An auto accident can be a frightening and distressing time. It can be even worse if you come to find out the other driver doesn’t have car insurance. You may be asking yourself: “Who will pay for the repairs? Will anyone cover my medical bills?” These are the types of the questions that are likely racing through your mind when dealing with an uninsured motorist accident.
Washington state law requires all drivers to carry proof of auto liability insurance. Your liability car insurance must have the following minimums: $25,000 for injuries or death per person, $50,000 total for injuries or death per accident and $10,000 for property damage.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, one out of every eight drivers is uninsured. This means roughly 20% of the drivers in the state of Washington do not have any form of automotive insurance. According to the statistics, the demographic of these drivers tend to be male with low incomes, between the ages of 18-29.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
While you cannot protect against another car accidentally hitting you, you can purchase uninsured motorist and/or underinsured motorist insurance (UI/UM) to protect yourself and your assets. It will cover you and your passengers’ medical bills if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. UI/UM insurance can also reimburse for lost wages. There are several types of UI/UM insurance, and coverage varies from provider to provider.
Since it’s likely that uninsured motorists aren’t able to afford insurance, they probably don’t have the money to warrant a successful lawsuit. In situations like this, the insurance company could be held liable if certain legal elements are met.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in the State of Washington, here are a few critical things you should do in order to give yourself the best chance of seeking restitution in a court of law:
- Call the police and file a report. If you or one of your passengers is injured, seek immediate medical attention. Be sure to retain any medical documents they may give you.
- If you can safely do so, collect as much evidence as you can. This includes photos of the accident scene and witness information.
- Exchange information with the driver who hit you. If they are uninsured, be sure to let the police know.
- Due to the emotional nature of an auto accident, you should try to jot down any notes or your recollection of what happened as soon as safely possible. As time goes by, you could forget minute details that could be helpful to your case.
- Auto accidents can be incredibly stressful, no matter how big or small. Keep calm and schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Washington auto accident attorneys at Herrmann Law Group.
Schedule a Free Washington Auto Accident Consultation
At Herrmann Law Group, we have helped countless people seek justice against those who are uninsured. We’re here to help you retain the damages you deserve. We’ll aggressively advocate for your rights against insurance agencies who may be pressuring you hard to settle for a low dollar amount figure.