Washington, like every other state in the country, mandates liability insurance for those who want to register and drive vehicles on public roadways. That way, people who wind up in a collision caused by someone else know that their financial losses have some kind of coverage and that they have protection from personal hardship caused by someone else’s mistakes.
Unfortunately, just like people ignore laws about speeding or using their turn signal to indicate their intentions on the road, some people also knowingly violate the law mandating insurance. In some cases, people simply can’t afford their insurance or miss a payment, meaning they don’t have active coverage.
If you suffer a car crash caused by another driver, only to find they don’t have insurance, you’ll probably worry about your rights and how you can cover those costs.
Have you purchased insurance that protects you from uninsured drivers?
Reviewing your insurance policy may not sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon, but it can help you understand what protection you have on the road. Washington law requires that all drivers carry at least $25,000 worth of personal injury coverage for a crash with one injured party and $50,000 worth of coverage if two or more people get hurt, as well as $10,000 worth of property damage coverage.
Anything beyond that is optional. You can add uninsured driver coverage to your policy that will protect you from any losses related to a crash caused by someone without insurance. In fact, you can even carry underinsured driver coverage that protects you if the cost of your losses exceeds the other driver’s coverage.
What if there is no insurance available?
Adding an uninsured driver rider to your policy can protect you from irresponsible people, but that knowledge is cold comfort for those who have already gotten into a crash without such protection.
Thankfully, Washington law also makes it possible for you to bring a personal injury claim against the other party for both property damage and medical losses, as well as lost wages if you miss work during your recovery. If you’ve been in a crash caused by a driver without insurance, suing them may be the only way to force them to be responsible for the impact of their choices on your life.