Approximately 18 percent of Washington drivers have no auto insurance coverage. This fact places all motorists in the state at a 1 in 5 risks of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. Washington does not require drivers to present proof of liability insurance in order to register a vehicle, to renew a registration or even to get a driver’s license. The state’s at-fault statute does require that the person responsible for causing the accident to pay all costs related to the event. That includes property damage, loss of wages, medical expenses and other related damages.
Liability Insurance Versus Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Liability insurance, which is the main component of any auto insurance policy, makes sure that you are covered in the event that you injure someone else. In Washington, drivers also have the option to choose “uninsured/underinsured” motorist coverage. This clause covers your damages if the at-fault party in your auto accident case is uninsured or underinsured. This applies if the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage or if his liability coverage is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries, damages and, loss.
If the driver who caused the accident you were involved in does not have auto insurance, it is still possible for you to recover damages. Motorists are well advised to opt for uninsured/underinsured coverage. It will allow you to collect damages from your insurance company in the event that you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
How An Experienced Attorney Can Help
Before you even get into an accident, know what kind of insurance coverage you are carrying. Check your policy for clauses pertaining to accidents involving uninsured motorists. If that language is absent, ask your insurance company for information about buying additional protection. Always remember to get the terms of any insurance agreement in writing.
If you are involved in an accident, immediately contact an experienced lawyer to explore your rights and options. In some instances, you may be able to pursue action against your own insurance company for damages caused by an uninsured motorist.
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