There are thousands of car accidents in Washington every year. Many of these result in serious or even fatal injury. However, while car insurance is mandated by law in Washington State, an alarming number of these incidents involve uninsured drivers.
When you are involved in a car accident, the costs can be astronomical. From medical bills and rehabilitation costs to lost wages, the expenses can pile up quickly and easily overwhelm the average person’s finances. Even with health insurance, the co-pays, and deductibles for the treatments following an auto accident can become a significant burden. Tragically, the financial impact is often just the tip of the iceberg, with emotional and physical trauma adding to the toll.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you don’t have to face it alone. With extensive experience and knowledge in accident and injury law, Attorney Marya Fuller is here to listen to your story, discuss your options, and help you choose the best path forward.
To schedule your FREE consultation at our Tacoma or Olympia office, please call Fuller & Fuller at (800) 570-4878 today.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage, commonly referred to as UM, is an essential provision in auto insurance that offers drivers peace of mind in the instance of a collision with an uninsured driver. This coverage is an elective addition to your standard insurance policy, but in states like Washington, where roughly 20% of motorists are uninsured, it’s a provision that’s more of a necessity than a luxury.
UM coverage is tailored to offer financial protection against specific losses such as bodily injury and, in some cases, vehicle damage caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. It’s a component of your auto insurance designed to safeguard your financial stability by covering medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering that can arise from an accident. The coverage is also dynamic, stepping in to protect you and your family members, whether you are in your car, someone else’s vehicle, or even if you’re struck by a car as a pedestrian.
When you are harmed in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, prolonged disputes and legal challenges can compound the initial stress of the collision itself. Insurance companies, even your own, may not always align with your best interests, often because their primary focus is on their financial outcomes. They may undervalue your claim or prolong the negotiation process, leaving you to cope with the aftermath of the accident. Insurance companies are businesses, and despite their customer service pledges, their bottom line often takes precedence. With UM coverage, you grant yourself an extra layer of protection that could prove invaluable at a critical time.
Does UM Cover Underinsured Motorists?
In Washington, the state requires a minimum liability coverage of $25,000, but this is often insufficient to cover the full extent of damages in a serious accident. Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) serves as a safeguard when the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot foot the entire bill. UM and UIM coverage are typically bundled (as UM/UIM coverage) to provide the comprehensive protection that drivers might need in the event of significant injuries or damages at the hands of the uninsured or the underinsured.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Worth It?
The short answer is yes. It is a relatively inexpensive addition to your policy that can save you from facing huge out-of-pocket expenses. Considering the one-in-five probability of encountering an uninsured or underinsured driver, it’s a wise investment in your financial security.
The benefits of choosing the highest possible UM coverage limits extend beyond just covering the immediate expenses after an accident. With more comprehensive UM coverage, you also secure your future financial needs, which might include ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and even modifications to your home or vehicle if you suffer long-term disabilities. It’s a proactive measure that protects your assets and savings, ensuring that a single incident doesn’t undermine your financial stability or derail your future plans.
Do I Still Need a Lawyer if I’m Involved in an Accident?
Absolutely. Even with UM coverage, navigating the personal injury claims process can be fraught with complexity and pitfalls. An experienced attorney, like Marya Fuller, who specializes in accident and injury law, is invaluable in these situations. Lawyers ensure that you are not only treated fairly by your own insurance company but also help in assessing the true value of your claim, negotiating settlements, and preparing for litigation when necessary.
Having a personal injury lawyer on your side sends a clear message to your insurance company: that you are serious about receiving full and fair compensation. It also levels the playing field, especially when you are recovering from your injuries and may not have the capacity or knowledge to handle complex legal and insurance matters.
While UM /UIM coverage is a critical component of your financial protection plan, the guidance and representation of a seasoned personal injury lawyer are what activate that plan. It is an experienced lawyer who can turn the promise of coverage into a tangible recovery, helping to ensure that your life is not hampered by financial uncertainty.
Fuller & Fuller Is Here to Help
Since its founding in 1972, Fuller & Fuller has stood up for individuals and families who have suffered due to the negligence of others. Over the course of five decades, our firm has not only observed the evolution of personal injury law but has helped to actively shape it, one client at a time. Our foundation was laid with the promise of commitment and compassion—a promise that attorney Marya Fuller continues to uphold today.
Marya Fuller’s breadth of knowledge in accident and injury law is backed by decades of working in the field. Her approach has been honed through years of advocating for clients who have found their lives upended by accidents.
At Fuller & Fuller, we work on rebuilding lives. Our mission is to navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf, to dismantle the barriers to your recovery, and to secure compensation that reflects the true cost of your losses. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you—free of cost and obligation—to listen to your story, provide information about your rights, and help you understand your options.
Contact Us for a FREE Case Review
Your journey to recovery starts with understanding your rights and options. Contact Fuller & Fuller online or call us today to schedule your FREE case review. With offices in Tacoma and Olympia, we serve victims of serious injury living in all nearby areas of Washington.