When you obtain injuries in a car crash in Las Vegas, NV, filing an injury claim is the most effective way to seek compensation from your policy carrier or the negligent party. To receive reimbursement for medical costs, lost earnings, and property damage, you must understand your car insurance coverage as it plays a critical part in your claim. The policy offers fiscal protection for physical injuries or property damage from an auto accident.
Although insurance companies are there to protect their clients, they are in business to make a profit. Therefore, the insurance adjuster given your case is not a friend because they represent the employer’s interest in elevating profit margins. You need someone to represent your best interests. The best person for that is a profound injury attorney. At Dallas Horton & Associates, we are ready to help you back on your feet financially and physically by helping you seek compensation.
Nevada Car Insurance Laws
Nevada has multiple statutes that apply when an auto accident occurs. The laws provide the criterion for dealing with insurance claims, recoverable damages, and how matters play out when you are partly responsible for the collision and injuries.
Nevada is a Fault State
Traditionally, Nevada adopts the fault doctrine on issues of financial compensation for vehicle accident-related injuries, meaning the insurer of the liable party will be financially responsible for all the harm resulting from the crash within the policy’s limit.
As a car crash victim, you have three options when pursuing compensation from the driver who caused the crash. These options are:
- File a claim under your insurance policy if there is coverage for the loss — When you bring a claim against your insurer, they will go after the liable party’s insurance policy carrier to seek compensation through a subrogation claim.
- Bring a direct third-party suit against the policy carrier of the liable motorist
- File an injury lawsuit against the responsible individuals
If you are a driver in Las Vegas who has been involved in a car accident, you have an advantage over another driver in your situation in a no-fault state. This is because you enjoy the options that are not available for car accident victims in no-fault states. A driver in these states turns to their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy to pay for all losses associated with the accident, regardless of the person responsible. Only after the driver’s losses go above the policy’s limit will they go after the liable party’s insurer for compensation.
Minimum Liability Auto Insurance Requirement
To observe Nevada’s financial liability, you must purchase a liability insurance policy per the state's requirement. As a car owner, you must observe the bare minimum of:
- $25,000 for physical harm or death to one of the casualties in a vehicle collision you caused
- $50,000 for injury or demise of no less than two persons in a single crash stemming from your negligence
- $20,000 as reimbursement for property loss in an accident caused by your negligence
Every car owner or driver in Nevada must have physical injury liability coverage. The above are just bare minimums, meaning you can purchase more coverage that will protect you even in a car accident that leads to significant injuries and property damage. More coverage is necessary because you will be left on a financial hook once you reach your policy's limit. Nonetheless, you will have financial protection in a severe collision when you have a high limit.
Your liability policy will cater for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- X-rays, MRIs, and other medical tests
- Physical or work-related therapy bills
- Ambulance fee
- Emergency room expenses
- Funeral costs if you die
- Current and long-term care
- General damages like disfigurement
- Additional costs incurred by motorists, pedestrians, or car occupants injured in the crash
Your insurance policy will pay for these costs until your limit is depleted. The most minor auto insurance coverage requirement in Nevada is 25/50. The amount can offer coverage for every loss incurred, but you will need more financial protection in serious accidents.
Liability coverage does not offer protection only when you, the car owner, are in an accident. The policy will provide financial protection even when another person is driving the insured vehicle as long as they have your permission. Besides, the policy will indemnify you even when you are in a collision while driving a rental car.
Note that when you obtain injuries in a car collision, your liability insurance policy will not protect you when only your damages are involved. Another person’s coverage must relate to your losses to obtain reimbursement. You need distinct and additional coverage if your policy cannot offer indemnification. When you damage your vehicle, your collision policy will provide coverage for repairs or replacement if the car is damaged beyond repair.
Moreover, because your liability coverage will not pay for your medical costs, you will turn to your medical insurance coverage or Med-Pay to foot the bill. Alternatively, you can purchase an uninsured motorist policy when you are injured in an accident. These options do not make liability coverage less crucial. It will offer financial protection when a car collision victim sues you, but up to its limit.
Having liability coverage is highly advantageous because when you are the victim of a car collision, your insurer will bring a claim against the defendant for you. Nevertheless, your insurer is after colossal profit margins and minimizing payouts which is why you also need to protect your interests. The best way to achieve this is by hiring an experienced injury attorney to bring a claim against the responsible party if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Lastly, liability insurance indemnifies someone else who is hurt in an accident caused by your fault. The policy protects you from financial implications when the following people sue you for compensation:
- Other motorists
- Passengers of the other auto involved in the crash
- Occupants in your car in the crash
- Pedestrians, if they are the victim of an accident
Consequences for Operating a Car without Auto Insurance
Every driver in Nevada must operate their car with minimum liability insurance, failure to which you will be held criminally liable. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has no grace period for lapsed insurance coverage. If you are found with lapsed coverage, the DMV will revoke your car registration and require you to pay at least $251 to reinstate the registration.
