According to state law in Nevada, all drivers must carry vehicle insurance to cover costs that may result in the case of a car crash. Though this is a requirement, many individuals decide they don’t want to spend the money and illegally drive without car insurance. According to data from the Insurance Research Council, approximately 10% of drivers in Nevada do not have any insurance. This doesn’t take into account the amount of individuals who are considered underinsured. If you are involved in a car collision with an individual who isn’t carrying insurance or is underinsured, some of the costs associated with the crash may end up coming out of your pocket, even if the collision was completely the other party’s fault. It’s a good idea to speak to an injury lawyer in Las Vegas Nevada if this situation pertains to you.
What does it meant to be “Underinsured?”
Each state has its own requirements for how much insurance each driver must carry. While an uninsured driver has no insurance at all and is violating the law every time they drive, underinsured drivers are usually following the law, if perhaps too exactly. Driving without any insurance may result in fines and license suspension, but underinsurance often just results in frustration in the case of a collision. Underinsured drivers often have the bare minimum amount of coverage to be legally following the requirements to drive. Nevada’s state laws require each drive to carry insurance that covers the following:
- At least $15,000 for any physical injuries sustained by a single person in a single collision
- $30,000 for any physical injuries sustained by or the death of two or more people in a collision
- $10,000 for any damage to or destruction of property
Financial compensation can get tricky with underinsured and uninsured vehicle collisions. It’s best to speak to a skilled injury lawyer in Las Vegas Nevada for legal advice. This amount may be able to cover the costs associated with a non-serious accident, such as a fender bender, but it probably will not cover costs associated with more significant collisions. The costs associated with a serious collision quickly add up and may include:
- Ambulance fees
- Medical expenses
- At home care
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to earn wages
- Rental car while yours is being repaired
- Car repairs or purchasing a new car
Even if the driver at fault doesn’t have the bare minimum insurance, it’s still quite likely that you won’t be able to recover enough money to cover all the costs associated with the collision. Insurance companies are for-profit entities and will try to pay you as little as they can get away with, even if their client’s insurance couldn’t come close to covering the costs his or her actions caused in the first place. You shouldn’t have to suffer pain and injury as well as cover the monetary costs of the negligence of the other driver. Call an injury lawyer in Las Vegas to learn more about your options.
What Can I Do?
Figuring out how what to do if you’re involved in a car collision with an underinsured driver, can be very frustrating. You shouldn’t have to pay for damage the other individual caused, but they don’t have enough insurance or perhaps any insurance. Of course it’s possible to take legal action, but often these drivers don’t have enough money or assets to pay you with, even if you did win a case against them. An injury lawyer in Las Vegas Nevada can explain specifically as it pertains to your situation.
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM insurance), your own insurance company will cover the expenses caused by the other driver that his or her insurance can not cover. In the state of Nevada, this form of insurance is not required but every insurance company is legally required to offer it. If you did not sign a waiver when you bought your insurance that opted you out of this optional additional insurance, you probably have a UM/UIM policy.
What is UM/UIM Coverage?
Although these insurance policies are often grouped together, they are actually distinct policies that apply to different situations.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is used when you are involved in a collision with a driver who has no insurance at all. If someone is willing to break the law and drive without insurance just to avoid paying for it, they probably don’t have enough money in their bank account to cover the damages they caused. In this case, you can file a claim with your own insurance provider to request funds. This should cover the costs of your injuries and any damages to your care so long as the costs are within policy limits. Unlike with most claims you might file with your auto insurance provider, this should not raise your deductible so long as you were not at fault in the collision.
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is to be used with the other driver involved in the collision does not carry enough insurance to cover the costs associated with their negligence. You should first take action with their insurance company and get as much as you can from them (this is where it’s quite useful to have an attorney on your side to negotiate with the insurance company). Since it’s quite likely the underinsured motorist won’t have enough to cover the injuries and physical damage, you can file an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance provider. Depending on the specifics of the policy you hold, you may be able to recover up to your policy limits in addition to whatever you were able to get from the at-fault driver. Similar to UM, filing a UIM should not raise your deductible.
Get Legal Representation
Any time you are involved in a car collision, it’s a good idea to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas Nevada about your options both for covering the costs of the collision and for protecting yourself against the other driver. Even if you clearly were not at fault and the other driver seems kind at the scene of the accident, car collisions can be very expensive and some individuals may file legal action against the other driver even if the collision was their fault. Be sure to at least speak to an attorney just so you can get a better understanding of what is likely to happen. Act as soon as you can – if you do end up wanting to take legal action against the other driver, you only have two years from the time of the incident to file the paperwork.
Call an Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas Nevada for Your Legal Needs
At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, we know how overwhelming and stressful it may be to be in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. We have over 15 years of experience handling such cases throughout Las Vegas and can ensure we’ll do everything to ensure you get the best result.