In this article, you can discover:
- How crucial uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is in Washington State and how it functions in protecting you.
- Your legal rights and actions you can take when involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- The vital importance of adequate insurance coverage to ensure your family’s financial security after an accident.
What Actions Should You Take If You Are Involved In A Car Accident With An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver In Washington State?
If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Washington State, there are certain steps you should follow. First and foremost, make sure you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.
You should collect all the pertinent information from the other driver involved in the accident. A claim form from the Washington State Department of Licensing will help you in these situations, as the department may suspend the driver’s license of the uninsured driver for up to three years if they’re found responsible for the damage.
You can then file an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company and pursue that claim accordingly. If your insurance company proves difficult, you can opt for legal action against both the uninsured driver and your insurance company. By doing so, you’re able to bring the case to the local state court, which is generally more approachable compared to a federal court.
Does Washington State Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage? If So, What Does It Cover?
In Washington State, insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UIM (Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist) coverage. However, it is not mandatory for individuals to purchase it.
Typically, this coverage matches your liability policy limit and kicks in if you’re hit by someone who either lacks insurance or whose insurance is insufficient. For instance, if your policy limit is $25,000 – the minimum in Washington State – and you have UIM coverage, you could claim up to this amount.
With the increasing number of uninsured drivers on the roads, it’s becoming ever more essential to have UIM coverage.
Can You Sue An Uninsured Driver For Damages If They Caused The Car Accident?
Yes, you can sue an uninsured driver if they are responsible for the car accident. However, it’s important to understand that most uninsured drivers lack financial resources. Consequently, legal action might not result in any financial recovery unless the driver has significant wealth.
What Should You Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Driver And You Lack Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Without uninsured motorist coverage, financial recovery becomes a challenging proposition if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. However, it’s still possible to file a complaint with the Department of Licensing using their financial responsibility law form. This could potentially lead to the uninsured driver negotiating a payment plan to avoid license suspension.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Financial Losses If You Are Involved In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver In Washington State?
The key to protecting yourself from financial losses in such a scenario lies in the steps you take before the collision occurs. Ensuring you have comprehensive insurance coverage is crucial. This includes uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, medical payments coverage, and health insurance.
If a collision occurs, these coverage types will ensure you and your family are financially protected. It’s paramount to consider potential scenarios where you could be left disabled or require emergency medical care, and how you would afford such expenses. Adequate insurance coverage is essential.
For more information on Dealing With Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (206) 900-9342 today.