Pedestrian Accidents: What If the Motorist Is Uninsured?
Any car accident has the potential to turn your world upside down, but if you’ve been hit by a car while walking, and the vehicle operator is uninsured, you could be facing injuries and bills on an extreme level. Because the damages of an accident are typically handled and settled through insurance companies, being injured in a pedestrian accident by an uninsured motorist can create questions and grey areas about who pays for what.
After all of the confusion and damages, you could potentially be on the hook for your hospital bills and recovery. Protect yourself and your finances by knowing what steps to take if you’re a pedestrian injured by an uninsured motorist.
What do we mean by an uninsured motorist?
Every state has minimum required amount of insurance that every driver is legally obligated to carry. In the overwhelming majority of states, including Washington, it is illegal to drive without car insurance.
However, this does not mean everyone follows the law, and there is also a possibility that a driver carries motor vehicle insurance, but not enough to cover the cost of the damages, in which case the driver would be considered underinsured.
So what happens if I’m hit by an uninsured motorist as a pedestrian?
The good news is that if you are covered by any car insurance policy, there will most likely be an uninsured motorist (UM) clause in that policy that will help you recover the costs of the accident and recovery. The State of Washington requires insurance companies to provide UM in their insurance policies.
What kind of costs can I expect after being a victim in a pedestrian/vehicle accident?
While there are quite a few variables in any accident, like speed and vehicle type, there are certain kinds of bills you should be prepared for in the event of being a victim in any pedestrian accident. You may incur emergency room and ambulance bills, hospital bills for care after being admitted, physical therapy costs, medical equipment necessary to aid in your recovery, and possibly more.
How does UM/UIM insurance work?
If you’ve been struck while walking by an uninsured/underinsured driver, any auto insurance policy possessed by you or your household will be in effect. Even if you are not a driver or passenger, if you are on a roadway you are insured. In the case of uninsured or underinsured, your insurance policy language dictates that your insurance company will step into the shoes of the at fault party, and pay the claim as if they too had responsible insurance coverage.
The best way to protect yourself is to contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury, who can help you explore your options and determine the best course of action for your situation.
A Caring Advocate in Southwest Washington
If you’ve been the victim of an uninsured motorist, contact Philbrook Law Office today. We will assist you in getting your life back on track after an accident. We specialize in personal injury and will give you the dedicated, personalized attention you deserve.