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Do I Need Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Insurance?
Posted in Car Accidents on May 5, 2020
When you are in a car accident in Washington state, the driver responsible for the accident must cover the damages that you and the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved suffering. These funds typically come from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy — but not all Washington residents have the minimum amount of insurance the state requires.
In addition, that driver may not have enough insurance to cover your damages — leaving you without the compensation you need to recover. To avoid these situations, invest in uninsured and underinsured motorists’ insurance (UIM/UM). If you have recently been in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact our Seattle uninsured accident lawyers today at Colburn Law.
Washington State Requirements for UIM/UM Insurance
It is the responsibility of all drivers to protect themselves and other drivers on the road by purchasing and maintaining car insurance. Since Washington operates on a fault insurance system, all drivers must carry minimum amounts of coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death per person per accident the policyholder causes
- $50,000 in total bodily injury liability per at-fault accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability per at-fault accident
You may purchase more coverage if you choose, but you must carry these minimum amounts. Penalties for driving without insurance in Washington include a fine of at least $550 and license suspension. In addition, the uninsured driver could face a personal injury lawsuit against him or her.
Why Do I Need UIM/UM Coverage?
In terms of UIM/UM coverage, Washington does not require you to purchase this insurance — but it is an important investment to make. After a car accident, you may incur expensive medical bills, hefty car repairs, and lost wages during your recovery time.
If you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, you could lose your chance at claiming the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. You could take the uninsured driver to court to collect your compensation, but without insurance coverage, it is not likely that you will obtain these funds in a timely manner — or at all.
Economic Recessions and UIM/UM
Another reason why you may need UIM/UM coverage is the possibility of an economic recession. With the increase of COVID-19 cases across the country and the resulting economic impact, it is likely that the United States may enter an economic recession sooner than we realize.
After the 2008 economic downturn that led to the Great Recession, the percentage of uninsured motorists on U.S. roads dramatically increased to 14.3% nationwide. With limited funds, Americans are more likely to cut their automobile insurance rather than giving up mortgage or rent payments, buying groceries, or paying for other essential bills.
If you can afford UIM/UM coverage, it is an important investment to make. A potential economic recession could increase the frequency of uninsured motorists on the road, and you want to cover your expenses if you are in an accident with one of these individuals. The more coverage you purchase, the better — by purchasing UIM/UM coverage, you are protecting yourself and your family.
Contact Our Offices For More Information
After a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, speak to a Seattle personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will listen to your side of the story and discuss your legal options for compensation.