If you are in a motor vehicle collision caused by another driver, it is only natural to expect that the driver at fault for the crash will compensate you for your losses. You carry insurance, and you expect them to provide you with coverage because they are at fault for the wreck.
In theory, under the fault-based approach to insurance claims used after car crashes in Washington, you can ask for coverage for damage to your vehicle and any injuries that you suffer in the crash. You shouldn’t have to cover any costs because the person to blame for the collision should compensate you.
Unfortunately, some drivers realize after a wreck that insurance won’t fully cover their costs, especially if they have serious injuries or their vehicles are no longer safe to drive. When might you have financial losses after a crash you didn’t cause?
When the other driver has lapsed coverage
Some drivers fail to make payments on their insurance policies and have their coverage canceled by their insurance providers. Some people even cancel their insurance on purpose.
If you encounter a driver with a canceled or lapsed policy on the Washington roads, you may not have any coverage available other than your own policy. If you carry uninsured motorist protection, your insurance may cover some of your costs. Otherwise, you may not have any financial protection.
When the other driver has bad coverage
Most people are more responsible than to drive without insurance. However, they may not be responsible enough to fully protect themselves from the true costs of a crash. Some drivers just carry the minimum coverage required by state law.
$10,000 in property damage won’t be nearly enough to replace your brand-new, imported vehicle. Similarly, 25,000 worth of bodily injury coverage may not even cover the first week of hospital bills you have following a spinal cord injury or compound fracture, let alone months of lost income.
Many people who would never consider litigating in normal circumstances find themselves needing to pursue a personal injury lawsuit when a car crash leaves them with big bills and no way to pay them. Knowing your options after a serious car crash in Washington can help you cover your costs and move on with your life even if you experience a serious injury.