Hit and Run Accidents in Washington

September 22, 2016

If you are in Spokane or Spokane Valley and have been involved in a car accident and the other driver left the scene, contact us today to explore how you may be compensated for your injuries.

Hit and runs

According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 16 percent of all drivers in Washington are uninsured. That means next time you’re in traffic, take a look around. About one out of every six people on the road near you is driving without any insurance at all. Those are the people that are more likely to cause an accident and drive off. People may also leave the scene if they have been drinking or have a suspended license.

Mandatory liability insurance in Washington

To be in compliance with Washington’s mandatory insurance law, drivers are required to carry liability insurance to help pay for any bodily injury that they cause. Mandatory minimum liability insurance coverage requirements are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of a person
  • $50,000 for total bodily injuries or deaths per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage.

That’s really not much auto insurance coverage at all. Other optional coverage like comprehensive, collision and uninsured motorist coverage are available.

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

When you’re covered by uninsured motorist insurance, you can make a bodily injury claim with your own insurance company in the event that you’re in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver. Since uninsured motorist insurance isn’t mandatory in Washington, you pay a separate premium for this coverage. When making a bodily injury uninsured motorist claim, damages you might be able to seek include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any permanent disability
  • Any permanent disfigurement

Since some insurers will only pay medical bills and lost earnings, it’s important to check your policy to learn exactly what uninsured motorist coverage you might have.

Who is an uninsured motorist?

Under most auto insurance policies, there are two types of uninsured motorists. The first is obvious: it’s the driver of a vehicle that doesn’t have liability insurance for the vehicle that he or she is operating. The second type of uninsured motorist is the hit-and-run driver who leaves the scene of a collision and fails to leave sufficient information to identify himself or herself.

Contact us today

Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims involve complicated liability, damages and contractual issues. When your insurer turns into your adversary, it could raise several defenses in attempts to deny or limit coverage. Remember that about one out of every six drivers on the road with you is uninsured, and many others are underinsured. If you or somebody close to you is involved in a hit-and-run crash that was caused by one of those people, you’ll want to contact us right away for a free case consultation and evaluation.

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