A Car Accident Lawyer Las Vegas, NV Trusts Explains What Happens When a Driver In a Crash and Doesn’t Have Insurance?
A car accident claim is complex enough, but when one or more drivers do not have auto insurance, the entire process can become extremely convoluted. The vast majority of states prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle without the proper insurance, but that doesn’t mean that everyone always complies.
While it’s always recommended that you speak with a Las Vegas, NV car accident lawyer in person about your own unique situation, here are a few basic things to keep in mind regarding insured driving.
If You Don’t Have Insurance
If you don’t have insurance but the other driver was at fault for causing the accident, you may be able to recover some of your economic losses from the other driver’s insurance company. Many states create restrictions for drivers who were not at fault but were still driving without a valid insurance policy in order to discourage the practice of driving without being insured. Keep in mind, however, that you may have still broken the law and therefore you might face some penalties for that.
If the other driver was injured during the accident as well, they may be able to sue you for their own financial losses. Any money that is awarded to the other driver will come directly out of your pocket. If you don’t have sufficient funds, the court has the ability to collect this money from you over time. Wage garnishment is one common example of how this is done.
If you live in a no-fault insurance state where you would normally file a claim with your own insurance company, you likely will not be able to collect compensation if you were injured. This means that all of your losses will come out of your own pocket.
If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
The good news in this situation is that if you have insurance, you may have more coverage than you realize. The bad news is that you might not be able to collect the full amount of compensation that you should be entitled to.
In no-fault states, the other driver’s lack of insurance won’t have any bearing on your own claim. This is because you’ll still file a claim with your own insurance company. Ideally, you’ll also be able to show that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Things may become murkier if you live in a fault state. Most states require insurance companies to offer something called “uninsured motorist coverage” to their customers and this coverage will take effect if the other driver is both liable and uninsured. If you have this coverage, you’ll file a claim with your own insurance company. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you might have the option of filing a lawsuit against the other driver. If this lawsuit results in a settlement, the other driver would be required to pay the settlement out of their own pocket. Unfortunately, you might not recover all of your losses in this case.
Insurance Coverage in Las Vegas, NV
If you drive a car in Las Vegas, you probably have heard about liability insurance. It is required by Nevada law. You must have a minimum policy of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident before you can register your vehicle. When you are in a car accident and you are at fault, you have liability insurance to cover the damages and injuries to the other person involved in the accident. What most people do not know is that when you only have liability insurance, you are protecting everyone on the road, except yourself!
That is where UIM insurance comes onto the scene. UIM stands for Underinsured Motorist coverage. Most people do not know what this coverage means and therefore usually do not get it.
When does UIM insurance come into play? Anytime the other at-fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, then UIM coverage kicks in. When you buy your liability insurance policy, Nevada law requires that the insurance company, offer you UIM coverage as well. You can change your insurance policy at any time and elect to cover yourself while you are driving. When people purchase liability insurance, they think they are fully covered, but if you do not have UIM, you are driving around naked!
Hit and run car accidents are an all too common scenario in Las Vegas. Also, every day someone on the Las Vegas roads is breaking the law and is driving without insurance, even if they do stop after hitting you. In both of these examples, if you do not have UIM coverage, you will be unable to recover anything for your injuries, if they were at fault for the accident and you only had liability insurance. With UIM insurance, you will be covered.
There is another benefit of having UIM insurance coverage. If the person who caused the accident, had low insurance limits and you need more coverage, your own UIM insurance will kick in, once the other person’s insurance is maxed out.
How do you know if you have UIM coverage? Look at the declarations page of your insurance policy. This is the page that tells you what types of insurance you have and how much insurance you have. You can also contact our office and we will be happy to look at your insurance policy for you or call your insurance company to see if you have UIM insurance coverage.
For more information about car accidents involving uninsured drivers, be sure to speak with a car accident lawyer Las Vegas, NV clients turn to.
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