After a crash, you will rely on motor vehicle liability insurance to pay for repairs to your vehicle and even necessary medical care. Generally speaking, the driver who is at fault for the crash is the one whose policy pays. However, you can also have additional protections that help you out even if the other driver is the one who causes the collision.
If it’s been some time since you have gone over your car insurance coverage or if you already know that you have a minimal policy, it might be a good time to review what coverage do you have and whether it’s really enough to protect you if you get into a serious wreck.
What does Washington require?
State law mandates liability insurance for everyone driving or registering a vehicle. After all, if you were to cause a crash, you likely wouldn’t have enough money in savings to immediately cover the needs of someone who got hurt or the cost to repair their vehicle and yours.
By carrying liability protection insurance, you protect yourself against financial losses. Those same protections benefit anyone hurt in a crash that you caused. You have to carry at least $10,000 worth of property damage coverage. These funds go toward fixing a vehicle or replacing other damaged property, like mailboxes or phones destroyed in a collision.
The requirements for medical coverage are a bit higher. You have to have $25,000 worth of coverage if you cause a crash that hurts one person and $50,000 worth of coverage for collisions with two or more injured people.
Are you protected against drivers without insurance?
There are always going to be a few people on the road who don’t maintain their insurance either out of overconfidence in their driving ability or financial necessity.
If you get into a crash with one of these drivers, you may not have any insurance protection at all unless you add special coverage to your own policy. Uninsured and underinsured driver protections help protect responsible drivers from financial losses caused by people who don’t have insurance.
Having good insurance coverage is important, but so is knowing your rights. If you have significant losses after a crash caused by a driver without insurance or with minimal insurance coverage, a personal injury lawsuit could help you recover some of those losses.