Uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage is not required for Washington drivers, yet insurance companies are required to offer it. Those who choose not to purchase UIM must reject it in writing.
Sadly, many drivers fail to recognize the benefits of adding UIM to their insurance policies. They may do so to save money in the short term. When they are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run, their options are limited, however.
If you were involved in a crash and the other driver took off or was uninsured, your liability coverage will not pay for the damages. That’s what makes UIM is so critical.
Having UIM on your policy can ensure that you are compensated for all medical expenses accrued from your car accident. It also covers car repairs and damages caused to other property.
Throughout the greater Seattle area, you may be at risk of being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver. Here’s why you should be prepared.
How many drivers are uninsured in Washington?
Washington drivers are only required to carry liability coverage but the insurance policy must include:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death per crash
- $50,000 in bodily injury or death (of any 2 people) per crash
- $10,000 in property damage
In the typical two-car crash, the insurance provide of the at-fault driver would pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages through a personal injury claim. Property damage would also be covered. Not all Washington drivers carry the required insurance, however.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 17 percent of Washington drivers are uninsured. The state also ranked No. 7 in the nation for having the most uninsured drivers.
How likely am I to be involved in a hit-and-run?
Hit-and-runs aren’t as prevalent here as they are in many other states. Washington ranked within the top10 states where hit-and-runs were unlikely, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever happen.
When a car accident occurs, both drivers are required by law to stay at the scene of the crash until the police arrive. Drivers who fail to do so may be charged with a felony. Despite the legal consequences, some drivers still take off after causing a crash because:
- They’re driving drunk or drugged and don’t want to get caught
- They’re involved in a crime or are fleeing from police
- They’re uninsured and don’t want to deal with the legal consequences
- They’re completely unaware that they just caused a crash (very unlikely)
Why consult with a Seattle car accident lawyer?
It’s best to speak with a highly knowledgeable car accident attorney after your crash. Even if you carry UIM, your insurance company may be reluctant to pay the fullest extent of your damages. Let the experienced legal team at Herschensohn Law PLLC handle your claim. We know how the insurance companies work and the tricks they use to save money.
Contact us online today to find out how we can help.