The injuries people sustain during motor vehicle accidents are only part of the story. There’s also a matter of insurance to consider. In the state of Washington, all drivers must have a bare minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage in case of injury to another motorist. Keep in mind that the cost of a catastrophic injury accident can be well into six-figure territory. The minimum legally required coverage truly is just the bare minimum.
Because of these costs, you may wind up in a dispute with your own insurance company as you file a claim to cover property damage and/or medical expenses that were the fault of another motorist. The lawyers at our Tacoma, WA law firm can help you and your family if this describes your situation.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Given the risks posed by uninsured or underinsured motorists, Washington state law requires insurance providers to offer uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. These policies protect motorists in the event of an accident with a driver who has no insurance or just the minimum legal requirement. UM/UIM coverage makes sure you don’t pay out of your own pocket for another person’s negligence and lack of proper coverage.
Keep in that that while UM and UIM insurance is available to all drivers, motorists are not required by law to carry it.
Potential Limitations to Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
While this coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists is helpful, the policies have their limits. The amount you receive from your insurance company may be lower than expected, especially if some of the amount sought crosses over with other applicable insurance benefits, such as health insurance or workers’ compensation. It really depends on the stipulations of coverage outlined by your insurance policy.
What Should I Do After an Auto Accident?
If you are involved in an auto accident, always be sure to:
- Call the authorities to file a report
- Take photos of the vehicles, the accident scene, and injuries
- Get contact and insurance information from the other driver
- Record the other vehicle(s) license plate(s) and model information
- Speak with any eyewitnesses and get their information
- Document all aspects of the collision and your medical treatment
- See a doctor if you have been injured in the collision
- File a claim with your insurance company
- Consider speaking with an injury accident lawyer
Denial of a Legitimate Insurance Claim
Sometimes after making a legitimate UM or UIM claim, your insurance provider will deny your claim. Adjusters may find reasons why your UM or UIM claim can be denied, or perhaps how to reduce the amount of insurance benefits you will receive. This can be frustrating, and the policies themselves can be so complicated that you may feel too intimidated to appeal the denial on your own.
A Lawyer Can Help with Insurance Claim Denials
If your insurance provider has denied your UM or UIM claim, our law firm can help. An experienced attorney will go over all of your documentation and the circumstances of your accident. We can then present the legitimacy of your claim to the insurance provider as part of an appeal.
Our legal team will be your advocates, and we will fight to help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled according to your policy. We can also assist in civil ligation against the negligent motorist to ensure you are not stuck paying for their mistakes.
Contact the Attorneys of Leahy Law
For more information about your legal rights and options after a collision caused by an uninsured motorist, be sure to contact our law firm for legal assistance. The attorneys of Leahy Law are here to offer expert legal counsel and peace of mind.