the fact that there may be many claimants will not “water down” the amount available for your child.

This is one of many reasons to make sure you have Uninsured and Under insured Motorist coverage on your policy, even thought the law does not require you to have it.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Attorney Kevin Fine with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner at (480) 733-6800 or via email kfine@davismiles.com.