Why insurance often isn’t enough after a serious car crash

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The average adult expects that car insurance will provide for their needs after a major collision. However, many people end up disappointed when they have expenses that insurance won’t pay at all. They may end up struggling financially because they have major medical expenses and lost wages that insurance won’t cover.

The most obvious reason that someone could be left with uncovered expenses after a car crash involves those who drive vehicles without state-required liability insurance. However, even when a crash does involve an insured driver, those who suffer injuries or need to repair their vehicles after a Washington car crash may still end up with expenses they have to pay with their own resources. Why are uncovered financial losses after car crashes so common?

Underinsured drivers are a real issue in Washington

The cost to purchase a vehicle has gone up dramatically in the last decade. Even used vehicles are often prohibitively expensive for those in entry-level positions. Medical expenses have also been on the rise. As treatment options improve for severe traumatic injuries, the price tag for medical care after a crash also increases.

Unfortunately, the mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance required by Washington state law has not increased to reflect those higher personal costs. The state only requires $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. It can be difficult to purchase even a used vehicle with that much money. Even repairs might exceed the available coverage.

The medical coverage requirements aren’t much better. A basic policy in Washington will provide $25,000 per person and up to $50,000 per crash for bodily injury losses. In a collision where all three occupants in a vehicle get hurt, they might have to split $50,000 worth of coverage for all of their lost wages and hospital bills.

The civil courts can help those that insurance leaves unprotected

Insurance isn’t the only option for compensation after a crash. When someone starts reviewing their bills and realizes that they have far more expenses than insurance coverage, the Washington civil courts can help.

Pursuing a personal injury claim after a motor vehicle collision can help those who need to repair a vehicle or cover their cost of living expenses after getting hurt in a crash caused by another’s negligence, recklessness or intentionally dangerous conduct.