A Washington car accident attorney can explain your legal rights to you if you have been injured in a car accident. Evaluation of a car accident case generally involves consideration of both common law negligence principles (i.e. who is at fault) and contract/insurance law principles (i.e. which insurance company is obligated to pay and how much).
Insurance law can sometimes be quite complicated and the laws applicable to each particular situation may vary. The information provided herein is a simplified general overview of automobile insurance which we hope will help familiarize you with several key terms. For information regarding your particular case please contact a Washington car accident attorney for a free consultation.
Every motorist in the state of Washington must have liability insurance which will provide coverage if you are at fault in an automobile accident in which another person is injured and presents a claim for bodily injuries and or property damage against you. Your insurance company will defend the claim on your behalf and provide a lawyer if necessary in the event that the injured party files a lawsuit against you.
Washington State laws require all drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage of at least $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. The minimum amount of property damage liability insurance in Washington is $10,000.00. Of course, you may obtain additional liability coverage to protect your assets by paying additional premiums. Keep in mind that liability coverage does not apply to your own injuries, but relates to the coverage available to pay for someone else's injuries or damages when you are at fault for the car accident.
Although not mandated by Washington law, it is strongly recommended that you maintain Personal Injury Protection coverage. This is the insurance that will provide coverage for your medical treatment when you are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also allows you to recover for lost wages if you miss work or have reduced hours because of a car accident, and provides funeral benefits which are payable to a beneficiary should an insured driver die as a result of the automobile accident.
In Washington, Personal Injury Protection coverage is included in the insurance packages offered by the insurance companies, and you pay the premium for it unless you affirmatively reject this coverage in writing. Again, it is highly recommended that you maintain Personal Injury Protection coverage on your auto insurance policy.
It is not mandatory in Washington for a driver to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, for an additional premium, you may obtain uninsured/underinsured coverage which will provide you with personal injury coverage should you suffer injuries arising from an automobile accident with an uninsured vehicle or a vehicle which is under insured where the other driver is at fault.