Because they happen so frequently, car crashes are among the most common causes of personal injury claims. Having been injured in a car accident can be very stressful and disturbing. Chris Jackman can help you to file a claim with the insurance company and seek financial reimbursement of the damages and losses you suffered in the car accident through filing a legal personal injury complaint.

Many car accidents result in physical injuries that incur medical expenses to treat bruises, broken bones, and head injuries. If the accident was not your fault, you likely have a good case to sue for these damages. Damages extend to psychological distress that may also impair your ability to live your life as usual and to drive comfortably. Losses also include property and loss of wages that can be precipitated by injuries that preclude your ability to work.

The main goal of a car accident personal injury claim is to enable you to obtain the full monetary compensation you deserve for the damages and losses you have endured. Chris Jackman is an experienced and skilled attorney who can help to determine the viability of your personal injury claim and help you obtain the best possible result.

Here are some topics you need to be aware of for your car crash case:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

As drivers, we always want to make sure that we are as safe as possible when on the road. Seat belts buckled, check both ways twice before entering an intersection, slow down for hazardous weather. We go the extra mile to make sure we reach our destination safely. However, accidents can and do happen even when we are being extra careful. While we can never know when the terrible event of a car crash will occur, we can be informed on car insurance policy options and plan accordingly. One important branch of car insurance to know about is personal injury protection.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP), often called no-fault coverage, can be thought of as an extension of your basic car insurance as it can be added to new, existing, or renewed insurance plans. With this type of insurance it does not matter who caused the accident; it will pay out regardless of if it was your fault or the fault of another party involved. PIP is usually more expensive than basic, or liability, insurance, but it covers a wide range of potential expenses that often accrue after an accident, including medical expenses, lost wages (of driver and sometimes of the passenger), rehabilitation costs, and funeral costs. In this way it is similar to medical payments coverage, but usually covers more.

In Washington State, you must have liability insurance, which covers any property damages or injuries in an accident that you caused. PIP is not required in Washington. However, under RCW 48.22.085, car insurance companies must offer PIP coverage whenever you sign up for a new insurance plan or renew an old plan. If you wish to reject their PIP offer, you must do so in writing.

Personal Injury Protection is often worth considering, as it may help after an accident with expenses that your health insurance policy does not cover. In this sense, you can think about it as an addition of your healthcare plan. Always be informed on what PIP covers, as it often depends on what the state finds to be necessary and reasonable healthcare (for example, some states cover acupuncture therapy, whereas others do not).

With PIP, your rights to sue for damages or lost wages after a car accident may be restricted since the insurance plan pays out regardless of fault. It is possible that with PIP, suing may only be possible if the accident resulted in death or injury or damages that exceeded the policy threshold. While PIP has many advantages, having limited rights to sue in case of an accident is a definite drawback.

We can always take the extra steps to try to avoid a car accident, but it is impossible to guarantee our safety and the safety of our families while on the road. What you can do, however, is gather all necessary information on car insurance policies and make the best possible policy decision based on your needs. If you are ever in an accident, the last thing you will want to be worrying about is your policy coverage.

As drivers, we always want to make sure that we are as safe as possible when on the road. Seat belts buckled, check both ways twice before entering an intersection, slow down for hazardous weather. We go the extra mile to make sure we reach our destination safely. However, accidents can and do happen even when we are being extra careful. While we can never know when the terrible event of a car crash will occur, we can be informed on car insurance policy options and plan accordingly. One important branch of car insurance to know about is personal injury protection.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP), often called no-fault coverage, can be thought of as an extension of your basic car insurance as it can be added to new, existing, or renewed insurance plans. With this type of insurance it does not matter who caused the accident; it will pay out regardless of if it was your fault or the fault of another party involved. PIP is usually more expensive than basic, or liability, insurance, but it covers a wide range of potential expenses that often accrue after an accident, including medical expenses, lost wages (of driver and sometimes of the passenger), rehabilitation costs, and funeral costs. In this way it is similar to medical payments coverage, but usually covers more.

In Washington State, you must have liability insurance, which covers any property damages or injuries in an accident that you caused. PIP is not required in Washington. However, under RCW 48.22.085, car insurance companies must offer PIP coverage whenever you sign up for a new insurance plan or renew an old plan. If you wish to reject their PIP offer, you must do so in writing.

Personal Injury Protection is often worth considering, as it may help after an accident with expenses that your health insurance policy does not cover. In this sense, you can think about it as an addition of your healthcare plan. Always be informed on what PIP covers, as it often depends on what the state finds to be necessary and reasonable healthcare (for example, some states cover acupuncture therapy, whereas others do not).

With PIP, your rights to sue for damages or lost wages after a car accident may be restricted since the insurance plan pays out regardless of fault. It is possible that with PIP, suing may only be possible if the accident resulted in death or injury or damages that exceeded the policy threshold. While PIP has many advantages, having limited rights to sue in case of an accident is a definite drawback.

We can always take the extra steps to try to avoid a car accident, but it is impossible to guarantee our safety and the safety of our families while on the road. What you can do, however, is gather all necessary information on car insurance policies and make the best possible policy decision based on your needs. If you are ever in an accident, the last thing you will want to be worrying about is your policy coverage. The minimum you can have is $10,000, but you can have up to $30,000. If you are hit by someone who has PIP and you are in a crosswalk, the at-fault driver’s PIP will cover you. Also, if you are a passenger in a car that is an accident caused by the driver of the car you are in, their PIP will pay for that too.

Call The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation on PIP-related questions.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Car accidents are only made worse when the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance, or has so little coverage that the expenses from the crash aren’t fully covered. It is important to be informed on insurance policies that could protect you in these difficult situations, especially since 1 in 8 drivers in the United States go uninsured (Insurance Research Council).

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) will protect you if the at-fault driver in the crash does not have liability coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) steps in if the at-fault driver’s liability limits do not cover all of the damages and medical expenses from the collision. UM and UIM Bodily Injury coverage protects you and your passenger, covering medical expenses and lost wages. It often takes affect even if the collision was a hit-and-run. UM and UIM Property Damage coverage pays out for vehicle damage and some personal property, such as your house, mailbox, or fence. UM and UIM can prevent you from having to pay out of your own pocket for damages caused by someone else.

Washington State only requires that drivers have liability coverage of no less than $25,000. However, insurers must offer their clients UM and UIM when drivers buy a new policy or renew their old one. Adding UM and UIM does increase monthly rates, but the extra coverage could be worth it in the long run. If you choose to add UM or UIM to your coverage, make sure that you talk to your provider about the various coverage stipulations, as additional insurance can have complicated loopholes. For example, if you are in an accident and the at-fault driver has some, but not enough, liability coverage, your underinsured motorist coverage limits must be higher than the limits of the at-fault driver for it to go into effect. Know all the facts before making an insurance purchase.

If you do purchase UM or UIM coverage and find yourself in the unlucky position of having to use it, be warned that the relationship between you and your insurer may take a startling turn. If you are hit by an uninsured driver and make a claim against that individual, you are actually making a claim against your own insurance company. Your insurer ‘stands in’ for the at-fault driver, meaning that your insurance company would have to pay you for someone else’s mistake. There are instances where individuals and their car insurance companies get into legal battles due to UM or UIM coverage payouts.

Although you may never need UM or UIM coverage, it is wise to stay informed on the different types of car insurance coverage and get the plan that best fits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, while having its few drawbacks, could end up saving you from paying for another person’s mistake.

Feel free to call The Jackman Law Firm for any questions regarding UIM coverage.