If there’s anything worse than being hit by a negligent driver, it’s learning that he or she doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages.
The good news is that the State of Washington requires every driver to carry auto insurance. The bad news is that many people ignore that law, choosing instead to save some money on their monthly bills and drive without insurance.
So what happens if you’re hit by someone with inadequate auto insurance in Washington? Believe it or not, you might still have a few good options for compensation. A Seattle auto accident attorney can review your claim and put together a strategy to help you pay your bills and put the whole affair behind you.
Below, we’ll look at some of the basics of Washington auto insurance and explain how to recover damages from an uninsured driver.
Underinsured vs. Uninsured
A truly uninsured motorist is one who operates a motor vehicle without any auto insurance whatsoever. These people tend to have limited financial means and are therefore entirely unable to pay for the damages they cause.
Even more common, meanwhile, are underinsured motorists. These are people who carry only basic auto insurance policies. They may be in compliance with the law, but unfortunately, the cost of their negligence can greatly exceed their policy limits. Consider a driver who causes $250,000 in damage but only carries $100,000 in liability insurance. Even after a full recovery from the insurer, an additional $150,000 is left unpaid.
Why You Should Carry Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The best source of compensation for an underinsured accident is actually your own insurance policy.
Most insurance companies offer what is called uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. In Washington, insurers are required to include this type of coverage unless it is specifically waived in writing. So, you probably already have this coverage — even if you don’t know it!
Other Sources of Compensation
Even if you don’t have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, your lawyer might be able to locate an additional source for compensation. Third parties might share in the accident liability, for example, such as the driver’s employer. Your own health insurance policy may prove useful too. An attorney can search exhaustively for access to financial justice for you and your family.
Talk to an Accident Attorney Right Away
No one should have to pay the price for someone else’s irresponsibility. If an uninsured driver has injured you, don’t give up hope. Call our office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys today.
Photo Credit: Graham