What Happens When You are Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Washington State? Protect yourself!

Posted by Bradley Thayer | Feb 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

In the State of Washington, you are required to carry auto liability insurance and proof of auto insurance. More and more drivers, however, are opting to drive in Washington State without insurance. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute places Washington State as 5th on the list of states having the highest rate of uninsured drivers. Washington is apparently home to just over 21 percent of uninsured drivers. Protect yourself! 

You do not want to get into a collision with an uninsured driver. And, sometimes too, the driver that hit you might as well be uninsured if the incident is a hit and run. Anyway, if the collision was the uninsured driver's fault, then getting fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, among other things, is going to be difficult and maybe even impossible unless you've made certain you are properly protected by your own insurance coverages. Here are some examples illustrating when and why you may or may not be out of luck in this scenario.

When a negligent driver injures you, your passengers, and/or your property, then the negligent driver owes you compensation for the same… as long as there is a source from which that compensation can be paid. Meaning, the only way you are likely to successfully get compensation when a driver is negligent and uninsured is if:

  1. He or she has personal assets, etc., that can cover your damages (and even if he or she has assets, there are no guarantees of recovery); and/or,
  2. There is some other entity that might also be at fault (for example a bar which overserved the uninsured driver or the state which designed a dangerous road—again, there are no guarantees of recovery); and/or,
  3. You have insurance coverage against which claim can be made to pay for the damages caused by the uninsured driver. This is the most critical point! Protect yourself!

In light of number 3 above…

Get more insurance, specifically personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (see above). Read your declarations page on your current automobile insurance policy. And, if you can afford it, get a higher policy limit on the critical insurance coverages we're discussing here.

To the extent you are appropriately and adequately insured and thus protected, here we discuss what an uninsured motorist case looks like, ideally.

If you would like to discuss your potential uninsured motorist case with one of our attorneys, feel free to give us a call today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Bradley Thayer

Brad Thayer is a partner at the Schauermann Thayer firm. Brad is licensed in both Oregon and Washington. He has been practicing law since 2015. He was presented the 2018 Rising Star Award by the Clark County Bar Association. Brad's practice focuses on automobile collision, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian injury, dog bite, and myriad other types of injury and insurance cases. During his free time, Brad enjoys following the Portland Trail Blazers, playing basketball, going to concerts, and playing the drums. He especially enjoys hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and exploring other Northwest wonders.


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