Similarly, the states adopt the tiered bills and fines structure based on the time passed after policy expiry and previous lapses. When you are a first-time offender, a run out of at most 30 days will result in a reinstatement rate of $251, without fines or the need to provide Form SR-22 as insurance proof.
When the lapse duration ranges from thirty-one to ninety days, you will pay the $251 reinstatement fee plus $250 in monetary fines. The reinstatement fee remains the same, but the fine increases to $500 if the length of the lapse is between ninety-one to one hundred and eighty days. Further, you will be required to provide an SR-22 form as proof of financial responsibility. If the expiry is at least one hundred and eighty-one days, on top of the reinstatement fee, you will pay $1,000 in fines and present an SR-22 certificate.
The penalties become stricter when it is your second time operating a car without insurance within a lookback period of five years. A 30 or less day delay in purchasing insurance coverage will require you to pay fines and fees amounting to $501. The fine will increase to $1,001 when you delay the purchase of coverage for a duration ranging from thirty-one to ninety days. If the delay is between ninety-one to one hundred and eighty days, you will part with $1,001 costs and fees and provide an SR-22 certificate as insurance proof. Again, you will pay $1,501 and provide evidence of maintaining insurance through the SR-22 certificate if you are over one hundred and eighty-one days late to buy an insurance policy.
The punishment for a third lapse of at most 30 days within 60 months is
- $751 in fines and fees for a lapse not exceeding 30 days
- An SR-22 certificate
- Driver’s license revocation for no more than 30 days
For the third lapse of between thirty-one to ninety days, the punishment includes:
- $1,251 in costs and fines
- Driving privileges revocation for 30 or more days for refusing to maintain SR-22 protection
A lapse of no less than one hundred and eighty days for a third violation will result in the following penalties:
- Fines and reinstatements fees amounting to $1,751
- SR-22 coverage certificate
- Revocation of your driver’s license for 30 or more days
In this case, the SR-22 certificate acts as proof of insurance from your policy carrier to the DMV. It is evidence of financial obligation, and whenever you stop paying for the policy, the DMV will be informed and take disciplinary action, which includes driving privileges revocation and removal of your car license plates after registration suspension.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Modified comparative negligence means you will obtain reimbursement for your losses even if you are partly to blame for the collision and subsequent bodily injury or property damage. Typically, your damages are reduced by the blame percentage apportioned to you by the court. If you have liability insurance coverage, the damages you should pay the other party will be deducted from your policy but not above its limit.
Your Options in a Car Collision that is Your Fault
A medical insurance policy is the best way to protect yourself if your negligence results in an accident. Nonetheless, when dealing with high deductibles or lack of health insurance coverage, you can buy Medical pay, collision insurance, and Nevada Uninsured (UM)/Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. These are further discussed below:
Nevada Collision Insurance Policy
When your vehicle is damaged in an accident, that is your responsibility; your liability coverage will not reimburse you. And because of this, we at Dallas Horton & Associates encourage you to purchase extra coverage for these events. The coverage pays for the damages regardless of the party to blame and is optional.
Collision insurance differs from other insurance policies because it has several deductibles ranging from $250 to $1,000, which means the higher the deductible you pick, the lower your premiums. Nonetheless, the amount you pay as deductibles depends on your DMV record.
Collision insurance is viable if you lease or finance new auto or one with a costlier replacement. On the flip side, it will not be wise to purchase the policy at $1,000 yearly premiums, with a $500 deductible when the car costs $2,000. Experts recommend you buy collision insurance if the total payments and deductibles for up to five-year duration of the car’s current worth.
The policy will provide coverage for repair costs that do not surpass the deductibles but will not foot doctor’s bills when you sustain bodily injury.
However, when the car is damaged beyond repair or repairs would cost more than replacing the vehicle, your collision insurance policy will pay the car’s fair market value minus deductibles. The fair market value is negotiable, although you can refer to sources like Edmunds.com.
UM, and UIM policies are not obligatory in Nevada. Still, they are crucial if you, the policyholder, are in a crash with an underinsured/uninsured motorist or the at-fault driver flees the scene. Both of the policies will offer coverage for you and your passengers in the event of a car collision.
The UM policy offers coverage for injuries you obtain from an accident with an uninsured motorist. It reimburses you for special damages like medical expenses stemming from the crash. Besides, the coverage will compensate you for pain, anguish, and funeral expenses. When a motorist without insurance causes your accident, with the UM policy, you can turn to your insurer for reimbursement. Insurers should exercise their fiduciary right and handle the matter reasonably. Sadly, they commonly disregard this duty by prioritizing their financial interest above yours.
