Learn How Insurance Work
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Whether or not you are compensated for the injuries you incurred as a result of another's negligence depends on the at-fault parties insurance coverage and the extent of your own insurance coverage. Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Eric Roy Law Firm can walk you through the claims process and answer any questions you have along the way. You can turn to us for knowledgeable, step-by-step guidance.
The following types of insurance policies are commonly available:
- Collision: Collision coverage is not fault-based and pays for the repair of your automobile if you are involved in an accident; that is, this coverage obligates your insurance company to pay for the repair or total loss of your vehicle if you are involved in an accident whether it is your fault or not. Generally speaking, there are no coverage limits associated with collision coverage regardless of the original price or quality of your vehicle; however, the minimum property damage liability coverage required by the State of Nevada is $10,000.00.
- Liability: Liability coverage pays for accidental bodily injury and property damages to others. Personal injuries covered by this form of coverage include damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Property damage includes damaged property and vehicles. Under a basic liability coverage policy your insurance company will pay for defense and court costs as well.
Currently, Nevada law requires that an insurance policy issued within the state must have liability limits of at least $15,000/$30,000. The first number reflects the maximum amount that an insurance company has to pay to any one individual in an accident. Thus, if the person who hit you only has a $15,000/$30,000 policy, their insurance company is only obligated to pay up to$15,000 and nothing more.
The second number is the amount the insurance company will be obligated to pay for the accident in total. For example, if five people were injured, the insurer would not have to pay over $15,000 per person and the insurer would not have to pay more than $30,000 for the entire group.
Additional Coverage Options
What happens when you are injured badly enough that fair compensation for your injuries would be more than the other person's policy limits? As the injured party, you can turn to a part of your own insurance policy called UIM, or Underinsured Motorists Insurance. A UIM policy is a good way to work out the difference between your costs and the other person's insurance policy limits in a personal injury case.
Some additional coverage options include:
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist: Nevada law provides for Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM), which allows the person covered by this insurance policy to recover damages if involved in an accident where the responsible party doesn't have insurance coverage. UM coverage is optional in the State of Nevada; however, by Statute in Nevada, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you also have underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).
UM/UIM coverage is triggered when your damages are more than the at-fault party's insurance policy will pay. With respect to UIM coverage, the UIM laws allow insurers to make certain exclusions, which are specific things or persons that are not covered by an insurance policy.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage (Medpay) pays for reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from an auto accident. Med Pay is not fault-based; thus, if you run into a wall because you were talking on your cell phone and not paying attention your Med Pay will still cover your injuries.
In addition, Medpay pays for your passengers medical bills regardless of fault. Thus, if your Med Pay coverage were $4,000.00 and you had four passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident then all occupants are covered up to the limits.
What Is Subrogation?
The doctrine of subrogation provides that if an insurer pays a loss to its insured due to the wrongful act of another, the insurer is subrogated to the rights of the insured and may prosecute a suit against the wrongdoer for recovery of its outlay. The doctrine is best illustrated by an example. If after an accident you use health insurance coverage to pay for accident-related medical bills, your health insurance company may have a "Right of Subrogation"; that is, if you receive money from the adverse driver's bodily injury liability coverage, you must pay back your health insurance carrier for what they paid out on accident-related medical bills.
When the Medical Bills for Injuries Exceed Policy Limits
What happens when the accident you were involved in causes injuries far in excess the at-fault party's liability insurance? One option is to settle for the policy limits and take responsibility for the remaining bills. In that scenario, your lawyer is obligated to pay medical expenses before paying you out of your personal injury award.
Alternatively, you could try to collect money directly from the person who hit you. Unfortunately, if the person that caused the accident isn't wealthy or well to do, then recovering anything is in doubt; that is, in general, people are very hard to get money out of, and trying to get money from somebody who doesn't have any isn't worth the hassle and expense.
If you would like to discuss your particular claim and concerns, feel free to call us today at (702) 423-3333.