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How to Find Out If Someone Has Car Insurance
Whether you are involved in a severe multi-vehicle collision or a minor rear-end accident, you should always exchange insurance information after a car crash. Asking someone for his or her car insurance information can be challenging, especially if the driver does not carry the required coverage. Here are a few tips to help you find out if someone has car insurance.
Why Do You Need to Ask for Insurance?
In Washington, drivers are required to carry liability insurance, which pays for damages following an accident. If the policyholder causes an accident, injured victims could file claims against his or her insurance to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
After an accident, it is important for you to collect driver’s insurance information so that you can pursue a claim in the future. If you do not know the driver’s insurance status, it can be difficult to know your options for compensation.
Ask for Insurance Information Directly
One of the most effective ways to find out if someone has car insurance is to ask him or her directly. If you are able, speak to all drivers involved in your collision and ask them to provide their names, contact information, and insurance details.
Remember to keep your interaction brief and not to offer any information about the accident or your injuries. Anything you say could impact your case in the future. It is important to speak with an attorney before talking to anyone about the collision.
Finding Insurance Information After a Car Accident
Sometimes, you are unable to ask a driver for his or her insurance after an accident. You may have very severe injuries that require immediate medical attention. In some cases, the driver may refuse to provide his or her information following the accident.
To find out if a driver has car insurance, contact the Washington State Department of Licensing. The agency could look up the license plate number and see whether there is a policy associated with that vehicle.
If you do not know the driver’s information, you could find this information in the police report about your accident. Depending on where the accident occurred, you will need to contact the municipal police department or the Washington State Patrol.
What to Do If You Are in a Collision with an Uninsured Driver
Many people refuse to offer insurance information because they do not carry the policies required by state law. In these situations, you may wonder whether you have many options for compensation.
If you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you could file a claim under your own policy. However, you will need to hold this insurance before your accident. Washington does not require UM/UIM insurance, but it is a good idea to invest in this coverage so that you can protect your interests.
You could also file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in Washington civil court. If you can prove that the driver caused your accident, you could hold him or her accountable for lost wages, property damage, and other losses. The driver will be solely liable for your settlement if your case is successful.
If you are injured in a collision with an uninsured driver, speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. A Washington car accident lawyer can carefully evaluate your accident and identify your optimal path to recovery.