The State of Washington, like all states, has a Financial Responsibility Law that requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Despite these laws, one out of every seven drivers on the nation’s roadways drives without any liability insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Research Council. Many other motorists drive without sufficient insurance to cover injuries sustained in a serious accident, should they be found at fault in the collision.
If you have been injured in a collision, and the at-fault driver was underinsured, you may believe you are out of luck; however, that may not be the case. With the help of an experienced Washington State accident attorney, you may be able to secure compensation to fully and fairly compensate you for your damages.
Washington State Liability Insurance Minimum Requirements
Washington State’s Financial Responsibility Law is intended to ensure that everyone operating a motor vehicle in the state is capable of compensating a victim in the event they are found liable for injuries sustained in an accident. For most drivers, this means they must carry liability insurance. The law requires a driver to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of liability insurance.
While some insurance coverage is certainly better than none, it is easy to see how the minimum coverage can fall short of compensating victims. Medical bills alone from a serious accident can rapidly surpass $25,000. If lost wages and pain and suffering damages are included, this $25,000 limit can seem woefully inadequate.
The “per accident” coverage applies when more than one victim is injured in an accident. With the minimum coverage of $50,000, all injured victims must divvy up the $50,000, regardless of how many people were injured. Again, imagine a serious collision wherein several people are injured, and it becomes easy to see how quickly that $50,000 in coverage can be used up, leaving victims without adequate compensation for their injuries.
Alternate Sources of Compensation
If you find yourself in a situation where you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, and it appears that the at-fault party was underinsured, take the time to consult with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney about alternate sources of compensation. Sometimes, another party may share some of the responsibility for the collision and, therefore, share some of the responsibility for compensating victims. Alternatively, your own insurance policy may provide supplemental compensation; although, insurance companies frequently fail to mention the availability of such coverage in your own policy. If you have paid your premiums faithfully, however, and coverage is available, your insurance company may have to pay out.
Contact the Colville, Washington underinsured motorist accident attorneys today by calling 509-685-3675, so we can get started helping you find alternate sources of compensation.