When a negligent driver injures you or someone you love in a car accident, you will need money to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. But what happens when the at-fault driver who causes the accident does not have insurance? If you are involved in a car accident in Washington State, that scenario could very likely happen, because it is estimated that nearly 20% of all drivers in Washington are uninsured.
The steps you take immediately following an accident with an uninsured driver could make a significant impact in your ability to obtain the compensation you need to recover.
Contact the Police: Even in low-impact accidents, the police should be called and an accident report filed. An accident report will help your attorney establish liability and will assist in negotiations with insurance companies. Do not move any of the vehicles until the police arrive, so they can clearly assess the scene of the accident and fill out the report.
Obtain Uninsured Driver’s Contact Info: Even if someone is uninsured, it is important to obtain the driver’s contact information and license information. They may have some insurance but not enough to pay all of your damages. Your insurance company may need this information as well to prove that the “at fault” driver does indeed not have insurance. They may not release Uninsured Motorist compensation to you without this information.
Contact Your Insurance Company: You will need to contact your insurance company to begin the compensation process. It is important to know that your insurance company will not raise your rates if the other driver is at fault. Your insurance company will be able to review your policy with you to see what coverage you have that will compensate you after an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Contact a Lawyer: Sadly, even when policyholders have uninsured motorist coverage, claims can still be denied. Insurance companies may also offer you only a fraction of what you need to recover. As such, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced Seattle car accident lawyer immediately to ensure that the insurance companies do not take advantage of you.
UIM/UM claims are not easy—even when an accident seems cut and dry. Even though you may be only dealing with your own insurance company, the claims process can be wrought with complications and pitfalls. Insurance companies are in business to reduce their liabilities and protect their shareholder’s interests. As such, your accident—and your injuries are not their primary concern. That’s why you need a lawyer on your side from the very beginning.
Contact Seattle Car Accident Attorneys
If you are interested in learning more about your legal options after an accident with an uninsured driver call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle personal injury attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.
The personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented injured individuals and their families in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington.