We Can Help If You've Been Hit By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist

At Putnam Lieb Potvin, our lawyers are passionate about helping car, truck and motorcycle accident victims throughout western Washington. We have lobbied the legislature to ensure adequate legal protection for those who have suffered personal injuries. You can rest assured that we will bring that same dedication to meeting your legal needs.

When a driver refuses or is unable to carry proper motor vehicle insurance, that driver puts more than just himself or herself at risk. If the driver injures another person, the insurance will be inadequate to cover the damages. Injured parties, however, may be covered by their own insurance policies; uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects accident victims in these cases.

Uninsured Motorists

Even though Washington requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, the driver who injured you (or any passengers) may not have insurance. Or you may have been hurt in a hit-and-run accident, making it impossible to identify the driver.

This is when uninsured motorist coverage will step in to protect your interests. Washington requires auto insurance companies to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If your insurance company offers uninsured motorist coverage and you chose to include it in your policy, then your insurance company will act as if it were the at-fault driver's insurance company when compensating you.

When you file an uninsured motorist claim, your insurance company's interests can be averse to your interests. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible is wise.

Underinsured Motorists

When the at-fault driver is underinsured, this means that the driver has purchased an auto insurance policy that does not provide enough coverage to compensate you for your damages. If you have underinsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy, you may be able to collect, from your own insurance company, the amount of your damages that exceeds the at-fault driver's insurance coverage.

The premium cost for underinsurance is not as costly as primary coverage, and the amount of underinsurance protection should be at least the same amount that you have in your primary policy. For example, if you have a $100,000 policy protecting others from your negligence, you should have at least $100,000 in underinsurance coverage to protect yourself.

Collecting Insurance Benefits Under A UM/UIM Policy

To recover benefits under an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy, the injured party typically must show that the other motorist was at fault. The injured party must also prove that his or her bodily injuries were significant. To collect benefits under an underinsured motorist policy, the injured party must have received the entire amount of insurance coverage available from the at-fault driver's insurance company before the injured party can make a claim against his or her own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects accident victims when they are most vulnerable. Not every policy has such coverage, however, and the victim's approach to the situation as well as any apportioned fault can change the level of compensation he or she receives. Indeed, some rules do not require the victim's insurance company to pay the victim if the victim settles prematurely with the at-fault motorist's insurance company.

This is why it is so important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Putnam Lieb Potvin in Olympia, Washington. Contact us today to discuss your situation. Call 360-596-9539 or 877-551-2871 or send us an email to schedule your free initial consultation.

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