How Does Car Insurance Work in Washington State?
If you have been involved in a car accident and are insured, you are probably thankful to have had that policy. However, insurance policies are not cut-and-dry, making it important to understand your insurance policy and what will happen with your accident claim.
“How does car insurance work in Washington State” is a question that we hear on a regular basis. Answering it requires looking at several different aspects of insurance laws. If you have additional questions or would like to speak with an attorney after reading this article, call our office.
Auto Insurance Laws in Washington State
If you drive without insurance in Washington, you could receive a ticket, making it important to have insurance and carry proof of it in your vehicle at all times.
Having an insurance policy is not enough. You must carry certain coverage minimums, which include liability coverage for the following:
- $10,000 to cover property damage or injury
- $25,000 to cover bodily injury or death of one person in one accident
- $50,000 to cover bodily injury or death of any two people in an accident
You can elect to carry higher limits on your insurance policy, as well as things like underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, as well. These are provisions that will pay for your personal medical bills if you are hit by someone who is uninsured.
Certain types of vehicles are exempt from carrying insurance, such as motorcycles and mopeds. If you are in a wreck with one, you will need to sue the driver directly or file against your uninsured motorist coverage on your personal insurance policy.
Some Drivers Are Self-Insured
Washington State allows for certain people to be self-insured. Typically, you must own at least twenty-five vehicles and provide proof that you can pay any judgments against you. In an accident with someone who is self-insured, you can hire an attorney to sue them. The law requires that they pay you directly for any judgment in your favor.
Your Insurance Kicks in After an Accident
If you have been hurt in a car wreck, you can call your insurance company and open an accident claim. They will provide you with a claim number that can be used at the doctor and by the auto body shop. This prevents you from needing to pay anything out of pocket while the case is pending.
When you file a lawsuit, it will be determined who was at fault for the accident. If someone else is negligent, his or her insurance company will pay the ordered amount. Part of that money will go to reimburse your insurance company for the medical bills and repairs that they have already paid for. You will receive the difference, minus attorney’s fees.
Even if you are at fault for the accident, your insurance company should still pay for your medical bills and property damage up to your coverage limits.
Protect Yourself with Help from a Lawyer
Insurance companies are primarily concerned with trying to make money, and they save more by paying you less. Hiring an attorney is the best way to ensure that you are treated fairly and get the most for your injury claim.
The accident attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates can help you. Call 1-800-404-9000 or complete the form below to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you deal with an insurance company after a collision.