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Collecting Damages When You Are Hit by an Uninsured Driver

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Dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic car accident can be extremely stressful, painful, and expensive, even when liability is established and the insurance company settles in your favor. When you’re involved in a collision where the liable motorist isn’t fully insured to cover your damages, you may wind up paying for his mistake out of your own pocket—that is, unless you have the proper coverage to make up for his insurance deficiencies. 

Recovering Damages From the Liable Party

Washington’s financial responsibility law states that uninsured drivers are responsible for damages they cause, as long as there’s a reasonable chance that a court will make a judgment against them. However, the law only applies to accidents that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Significant damage was caused. The damage to property exceeded $1,000 or caused any bodily injury.
  • The liable driver was uninsured. The driver responsible for the accident was either uninsured or under-insured.
  • An assumption exists that a court would order liable party to pay. There is a reasonable estimation that if the injured party filed a claim against the liable party, the court would rule in favor of the plaintiff.

When a collision fails to meet these requirements, it is left to the insurance companies to pay the damages, which is never a good thing. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not giving it away. This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play.

Recovering Damages With Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Although Washington requires motorists to have vehicle liability insurance, 20% of Washingtonians fail to carry adequate coverage. Therefore, to protect motorists from irresponsible drivers, Washington requires that insurance companies offer at least $25,000 worth of uninsured motorist coverage with every policy. This coverage will do the following:

  • Provide you with peace of mind that any damages suffered in an accident will be covered up to the limit of the policy, regardless of the insurance status of the other driver.
  • Cover expenses when an uninsured or under-insured driver causes damages to you or your property which they can’t afford to fix.
  • Cover expenses from medical bills and lost wages to ongoing care.

Unfortunately, having this coverage and using this coverage are two different things. To use this coverage, you must be able to show that the poorly-insured driver was at fault for the collision. Without proper help, establishing liability can be tricky. The help of an experienced attorney can become invaluable in situations such as these, as he can help provide you with the proper options and insight you need to fully recover all of your accident damages. 

For more information on how to secure your recovery, fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your claim. We’re here to help you get the settlement you deserve. Why wait? Contact us today.

Category: Car Accidents


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