Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Claims

columnsMany drivers ignore motor vehicle insurance requirements. Some individuals may not be able to afford automobile insurance. It is estimated that between 14-20% of all drivers in the State of Washington do not have automobile insurance, although it is illegal to drive without insurance.

Many people injured in auto accidents are not aware that even if the driver that hits them is uninsured, they may still have the ability to recover for their injuries.

Other people who might be covered by an uninsured motorist insurance policy are bicyclists and pedestrians struck by a driver without insurance.

If you are involved in a car accident with someone who does not have insurance, you still have a claim for your personal injuries, assuming that you have uninsured motorist coverage under your own policy. Your insurance company is obligated to pay for your damages that result from an accident with an uninsured driver who is legally responsible for the injuries, but has no liability coverage.

If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you have a claim against your own company. The fact that you have a claim against your own company does not make it any easier to obtain compensation for your injuries. You need a lawyer to represent your interests and to maximize your recovery. An attorney will make sure that you are fully compensated for your damages. An insurance company’s motivation is their bottom line.

Underinsured motorist coverage is similar, but not the same as uninsured motorist coverage. If the other driver has insurance, but it is not sufficient to cover your injuries, you may make a claim against your own insurance company.

For example, if your injuries and expenses add up to $50,000 but the at fault driver who hit you only carries $25,000 in coverage, you may make a claim against your own insurance carrier for the remaining $25,000, assuming you have the appropriate underinsured motorist coverage.

If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, it is important that you contact an attorney who is experienced in handling these type of claims.

John Rothschild is a lawyer specializing in uninsured/underinsured cases in the Seattle area. Please email or contact him for a free consultation.


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