After getting into a car accident, you probably have a few questions about what the next steps are and how you can get your car fixed or replaced. In a serious collision, you might even have medical bills and other costs that need to be taken care of. Thankfully, we’ve put together a brief guide to help you out. Here are a few key things you need to know about settling a car accident in Washington.
Reporting and Coverage Laws
Before you can think about timelines, it is important to understand the reporting and auto insurance coverage laws in the State of Washington. The minimum legal coverage for all vehicles is $25,000 for bodily injury or death to a single person; $50,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person; and $10,000 property damage. Not having this minimum level of coverage is considered illegal, so there is a good chance the person who caused your incident likely has at least this level of coverage.
Furthermore, accidents that result in damage to property over $1,000 or the death or injury of another person must be reported to law enforcement within four days. This means that if you are in an accident and feel fine but still go to the doctor two days later, you’ll need to report the accident to your local law enforcement agency.
Submitting an Accident Claim in Washington
The process of submitting an accident claim starts by contacting the other person’s insurance company. From there, they will take down details such as the make and model of all cars involved, where the damage is, and if you are injured. They’ll also ask for facts of the accident to make their own determination of who is considered at-fault for the incident. Once they’ve made a decision, they’ll contact you to either pay for your repairs and medical bills or explain why they are denying the claim. If there are issues with settlement or the other person’s insurance denies your claim, you can file a lawsuit. However, you only have three years from the date of the incident to do so.
Being involved in an auto accident is a scary situation. Contacting an attorney to help you get through the process is important. Please contact us today for details.