Washington Car Insurance Requirements
If you drive a vehicle that is registered in the state of Washington, you have to carry liability insurance that meets the minimum state standards. Failure to comply with the insurance requirement results in a fine of at least $450. The statutory minimums for auto insurance are as follows:
- $25,000 of bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident
- $50,000 of bodily injury or death of any two people in any one accident
- $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
We cannot emphasize enough that these are legal minimums, not optimal levels of coverage. In today’s world, $25,000 to cover medical bills and other losses for a serious injury is woefully inadequate. If you found yourself in a situation where you are liable for two major injuries, not to mention the total destruction of a late-model car, the amount of damages you would have to pay would exceed your policy limits, exposing your savings and other assets. A prudent driver, especially one who has a home or business to protect, should carry much higher levels.
Now, imagine you’re on the other side of a catastrophic accident and you discover that the at-fault driver only carries the statutory minimum. Worse yet, the driver might have no insurance at all. The Insurance Research Institute estimates that 16 percent of Washington drivers are uninsured — the 10th highest state level — so your chances would be about one in six of drawing an uninsured motorist. How will you recover for your accident? You could sue the driver, but drivers who can’t afford to buy insurance usually don’t have many assets to attach in a lawsuit.
This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in. As a rider to your own auto insurance policy, you can purchase additional coverage. If you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, your own insurance company will cover your losses.
Insurance plays a paramount roll in auto accident litigation, but insurance companies can be very difficult for the average person to deal with. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. can help. For a free consultation, call us today at 253.250.4516 or contact our office online.