In the typical motor vehicle accident case, Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage applies if the at-fault driver has no insurance. Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage will apply if the at-fault driver's insurance coverage is insufficient to cover all damages. But did you know that an injured pedestrian is likely to receive UM or UIM coverage under the pedestrian's own auto policy if the other driver has no insurance (or has insufficient insurance)? Yes, it's true. So if you were hit by a car while a pedestrian, and you have your own auto liability insurance, you should probably notify your carrier of the accident.
You should also know that UIM coverage is a floating layer of coverage; meaning that it is coverage in addition to the coverage held by the at-fault driver. Washington law states that UM/UIM coverage must be offered in the same amount as a driver's liability coverage. You can opt out of the UM/UIM coverage, but you must sign a waiver that says you were offered the coverage and turned it down.
If there are multiple policies, then the separate UM/UIM coverage amounts may be stackable unless the policy specifically excludes stacking coverage between separate policies. You should consult an attorney to make this determination. So if, while a pedestrian, you were injured by a motorist, your UIM coverage will be a floating layer of coverage on top of the at-fault motorist's layer of auto insurance coverage.
There are different types of insurance policies or types of coverage that may be held by the at-fault party. These coverage types are extremely important because they may often determine whether a personal injury case can be successfully pursued or not.
If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Driver...
Things can become complicated if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Insurance law and personal injury law has many complexities, and figuring out the UM/UIM policy without the assistance of an experienced attorney can be difficult. Filing a claim on your own can quickly become a hassle, especially with the sometimes deceitful and aggressive insurance companies and insurance adjustors.
The Davis Law Group, P.S., has a stellar track record of representating victims of serious accidents involving uninsured drivers. We make the legal process as easy as possible for you, with the goal of letting you recover and have peace of mind. We offer a free case review for those wanting to consult with an attorney. Call our office at (206) 727-4000 or use the contact form on this page to get started.