I agree with my colleague. Get an experienced personal injury attorney's representation ASAP. Most attorneys who handle these matters charge nothing upfront, and then take 33.33% of the recovery.
The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.
Contact a WA personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you won't have any up front out of pocket costs. Although it is true that if the other individual negligently caused your injuries and damages, he should pay rather than your insurance, please keep in mind that the reason you pay for uninsured motorist coverage is exactly this reason. If you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, you have the benefit of your bargain with the insurance company - uninsured motorist coverage. You could pursue the uninsured motorist coverage claim for your bodily injuries, if any, and still pursue the individual for the vehicle. You have options, which you should discuss with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action.
Your claim will be brought under your Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. This is why you have it, to protect yourself from bad, uninsured drivers. Use it. Contact an attorney immediately. You need one. Most experienced attorneys charge a contingent fee of about 1/3 of the amount recovered so you don't need money out of your pocket to process your claim. Finally, don't assume that just because the at-fault driver's family may have money means that you will recover any of it. The driver was at fault, not his family.
I agree with my colleagues, but want to add this:
There are circumstances where it is wise to go ahead and make a claim in litigation against an at-fault driver even though he has no insurance and you don't think you can reach his assets with a judgment. What is decided or deemed true as a matter of law in an underlying suit for damages can be enforced against the UIM insurer, making that claim stronger. This kind of work takes an attorney that specializes not only in motor vehicle crashes, but in first-party insurance claims and coverage. There are many in the Seattle area that can help. Check AVVO for one that meets your needs.
You may have a claim for UM benefits under your own policy. If you make a UM claim, your own carrier has the right to use all defenses that the other driver may have had against you. Many people make the mistake that they will be treated better by their own insurance company. This simply is not true. Your carrier will be allowed to assert all defenses available to the at-fault driver, and the carrier almost always does. A UM claim therefore essentially creates an adversarial relationship between you and your own insurance carrier. Thus, it may be wise to retain experienced counsel when asserting a UM claim. As can be expected, your own carrier will NOT be looking out for your interests (even though you are its own insured!). Instead, your carrier will be looking for ways to pay out as little money as possible.
You may sue for your unreimbursed damages regardless of your deductible. For this kind of case it is probably best to call an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your accident. Most personal injury attorneys work off of a contingency basis and will advance all costs associated with your case.
*PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL OR CONTACT ME. I am only licensed in Washington. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. This answer does not constitute legal advice.
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