Even when liability is clearly established after an accident, a victim’s recovery from injuries sustained in an auto accident is often limited by the ability of the at-fault party, or parties, to pay compensation for the victim’s damages. Most commonly, the majority of an auto accident recovery comes from one or more insurance companies. Unfortunately, if a driver without insurance injures you, or your injuries exceed the scope of the at-fault driver’s coverage, the situation could become more complicated.
Washington State’s Mandatory Auto Insurance Law
Washington state law requires all drivers to carry auto liability insurance and proof that they have insurance. The law requires anyone who drives a motor vehicle in the state to do one of the following:
- Carry liability insurance- you must have liability limits of at least $25,000 for injuries or death to another person, $50,000 for injuries or death to all other people, and $10,000 for damage to another person’s property
- Pay a deposit to the Washington State Treasurer, or
- Have a liability bond of at least $60,000
This law does not apply to motorcycles, motor scooters, police or government-owned vehicles, or any specially licensed “horseless carriage vehicles” more commonly referred to as antique or collector vehicles. However, a driver is still responsible for any damages or injuries that result from the use of any of these exempt vehicles.
Most drivers choose to maintain coverage in excess of these minimum statutory requirements in order to protect their personal assets. For drivers who own homes, their homeowners insurance may provide some additional protection in the event their personal liability exceeds their auto insurance coverage.
How a Washington State Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
Insurance plays a key role in protecting parties from uninsured and underinsured drivers, who seem to be multiplying in today’s down-turned economy with increasing insurance, fuel and cost of living expenses. In situations where the insurance coverage is simply not there, injured drivers may be able to recover from their own insurance companies if they purchased additional protection against uninsured and underinsured drivers. As a last resort, a Washington State auto accident attorney may still hold the at-fault driver personally liable, attaching the person’s assets or even garnishing wages if necessary.
Obtaining the best recovery for clients means knowing how all these types of insurance work together and being creative in identifying other parties who may have contributed to the accident and may be partially liable.
Contact Seattle Car Accident Attorneys
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, an experienced Seattle car accident attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle personal injury lawyers 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.