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What If the At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance or Not Enough Insurance?

What If the At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance or Not Enough Insurance?

An alarming number of drivers in Washington are uninsured, meaning that if the driver causes an accident it unlikely you will receive any compensation for your injuries or property damage. According to insurance company studies, 16% of Washington residents drive without insurance.[i] This means that 1 in 6 drivers on the road to not have insurance.

If you are involved in an accident, be sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver. If the driver cannot produce insurance information or admits to not having insurance, you should find out if you or the owner of the vehicle in which you are riding has a type of insurance called “Uninsured Motorist Coverage.” If you have this coverage under your own policy, YOUR insurance company will owe you the same compensation that the at-fault driver has. In Washington law, this is known as “stepping into the shoes” of the at-fault driver.

Washington law requires all drivers to maintain a minimum of $25,000.00 in insurance coverage.[ii] But what happens if your injuries and medical treatment are more than $25,000.00? Again, you need to check your own insurance policy to see if you have “underinsured motorist coverage.” In Washington, this coverage is available in addition to the at-fault driver’s insurance if the driver does not have enough insurance. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are typically referred to as UM or UIM coverage.

If you are unsure if you have UM or UIM coverage, check your insurance cards or the copies of the policies or policy pages sent to you by your insurance carrier. Typically the letters UM will appear on the cards that you carry in your car or wallet. If you are in doubt, call us and we will help you determine whether you have this type of insurance.

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage and the at-fault driver is uninsured, don’t give up hope. Contact us for a free consultation. We will work with you to explore every angle to find compensation for your injuries and losses.

Sources

[i] http://midcolumbiainsurance.com/washington-state-ranks-10th-worst-rate-of-uninsured-drivers/

[ii] http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/insurance.html

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