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UM/UIM: What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

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    UM/UIM: What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

    Lehmbecker Law strongly recommends that all drivers carry Uninsured Motorist insurance (UM)/ Underinsured Motorist insurance (UIM) coverage on their automobile insurance policy. If you are hit by a driver who does not have a liability insurance policy, or does not have a large enough policy to pay for all the damage they caused, this type of insurance pays for your uncompensated vehicle repair expense and your personal injuries, medical expenses, wage loss and other damages or losses.

    In Washington state, insurance companies are legally required to offer UM/UIM insurance to every person when they purchase an auto insurance liability policy. For you to decline UM/UIM coverage, the insurance company must obtain a written waiver from you.

    If they fail to get the waiver, then they will have to provide the coverage even if they did not charge you for it! For every client who is told they do not have UM/UIM coverage, Lehmbecker Law requires the insurance company to show proof of the waiver. Often they cannot, so every year we are able to obtain UM/UIM benefits for clients who were initially told they did not have the coverage and have not paid for it.

    In order to get compensation for your injuries and damages after an auto accident, there usually must be an insurance policy available—either an uninsured motorist policy or a third-party liability policy. Unfortunately, Lehmbecker Law receives frequent calls from stressed accident victims who have property damage and or injuries caused by an uninsured driver (and they themselves do not carry UM coverage).

    Don’t be put in this position! Always make sure you get this coverage. It may be your only recourse if you are struck by an uninsured driver.

    When There Is No Apparent Insurance on Either Side

    1. Ask your insurance company to produce a written waiver that proves you declined UM/UIM coverage. If they cannot produce this waiver, call Lehmbecker Law right away as you may have an avenue for recovery.
    2. Submit a request to the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to assist you in collecting damages from the at-fault party.
      This form can be found here:
      There must be injuries and/or damages of $1,000 or more caused by an uninsured driver. If the uninsured owner/driver fails to pay, the DOL may suspend their driving privilege.
    3. When exchanging information, try to determine if it might be possible that the person who hit you is a minor or young adult. In Washington, a parent can be held liable for injury or damages caused by a family member driver under the Family Car Doctrine.

    Let Our Experienced Attorneys Fight For The Benefits You Deserve

    If you have been injured in an accident by an uninsured driver, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

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    Larry A. Lehmbecker
    Firm Founder, Larry Lehmbecker, has nearly 40 year’s of experience fighting for the injured in Washington State. He is always eager to share his knowledge to help those in need.
    Contact Lehmbecker Law Today
    Our attorneys and paralegals have decades of experience to help ensure you get the proper treatment for your injuries
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