Car crashes can cause tens of thousands of dollars in property damage costs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. State law in Washington requires that every driver carry liability insurance to protect themselves and others if they cause a wreck.
At minimum, those with their own vehicles should carry bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. When someone is responsible for a car crash, their insurance compensates the other party for their losses. You depend on the policy paid for by the driver at fault for your hospital bills, lost wages and vehicle repair expenses.
Could you get into a crash with someone who doesn’t have insurance at all?
Uninsured drivers are a common concern in Washington
Insurance only seems valuable when you need to make a claim. For those living paycheck-to-paycheck, paying every month for coverage they have never used yet may seem wasteful. Others never intend to cancel their insurance but fail to make a payment, resulting in a lapse in their coverage. Roughly one in five drivers has canceled their policy or allowed it to lapse.
According to insurance industry data from 2019, Washington is one of the worst states when it comes to the number of drivers without insurance. Washington has the fifth highest rate of uninsured drivers, and roughly 21.7% of drivers in the state don’t have insurance on their vehicles.
What happens after a crash with an uninsured driver?
Sometimes, a driver without insurance will speed off from the scene of a collision that they caused in the hope of avoiding a citation. Other times, they will stop and share information with the other people involved, despite knowing their insurance won’t pay.
If you have a robust insurance policy, it may help you after a wreck caused by a driver without insurance. Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection or collision coverage could help pay for some of your expenses after a crash caused by someone without an active insurance policy.
Especially if the collision resulted in severe injuries or massive damage to your vehicle, you may need to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver who caused the wreck. Learning about the laws and insurance coverage that protects you will help you manage the fallout of a motor vehicle collision.