Hit By an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

Attorney JD Smith | 888-981-0015 | Free Consult


Over 10 percent of drivers on the road have no insurance. If you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need an experienced attorney to help you recover financially.

JD Smith is a car accident attorney in Seattle with the Law Office of JD Smith, PLLC. He has been a Super Lawyer from 2007 to 2019, and he was the recipient of the Professionalism Award from the Washington State Association of Justice. He says that in most of the car accident claims he handles, the at-fault driver has no or little insurance.

To schedule a free consultation with attorney JD Smith, contact him now by calling 888-981-0015 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no fee for the consultation, and you owe no attorney fees unless you win your case.

How bad is the problem of uninsured/underinsured drivers in the state of Washington?

It’s a serious problem. In Washinton, 12 percent of car accidents are hit and run accidents, and most of those drivers are laking insurance. JD Smith says that in more than 50 percent of his cases, the driver who caused the wreck is underinsured.

Do car insurance companies need to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance? Is it mandatory for drivers to buy it?

Yes. Insurance companies are required to offer UM/UIM coverage to policyholders. However, drivers are not required to purchase it. They can sign a waiver to pass on purchasing it.

When buying liability coverage in Washington, you are required to be offered PIP (personal injury protection) and UM/UIM (underinsured motorist and underinsured motorist) coverage. Some states offer them separately, but Washington codifies them under a single statute. JD Smith says that many drivers buy insurance online and are looking for the lowest premiums possible. They may waive this coverage without knowing it.

Is it expensive to buy UM/UIM insurance coverage?

It varies depending on the driver’s age, but overall no, it is not very expensive to add this to your policy. It usually costs a lot less than liability coverage.

Is it easy to claim these benefits after a car accident?

It’s not as easy as the insurance company makes it look. Their marketing efforts make it seem like they are your best friend. This is not the case. They are a business, and they want to save money. The best way for them to save money is by finding any reason to deny your claim. There are also many nuances and complexities with this specific type of insurance, which is why you should have an attorney on your side when seeking these benefits.

Does uninsured/underinsured insurance apply to hit and run accidents?

Yes, but Washington state is unique in this regard in that they have enacted measures to prevent fraud. For this to apply, you must:

  1. Call the police to report the accident
  2. Have an independent witness who is not in your vehicle

How can an attorney help?

The attorney can get a copy of your policy and make sure your coverage is enforced. Most importantly, the lawyer can focus on all the legal matters while the injured victim can focus on their recovery.

What should someone do if they’re hurt in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver?

Your health and safety come first. Move your vehicle to a safe part of the road.

Once your safe, call the police. You can’t trust a cordial exchange of information between drivers. Drivers might often change their mind about the facts of what happened.

It’s also important to document the scene. Take photos of the vehicles, including damage and license plates. Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident as well to document where the accident occurred.

What should you know about insurance?

It helps to establish a good relationship with your agent if possible. You should get the highest amount of coverage you can afford. The minimum in Washington is $25,000, but in cases of serious injury, this is nowhere near enough the amount that you will need to be fully covered.

Should people choose to get uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?

Yes. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

To schedule a free consultation with attorney JD Smith, contact him now by calling 888-981-0015 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no fee for the consultation, and you owe no attorney fees unless you win your case.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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