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What if a driver without insurance is at fault for a wreck?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Washington has many laws that apply to drivers for the safety of the public. Motorists must follow rules about how they drive their vehicles. They must also meet certain standards to lawfully drive.

Having a driver’s license and carrying appropriate insurance are necessary for the legal operation of a motor vehicle on public roads. Despite clear rules, some drivers put personal convenience ahead of legal compliance. Others make mistakes that can have major implications if they are ever at fault for a crash.

Intentionally canceling an insurance policy or forgetting to pay a premium are both issues that could lead to a lack of coverage after a crash. Do Washington drivers need to worry about uninsured motorists?

Driving without insurance is somewhat common

While every driver is likely aware of how the law requires insurance, that knowledge does not guarantee compliance. Quite a few drivers in Washington let their policies lapse and get the behind the wheel without the coverage required by state statutes. Washington is among the worst states in the nation for uninsured drivers, at least based on claims data from 2019. Washington had the 12-highest rate of uninsured driver claims. That rating translates to about 16.5% of drivers operating their vehicles without proper insurance.  What happens if one of these drivers causes a wreck?

There are multiple options available

Some drivers do the exact opposite of failing to carry liability coverage. They invest in robust insurance that protects them from a variety of different risks. Uninsured motorist protection is one of the most common additions to basic insurance policies. Some drivers with specialized coverage may have the option of using their own insurance after a crash. If they do, they may have to pay more for their coverage in the future. Therefore, many drivers prefer to hold the other motorist accountable if possible.

Filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver can lead to court-ordered compensation. A driver without appropriate insurance may end up subject to a court order to reimburse those affected by a crash that their insurance should have covered. Occasionally, there might even be an option of pursuing a third-party lawsuit against manufacturers or employers.

Drivers who look at all of their options may have the easiest time securing appropriate compensation after a Washington car crash. Knowing how to handle unusual crash scenarios may help people feel more empowered after a collision occurs for which there is no insurance available.