It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle in Nevada without insurance. However, the sad fact is that there are many drivers on the road right now who are uninsured or underinsured. According to this study, 12.2% of all drivers on the road in Nevada in 2012, had no auto insurance of any kind. If you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, you could be facing some serious problems even after your medical treatments and car repairs.
What are the risks?
Many people today, in an effort to make car ownership more economical, will sign up for the minimum coverages allowable by law and then completely forget about them when the keys go in the ignition. In Nevada, the minimum amounts allowable by law on your insurance policy are $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident, $30,000 for two or more persons, and $10,000 for injury or destruction of property to others. Anyone who has spent any time in a hospital knows how quickly $15,000 can be spent.
But I have insurance, and I pay every month.
In Nevada, you are not required to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, so if you purchased only the minimum required coverages, and you are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, the only coverage you’ll have is for your basic bodily injury, which is the $15,000 mentioned above. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is an additional coverage you can, and should, purchase to help you in the event of an accident.
What does uninsured motorist coverage do for me?
What this coverage does is protect you from uninsured motorists, and additionally from hit-and-run drivers, who would otherwise leave you paying all the bills yourself. If you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, and you don’t have this coverage, you could be looking at paying off medical and repair bills out of your own pocket. However, if you purchase additional uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for your insurance policy, your small investment now could pay off in big dividends should you ever be the victim of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
What if the other person has insurance, but their coverage isn’t enough to cover my medical and car repair costs?
Auto insurance companies in Nevada offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage together in one endorsement to the overall insurance contract, and you can choose from coverage as low as $15,000 to as high as $500,000. The size of the coverage will affect your insurance premiums.
So should I go straight to the insurance company with my claim?
Make sure your insurance company is fully aware of your accident and cooperate with them completely as it pertains to their investigation, but at the same time, understand that the insurance company is likely looking out for its own benefit more than yours. Make sure you have someone on your side, looking out for your best interests at all times.
This is a highly technical and complex area, so if you are involved in an accident, be sure to immediately contact experienced personal injury lawyers Greenman, Goldberg, Raby & Martinez in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will help you navigate the murky waters of auto accidents and help you deal with the insurance companies to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.