No matter how clear the other party’s fault, your recovery as the victim of an auto accident injury is often functionally limited by the ability of the at-fault party or parties to pay compensation for your damages. Most frequently, the bulk of an auto accident recovery comes from one or more insurance companies. However, if a driver without insurance injures you or your injuries exceed the extent of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, the situation may become more complicated:
Washington State law requires drivers to maintain a minimum level of liability insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident per car. However, most people choose to maintain insurance coverage in excess of these minimum statutory requirements to protect their personal assets.
For drivers who own homes, their homeowners insurance may provide some additional protection should their personal liability exceed their auto insurance coverage.
Getting the best recovery for clients means knowing how all these types of insurance work together and being creative in identifying other parties who may have contributed and may be partially liable.
In cases where the insurance coverage simply is not there, injured drivers may be able to recover from their own insurance companies if they purchased additional protection against uninsured and underinsured drivers. As a last resort, your Washington State auto accident attorney may still hold the at-fault driver personally liable, attaching the person’s assets or even garnishing wages if necessary.