Dealing with Uninsured Drivers

Uninsured motorists aren’t “off the hook” if they cause personal injuries in an automobile accident. Figures from 2014 indicate that up to 20% of drivers in Nevada are not carrying automobile insurance. When these motorists cause personal injuries, injured parties can still pursue damages and claims from their own insurance company and the individual responsible for the accident. Because these types of cases can involve a variety of complex legal issues, it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible following the accident.

The Injured Party’s Insurance – Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Uninsured motorist provisions within the injured party’s insurance policy can help cover an individual’s medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Under these provisions, the insurance company assumes the position of fault and agrees to pay claims for the injuries. However, it doesn’t always cover property damage. Because the prevalence of uninsured motorists in Nevada is significant, it is advisable for individuals to carry a considerable level of uninsured motorist coverage. Moreover, drivers should never sign a waiver and turn down adding uninsured motorist coverage in their policies.

Watch Out for Contributory Negligence

A common tactic of insurance companies is to try and shift a considerable portion of the blame onto the injured motorist. Effectively, the insurance company places blame on their own client in order to pay less. For example, if the court finds the individual 40% at fault for the accident, then the insurance company would only be responsible for paying 60% of the claim. A personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas can help individuals whose insurance company attempts to shift the blame and place the financial burden where it doesn’t belong.

Filing Suit Against an Individual

Nevada law allows individuals to file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver for the injuries and property damage their negligence causes. In many cases, these are filed in small claims courts which allow individuals to pursue settlements of up to $10,000. However, this is not always advisable. In many cases, the uninsured motorist won’t have sufficient assets to cover the damage award. A personal injury attorney in Las Vegas can work with injured parties to determine if the defendant has sufficient assets such as property, businesses, bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc. to cover a potential damage award. Should an individual prevail in their lawsuit, liens can be placed against these assets, moreover, wages can be garnished until the settlement is satisfied.