Uninsured Driver Accidents in Las Vegas
There are an alarming number of uninsured drivers in Las Vegas.
When another driver hits you, you expect their insurance coverage to pay for your vehicle’s damage and medical expenses. Yet you may quickly learn you were in a car accident with someone without insurance. As of 2015, the Insurance Research Council estimated 10.6 percent of Nevada drivers were uninsured. Nevada has over one million drivers, which means hundreds of thousands of drivers are on the road without insurance. When one of these drivers causes a crash, they rarely have a way to pay for the damages. As a result, you need to work with an uninsured motorist lawyer to determine different avenues toward covering your damages.
A common way to recover compensation after a car accident when the other driver has no insurance is to utilize your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Or, your own collision coverage may apply, particularly if you suffered damages in a hit and run—which can often be traced back to uninsured drivers. Another option may be suing an uninsured or underinsured motorist to recover compensation from them directly. Whether or not this is a strong option often depends on the at-fault driver’s income and assets.
The Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Paul Padda Law will scrutinize your situation and determine your best options for recovering compensation. Let us help you after a crash caused you or your loved ones harm. Contact us online or call (702) 366-1888 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.
Nevada Auto Insurance Requirements
Nevada law requires that all drivers be covered by liability insurance. This ensures that if any driver causes a crash, that driver can be held financial responsibility for damages.
As of July 1, 2018, drivers must have at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $20,000 in property damage coverage. These are minimum requirements. Drivers can choose to purchase higher policy limits as well as additional policies, such as collisions, comprehensive, underinsured motorist, and uninsured motorist coverage.
Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law. Many drivers get behind the wheel without the requisite insurance coverage. When uninsured driver hits you, you need to speak with an experienced attorney about filing an uninsured motorist claim or suing an uninsured driver for damages. At Paul Padda Law, we have years of experience helping individuals pursue compensation following a crash in which the at-fault driver lacks insurance or has a policy limit lower than the damages.
Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
An uninsured driver is someone who lacks any type of auto insurance coverage. This is a driver who never purchased liability coverage or let their policy lapse. It doesn’t matter whether this lapse was intentional or accidental. If the driver failed to pay their premiums in time, the auto insurance company will cancel the policy.
An underinsured driver has some amount of auto insurance. They may have the minimum amount required by Nevada or the state in which they reside or have their vehicle registered. However, this amount of insurance is not enough to cover your damages. A driver is considered underinsured when you suffer physical, psychological, and financial damages beyond their policy limit. In this situation, you need to speak with an uninsured motorist lawyer about how to recover damages beyond the insurance coverage. This may require suing the underinsured motorist and holding them personally responsible for the remainder.
What to Do if You Are in a Crash With an Uninsured Driver
Whenever you are in a car accident, your first priority should be your health and safety. Look yourself over for injuries. If you are in severe pain or are seriously injured, do not try to move. Let emergency responders arrive and help you. If you are not seriously injured, you may wish to get out of the car and get to safety. Always do your best to stay out of the way of traffic.
Once you are safe and able, call the police. In emergencies, you should dial 911 to ensure the police and emergency responders arrive as quickly as possible. By calling the police, you make sure there is an official report made of the accident. You also ensure there is a report that the other driver is without auto insurance.
While you are waiting for the police, write down what you can observe about the accident. Document the make, model, and color of the vehicle and the license plate number. If the other driver is responsive and cooperative, ask for their name and contact information. This is likely the point in which you will learn the other driver lacks insurance.
If any witnesses stopped to help, ask for their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Your uninsured motorist lawyer will likely contact them to obtain a statement regarding what they observed. Their testimony can be important in proving the uninsured driver caused the crash.
When an at-fault driver causes a crash, they may flee. Never follow another driver. Remain at the scene and wait to speak with the police. Do your best to write down information about the vehicle and what you can catch off the license plate.
Obtaining Compensation After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver
After you are injured or suffer property damage in a crash, you may expect to file a claim against their insurance policy to recover compensation. However, you cannot file a third-party claim against an uninsured driver’s policy because they do not have insurance. It can be confusing as to what you should do next. You may not be sure of your options, which is why it is important to talk with an uninsured motorist attorney.
There are typically two avenues toward covering your damages after an uninsured motorist crash:
- Filing a first-party claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or
- Suing the uninsured or underinsured motorist.
In some situations, there may be a different relevant insurance policy. For instance, the driver may be uninsured but in another person’s car. The vehicle owner may have an insurance policy. Or, the driver may have been in a rental vehicle, in which case the rental car owner or company may have auto insurance. Our uninsured motorist lawyers will comb through the details of your crash to determine which, if any, insurance policies are available.
Do You Have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
If you carry UM/UIM auto insurance, call our uninsured motorist lawyers for assistance with your first-party claim. You would like to trust that your insurer will help you and pay you the compensation you deserve. However, when you file a claim for uninsured motorist bodily injury or uninsured motorist property damage, you may be disappointed.
The types of damages your policy covers can differ. Many UM/UIM policies do not apply to property damage. This is an important distinction when your vehicle has suffered thousands of dollars in damage or has been totaled. Also, an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim for pain and suffering can be tough to pursue as well. Your insurer may try to use a predetermined formula to calculate your damages, which might not properly reflect your physical pain and emotional distress.
Auto insurers are always looking out for their own bottom line first. They may try to deny your claim or limit your recovery. By working with our attorneys at Paul Padda Law, you improve your chance of obtaining a fair resolution.
It is also important to work with an attorney when you have significant damages. You may run into the issue where your economic and non-economic damages exceed your insurance policy coverage. When you have UM/UIM coverage, your insurer should pay for the cost of the accident. However, it can be difficult to force them to compensate you above the limit. You will need an uninsured motorist lawyer to fight for your recovery.
Uninsured Coverage Can Help After a Hit and Run
If you were hurt in hit and run crash, or if your car suffered damages, do not hesitate to call us at Paul Padda Law. There is no other driver to deal with, so you can’t file a third-party insurance claim. Our attorneys can guide you through the process of recovering compensation for your injuries or damage.
Uninsured motorist coverage after a hit and run may help you. It depends on your exact policy. Some UM/UIM policies cover hit and run accidents, and others don’t. Other auto insurance policies may apply to hit-and-run accident as well, such as collision coverage. This type of policy may help you repair or replace your vehicle.