After a car accident, one of the first things we are taught to do—assuming everybody is alright—is to ask the other driver for their insurance information. What if they do not have insurance? Or, what if they do not carry enough insurance coverage to adequately pay for the injuries and property damage you sustained? Both uninsured and underinsured drivers are a danger to responsible drivers such as yourself, but there are options you can pursue that may help you be fully compensated.
To better understand uninsured/underinsured car accidents in Seattle and how they may affect you, speak to a qualified lawyer today. Your case deserves a full analysis of the facts.
What is an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
State law requires that drivers carry car insurance in certain amounts, but too often drivers ignore this requirement. Uninsured drivers in Seattle carry no car insurance of any kind and if they cause an accident, they may have little to no assets to pay for the damage that results.
An underinsured driver simply means that the driver has insurance, but that it is insufficient to pay for the damage they caused in a wreck. This is very common in serious accidents. The Washington State Department of Licensing requires ordinary drivers to carry the following minimum insurance coverages:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident
- $50,000 of bodily injury or death of any two people in one accident
- $10,000 of injury or destruction of property in any one accident
These coverages are often not enough when a serious accident occurs. These amounts can easily be surpassed by the medical costs a plaintiff has to endure and pay for.
Options When Dealing with Drivers Without Insurance in Seattle
If a Seattle resident is involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, they should contact a talented attorney as soon as possible. There are several options that could be helpful when properly pursued.
Direct Driver Liability
Even without insurance, a negligent driver may be financially responsible for their actions. A lawsuit directly against that party is possible to recover compensation from them. However, individuals who choose not to carry insurance often have very little assets from which to pay a large claim.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In some cases, the plaintiff’s own insurance coverage may be the answer. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is intended to pick up the slack in the event of a collision with an uninsured motorist. If the other driver is unable to pay for the damages, the plaintiff’s own insurance may cover the remainder, up to the applicable policy limits.
Insurance companies may attempt to avoid payment to save themselves money, so it is important to have a strong legal case and qualified attorney to protect the plaintiff’s rights.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection coverage is a “no fault” insurance that pays the plaintiff regardless of who caused the accident. An analysis of the plaintiff’s coverage may reveal that PIP protections exists that may help pay for the accident.
Speak to an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Attorney in Seattle
Situations in which a negligent defendant is not insured properly can be devastating to your finances. However, there may be other options to help ensure you get the amounts of payment you deserve.
While this can be complicated on your own, an experienced lawyer could provide essential guidance after an uninsured/underinsured car accident in Seattle. Schedule a consultation today.