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What happens if the other driver doesn't have insurance?

Hi my name is David Brown; I’m a lawyer and a partner at Brett Murphy Law Firm.  Often times when a client comes to me and meets me for the first time after they’ve been involved in an automobile accident, one of the questions they have is:

“What do I do if the person who hit me didn’t have insurance? “

This is what I tell them:

The first thing I explain is that I make sure that there really isn’t any insurance coverage available to help you.  What I mean by that is this: Often times the driver of the vehicle who hit you may not have had insurance, but they may have been borrowing a vehicle or using a vehicle that does, and that vehicle’s insurance is available to help you with the wage loss and the medical bills that are piling up after an accident.  This is not information that is often included in police reports or other documents you might get after an accident, and that’s why it’s important to have a lawyer turn over every rock, to make sure there are no policies to help you when you’ve been involved in a major collision.

Next, when we do find some coverage, we want to find out how much coverage is available; the state minimum in Washington is $25,000.  Now if the driver or the vehicle only has minimal policy limits available to compensate you, those limits are going to be quickly out-stripped when you’re involved in a collision that involves extensive medical treatment and long term wage loss.

So if you do get in a situation where there isn’t sufficient insurance coverage to pay for all the injuries you have received, to make up for what has happened, the next thing we look at is underinsured motorist coverage.

Every insurance policy in Washington has underinsured motorist coverage; it’s that important.  It’s there to help you if the driver who hit you either doesn’t have any insurance at all, or didn’t have sufficient insurance to cover all your injuries.  Even if you don’t carry underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy, you don’t have an automobile policy, you don’t have a vehicle, or you’re a child, there may be an underinsured motorist policy that’s available to help you. 

For instance, if you’re a passenger of a vehicle, the driver’s insurance policy underinsured motorist endorsement is available to help you.  If you live at home, your parent’s policy or your spouse’s policy might be available to help you. 

This is why it’s important to talk to a lawyer, if you’ve been involved in a major collision.  I’m available to talk any time and I’d be happy to meet with you.  The initial consultation is free, give me a call. You can reach me at 1-800-925-1875 or you can complete our contact form.