Imagine driving with your family. A negligent driver loses control of his car and strikes you head-on. You, your wife, and children are all seriously injured. You then find out that the negligent driver was uninsured or carried the state minimum liability insurance policy of $25,000. Now what? The emergency room bills alone will dwarf that amount. What about the rest of the medical expenses, the lost wages, and most of all, the suffering you and will family will now be forced to endure as you all recover from your injuries, some of which may have lasting impacts. At this point, you may be wondering how to protect yourself from uninsured drivers; The answer – make sure your car insurance policy includes uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage and you purchase as much coverage as you can afford.
So what exactly is UM/UIM? UM coverage and UIM coverage provides compensation if you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident with a driver with limited or no liability auto insurance. The damages you could recover include your medical expenses, your lost wages, any medical expenses expected in the future, and wage loss expected in the future, compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as compensation for other losses you suffered or likely will suffer.
The Insurance Research Council reports that an estimated one in eight drivers are uninsured. Many more drivers are underinsured. While Washington State law does not require drivers to purchase UM/UIM coverage, with the number of uninsured drivers and underinsured drivers on the road, the risk to you and your family is too high to ignore the coverage.
As a personal injury attorney with many years of experience, I know firsthand how important it is to have UM/UIM coverage. I always tell clients to buy as much UM/UIM coverage as they can afford, as it can end up being the only protection you and your family has if the worst happens.
If you’ve been involved in a Washington car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, be sure to take the appropriate steps to protect your personal injury claim:
Immediately call the police to file a report following your vehicle accident and inform your insurance company of the incident as soon as possible. As with any car accident, try to document as much information as possible, including damages to your car, the other vehicle, and the other driver. If you’ve been hurt, seek immediate medical attention so that any injuries can be treated and documented for your claim.
Knowing how to protect yourself from uninsured drivers is key to preparing for the worst. For additional questions regarding your vehicle accident, feel free to contact your Tacoma personal injury team at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel.