Is Nevada a PIP Insurance State?
Auto insurance is required by every driver on Nevada roadways. However, PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is an optional policy which drivers are not required to maintain. Just because a specific type of coverage is not required, does not mean it is something that should be ignored.
What is PIP Coverage?
PIP insurance offers those who are involved in a car accident the ability to file an insurance claim with their own insurer regardless of who is at fault for the accident. According to Allstate Insurance, PIP includes some of the following:
- Ability to maintain income while recovering from an injury
- Compensation for childcare services during the recovery period
- Compensation for other household services which may be required while recovering
- Funeral expenses if someone loses their life in an accident
Having PIP coverage means a victim will have faster access to the cash they need for expenses immediately following an accident.
Limits on PIP Coverage
Because PIP is not a required part of the coverage, drivers need to operate a vehicle legally on Nevada roadways; there are certain damages which they cannot expect reimbursement for after an accident. Some of these include:
- Harm to passengers in the vehicle
- Damage to their vehicle
- Personal property damage which occurred in the accident
It is important that an accident victim speaks with their insurance agent and has a full understanding of insurance requirements and the limits which are placed on all types of insurance riders they have chosen when obtaining coverage.
Collecting for Damage to a Vehicle After a Car Accident
If a driver has optional collision coverage on their vehicle, they can file a claim to have the damages paid for minus any deductible. However, in some cases, they may still have the ability to have the deductible amount, or any uncovered amount, paid by the at-fault driver.
Subrogation and PIP Coverage
When a PIP claim is filed, a victim may still have outstanding bills which they are entitled to submit to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. However, this is when subrogation may play a role.
Subrogation means that an insurance carrier may have the right to assess any amounts they paid under a PIP policy if an accident victim is successful in collecting from the at-fault party. There are some limitations on subrogation in Nevada which are spelled out specifically in Nevada Revised Statutes (N.R.S) § 689B.034 (2021). One of those exceptions is medical payments coverage which drivers may have as part of their overall auto insurance coverage.
Subrogation allows medical providers, government programs, and insurance companies to place a lien against a potential final settlement if someone else is at fault for the injuries suffered by a policy holder or their passenger. The intent is to avoid a victim collecting from two different sources for the same expense. A trained insurance agent, or a personal injury attorney can explain the impact of PIP and subrogation more fully at the time a victim is filing a claim.
Accident Liability and PIP Coverage
The best reason to have PIP insurance coverage is that victims can get cash in their pocket faster than if they had to wait for a settlement from an at-fault driver. However, to do this, the insurance company will require thorough documentation regarding out-of-pocket costs. Even when these costs are fully documented, they may be disputed by the insurance company. Car accident attorneys in Nevada have experience resolving these types of disputes and may be able to help a victim recover financially.
Determining who was at fault for an accident is imperative if a victim is going to seek compensation for an accident from another party. The victim’s insurance company will also want to know who is liable for the accident because they may seek to recover amounts paid for repairs or replacement of a damaged vehicle. Establishing fault means the insurance company does not have to bear the expense of a claim when their customer is not at fault for the accident.
To assist in determining accident liability, some of the following may be helpful:
- Police accident reports — the law enforcement agency which initially investigated the accident will be able to provide a copy of the report.
- Photographs when available — photos from the scene of the accident, can be used to show the amount of damage to the involved vehicles.
- Witness statements — witnesses who are able to add any information that a victim was unaware of can help establish what occurred in the minutes immediately before an accident occurred.
- Traffic camera footage — in some cases, Nevada traffic cameras may provide helpful information regarding a specific accident. An attorney may request this footage if it is available.
Remember, the longer it takes to contact a Nevada attorney to handle a car accident claim, the more likely it is that crucial evidence can be compromised. Witness memories will dim over time, and traffic cam footage may be overwritten within a month or so of the date of capture. Therefore, a car accident victim should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Car Accident Claims Can Be Complicated
There are several issues which may play a role in an accident victim’s ability to collect compensation following a car accident in Nevada. Since PIP insurance coverage is not required, most accident victims will have to wait until a thorough accident investigation is established, and there is a finding of fault.
There may be multiple parties who are liable. For example, if a rideshare driver was operating recklessly, there may be multiple parties who can be held liable, including the company they were working for at the time of the accident. A victim should never assume there is only one party responsible for their injury.
Contact a Nevada Accident Injury Attorney For Help
When someone is involved in a car accident on Nevada roadways, hiring an accident injury attorney who has experience can be very helpful. Not only does it make it easier to obtain evidence, but a victim will also be able to focus on recovering from their injury rather than dealing with insurers. The best way a car accident victim can protect their legal rights is to learn what those rights are and what legal options they have following an accident.