Seattle Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorneys
What to do After a Collision with an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
Experienced motorists know the routine that's supposed to take place after an auto accident: assess injuries and receive medical attention if necessary, file a police report, exchange insurance information with other involved motorist(s), etc. Yet, we take for granted that everyone has a good insurance policy, but this is far from the truth. It's unfortunate, but the fact is that many people on the road drive with inadequate insurance or none at all. This can cause major issues for accident victims who need coverage for damages.
If you or a loved has been involved in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM), you may feel as if you have no financial options when it comes to covering medical expenses and other damages. However, with the assistance of the Washington personal injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., you may be exposed to new pathways to coverage you have not even considered and get what you need for recovery.
To learn more about your rights and legal options after an accident with an uninsured driver, call a Washington car accident lawyer at (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation.
What is UM/UIM Coverage in Washington?
Under Washington state law, insurance companies are required to make uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage available; however, drivers are not required to carry it. UM/UIM coverage provides motorists protection in scenarios where the liable party does not carry an adequate enough insurance policy to pay off all the losses or possesses none at all.
When Does UM Coverage Apply in Washington?
If you have UM coverage, your insurer will provide payment, the amount of which is determined by your specific policy, for injuries caused to:
- You while being the operator or passenger of your own vehicle, while being the operator or passenger of a vehicle that is not your own, or while walking the streets as a pedestrian;
- A relative who is injured while being the operator or passenger of a vehicle included in your policy;
- Any other person who was permitted to drive or ride in your insured vehicle; and,
- Any passenger in a vehicle you are operating but are not the owner of.
What are the Limits of UM Coverage in Washington?
The amount of compensation you receive from your UM coverage may be affected by the following factors:
- Some UM coverage may provide you coverage for hit-and-run accidents if you call the police within 24 hours. Others may only provide you with coverage if you are able to identify the liable party.
- If your injury took place while at work, your UM payments will be reduced by workers' comp and other disability payments.
- If your insurer provides you with payments under medical payments coverage, your UM payments will be reduced by the amount of medical payments you receive.
Consult with your attorney before you speak with the insurance adjuster about your UM claim. You will need professional legal advice in order to ensure you get the maximum coverage you deserve.
How Does UIM Coverage Work in Washington?
The clearest way to illustrate how UIM coverage works is through an example. Let's say your injury claim is worth a total of $50,000 and the liable motorist's insurance only had the mandatory minimum limits of $25,000. You may receive the leftover $25,000 from your own insurer through UIM coverage, if that amount does not exceed your policy's limits. Also, your UIM coverage payment amount will be reduced by any medical payments coverage you receive.
How Can I Learn More about Washington UM/UIM Coverage?
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., a Seattle car accident attorney can help you find the best route for finding fair and full compensation for your losses. Recovery may not be easy, but it is possible with our help. To learn more about your rights, call us today at (888) 228-3860 and receive a free consultation from our experienced legal team.
- RCW 48.22.030 - Underinsured, Hit-and-Run, Phantom Vehicle Coverage
- Uninsured Motorists (Insurance Information Institute, Inc)
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage Protects You If They’re Not Protected