Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Claims
Do you know how much liability insurance the State of Washington requires drivers to carry? $25,000.
That’s right, only $25,000! In some states, the limits are even lower. That might initially seem like a lot of money, but here is how it works – if a negligent driver injures you and they have only the minimum amount of liability insurance required, their insurance company can only pay you a maximum of $25,000, regardless of how badly you were injured or how badly the other driver behaved. For example, if you are injured by a drunk driver and need to have surgery, their insurance company will only pay you $25,000, regardless of the amount of your medical bills, regardless of how long you are unable to work, and regardless of whether or not you will ever fully recover. If the other driver doesn’t have a job, a home (with equity), or other assets, you will not be able to get anything else. After all, it is true that “you can’t get blood out of a turnip.”
Since you canot force other people to drive better or buy more insurance, how can you protect yourself? The answer is simple – purchase Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist (UIM) insurance. This insurance steps in and provides additional insurance to you if the person who causes your injuries has no insurance or not enough insurance. UIM insurance will also protect you if you are injured while you are a passenger in someone else’s car or if you are a pedestrian. It will even protect you if a car hits you while you are riding your bicycle!
UIM insurance is affordable and easy to buy – and your insurance rates should not go up if you need to use it. There are several different levels of coverage you can buy. The amounts start as low as $25,000 and go as high as $1 million. We believe that you should purchase $250,000 worth of UIM coverage. If you cannot afford this much insurance, please do not buy anything less than $100,000 of UIM coverage. This coverage is used to compensate you for all of your injuries and losses. This means that it covers your medical expenses (both the ones you’ve already incurred and the ones you may need in the future), your wage loss, and your “pain and suffering.” These losses can add up quickly, especially if you are badly injured.
We have seen too many people who were injured through absolutely no fault of their own, but who were unable to be fairly compensated because the person who injured them didn’t have enough insurance coverage and they didn’t purchase any or enough UIM insurance.
Please, protect yourself and your family by purchasing UIM insurance. It is one of the most important things you can do.
If you have been injured in an automobile collision or have been injured while riding your bike, walking or running, call Nelson Boyd attorneys at (206) 971-7601.