This is a nightmare situation!! Normally, the insurance for the car that hit you covers your damages, EXCEPT when the vehicle is stolen and the thief causes an accident with you. In this situation there is almost always no insurance available from the at-fault vehicle. If the thief had his own car insurance that could cover you but in all likelihood he has no car insurance of his own either. Our Washington car accident lawyer is here to help.
What do you do?
You are going to have to lean heavily on your own auto insurance policy. Your insurance premium won't increase because you were not at fault, so don't hestitate to get your insurance involved early. If your rates do go up, contact the Washington Insurance Commissioner and file a complaint.
If you have collision coverage then your car repairs will be paid by your insurance company. You will have to pay for your deductible. But it's better to pay a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand. If you have no collsision insurance coverage, unfortunately you will be left footing the bill yourself.
If you have PIP insurance your medical bills will be paid under that coverage up to 10,000 or 35,000 depending on the coverage you purchased. If you exceed the PIP coverage or have no PIP, then your health insurance will have to cover your medical bills to treat your accident injuries. Again, you will have to pay the deductibles and co-pays that apply. If you have neither PIP or health insurance, then there is one last resort option, Washington Crime Victims Compansation Program.
The Washington Crime Victims program is designed to help victims of violent crimes not be financially ruined by medical expenses and other associated expense suffered. In auto accident cases, if you were hit by a thief in a stolen vehicle or a DUI driver you would likely qualify for coverage. If you qualify, the program will pay some or perhaps all of your medical bills. This can be a huge blessing in a very bad sitaution. However, the Crime Victims program has a limited yearly budget. Once the budget for a year runs out then no more claims are paid. If you have an accident case where crime victims may help it's important to apply as soon as poosible.
Pain & Suffering
Hopefully you purchased lots of unisured motorist (UM insurance) on your own auto insurance policy. This coverage is designed to cover situations like this when the at-fault vehicle and/or driver have no insurance. UM insurance in essence steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver and provides insurance as if the at-fault driver was covered. UM insurance will cover all medical bills, lost wages, and other harms and losses (i.e. pain & suffering) up to the limit you purchased. However, UM insurance only pays one time so it's important to complete all injury treatment and make sure you are fully healed before talking settlement with the UM insurance adjuster. UM insurance doesn't pay medical bills as you treat or lost wages when you are home recovering, PIP does this.
If you find yourself dealing with all of these issues, you may benefit greatly from talking to a experience attorney who knows all the ins and outs of situations like this. Do yourself a favor and call Kirkland car accident attorney Max Mayers today to find out what your legal rights are before dealing with all of the items discussed above.
You may also find Max's book "Car Accident Secrets Unlocked" helpful as well.