The Dallas Horton & Associates come in at this point to protect your rights and financial interests. Our car accident attorneys will swing into action immediately after the accident and gather adequate evidence for maximum compensation. That way, when the insurance adjuster makes an unreasonable settlement, the attorney will sue them and prove the amount you deserve as reimbursement.
You should note that you automatically obtain a UIM policy whenever you purchase UM coverage. UIM means that when you sustain injuries in a collision caused by someone else’s negligence, and their policy limit is inadequate to compensate for all your damages, you can turn to your policy carrier for the balance.
It is worth remembering that both UM/UIM policies are not limited to your vehicle. Even when you occupy another vehicle or public transport car, you will obtain compensation for the harm suffered when the vehicle has UM/UIM coverage, but up to the policy’s limit. The car’s UM/UIM policy will be the primary coverage, and yours will be secondary, meaning you can only turn to your policy after you have exhausted the primary one.
The two policies are fault-based, meaning that when you are the person liable for the accident, you will not obtain reimbursement. Nonetheless, even if you fail to list your children or immediate family members living with you in the coverage, your policy will still offer protection when they are in a crash with another vehicle.
Additionally, you can only obtain compensation if your car physically contacts the other involved in the crash. You will not be compensated if there is no contact. Again, when you attempt to avoid hitting another car and veer off the highway colliding with a motionless object, there will be no compensation for you under a UM/UIM policy.
You can include your medical coverage in your auto insurance policy. It is not fault-based, meaning you will receive fair and necessary reimbursement after a crash regardless of the person to blame.
Similarly, the policy provides coverage even for your vehicle occupants when a car collision occurs, irrespective of who is responsible. Additionally, there is no subrogation, meaning your policy carrier will pay for your treatment. If the other driver were at fault, you would still be eligible for reimbursement under their liability insurance. You will receive payment from both insurers without the requirement to pay back your health insurer the amount they paid for your medical expenses.
Your health insurance policy is different from the Med-Pay coverage. When your health insurer pays for vehicle-collision-related injuries, and the responsible driver reimburses you for the harm, you will have an obligation to pay them back the total amount they used to foot the medical bill related to the crash. They will ask you to sign a subrogation agreement so you do not receive double payment. The only advantage is that if you work with an attorney to obtain maximum benefits from the liable party, you can pay your health insurer what you owe and save the rest of the money. Again, you will enjoy provider discounts when you spend for accident-related injuries using your health insurance coverage, which translates to more savings.
Advantages of Having an Injury Attorney in a Car Collision Injury Claim
After you have been in a car collision, the last person you want to contact is your policy carrier. Instead, you should call your injury attorney because they will be instrumental in the compensation you will receive. Your injury attorney will ensure the insurance adjuster does not play tricks on you, bring a civil lawsuit to court, and keep you updated with the case developments.
Although the last person you will think of during an accident is an attorney, you will need one. These professionals will evaluate your auto insurance policy and close all the loopholes the adjuster could use to reduce or deny compensation. When you opt for a lawsuit, the attorney will gather all the evidence you need for maximum compensation. At Dallas Horton & Associates, we will assist you with the following:
Typically, police officers will show up at the scene of the collision to conduct investigations. Nonetheless, when they fail to respond, you will gather evidence on your own and later inform your auto insurer that you were in an accident.
Sometimes, your investigations or law enforcement officials' investigations can be insufficient to demonstrate who was at fault. Dallas Horton & Associates will conduct an independent investigation to gather all the case’s facts to draw a vivid image of the accident in the insurance firm’s mind to receive fair compensation.
Ensure You Receive Proper Medical Care
The shock from the collision can make you feel okay after the accident, but you should never tone down your injuries. You could develop medical complications later, and this time, they could be fatal. An injury attorney will see you go for medical examination and treatment if you feel okay. After treatment, they will gather all the evidence they need to seek reimbursement for medical bills.
Negotiate With Policy Carriers
If you choose to represent yourself in your injury claim, negotiations will be an uphill task, and you will end up with a raw deal. Insurance adjusters and attorneys handle these claims daily and know the tricks to lower or deny compensation. They will make an offer promising it is the best, but this is false. The first offer is usually not the best. Talk to your injury attorney to explain your options, evaluate settlement offers and pick the best settlement. And if the insurance company is reluctant to offer better compensation, the attorney will move to court and file a civil suit.
Find an Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Injury Attorney Near Me
When you are in a car crash, your policy carrier will attempt to offer the most negligible settlement, regardless of the harm sustained. This is why you are discouraged from negotiating with your insurer without an attorney. At Dallas Horton & Associates, we have a legal team ready to represent your rights in Las Vegas, NV, and ensure maximum reimbursement. Call us today at 702-380-3100 for more info on how we will be instrumental in your case.