Know Your Options if Injured by an Uninsured Motorist in a Car Accident in Las Vegas
Few things are more shocking than being involved in a car accident. When the accident initially occurs, you are bound to be frightened. However, if you learn the other driver was not insured, a range of feelings from anger to concern are bound to overwhelm you since you are now looking at the potential of paying medical bills, losing time from work due to your injuries, and wondering how you will pay for the damage to your vehicle. Keep in mind, uninsured drivers pose a great risk to everyone on the road, and if you happen to be a victim of an uninsured driver who was negligent and caused an accident, you need answers.
Sobering Statistics Regarding Traffic and Uninsured Drivers
In a report issued by the Nevada Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2016, there were 2,084,089 registered vehicles in Nevada. During 2019 alone, Las Vegas welcomed 42,523,700 visitors in addition to the people already traveling the roadways. Therefore, it is not a leap in logic to expect some of these drivers are without auto insurance. We know this because a report issued by the Insurance Research Council indicated that in 2017, more than 10 percent of Nevada drivers had no insurance. It is likely these numbers are higher today despite Nevada car insurance requirements.
Nevada Car Insurance Requirements
Nevada drivers cannot register their vehicle without showing proof of insurance. According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers must show proof of minimum liability coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury or death per accident for one person, $50,000 for injury or death of two or more persons, and $20,000 for injury or destruction of property. While you, as a responsible driver may opt into uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, for most people, this optional policy may not seem worthwhile — unless of course you happen to be a car accident victim who is struck by an uninsured driver.
If you do have uninsured coverage, your insurance company should be covering hospitalization and ongoing medical care bills, any costs of medication, and property damage. However, before you accept any settlement from your insurer for an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you should discuss your specific situation with a Las Vegas car accident attorney. The last thing you want to learn is that before accepting such a payment, your insurance company opted to show you partially or wholly at fault for the accident, even when it was not your fault. There are other ways to hold an uninsured driver accountable for the damage and injuries they have caused.
Understanding Uninsured Driver Caused Accident Options for Victims
When you have been injured in a Las Vegas car accident and the other driver is uninsured you need to know what options are available to you to get compensation for your financial losses. Basically, you have two options:
- Accept what you can get from your uninsured motorist coverage
- File a lawsuit to hold the driver accountable
Before you make this decision there are some things you should know. First, your insurance company may not be willing to cover all your financial losses using your uninsured motorist coverage. They will likely use a formula to determine how much to pay for your injuries, time lost from work, and other related costs. Additionally, they may also ask you to sign a waiver which indicates you will not pursue any additional compensation if you accept their settlement. Keep in mind, when you use this coverage, your insurer is acting in place of the other driver’s insurer.
The other option of course is you can file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Drivers who willingly travel on Las Vegas roadways without insurance are dangerous for all of us and it may be possible to hold them financially accountable for their reckless driving and their failure to carry insurance coverage.
Holding an Uninsured Driver Accountable
Many victims of an uninsured driver think it is not possible to hold a driver who lacks insurance accountable. There are some instances where this is true — for example, if a driver lacks insurance because of affordability, chances are they do not have the assets to liquidate or force a lien on to compensate you for your injuries. However, there are other drivers who lack insurance because:
- Their license was suspended — when a driver’s license is suspended, chances are the driver has canceled their insurance coverage. License’s can be suspended because the driver has been charged with a DUI, they have child support arrears, or have unpaid tickets. This does not always mean they do not have the financial means to pay for your injuries and losses.
- Lapsed coverage — in some cases, a driver’s auto insurance policy has lapsed because they failed to pay the premium on time. In these cases, the registry may be aware the driver has no coverage, but the notification of a license suspension has not been received by the driver.
Before you attempt to file a lawsuit, it helps to know why the driver has no coverage so you can decide on the best way to proceed. Remember, a Las Vegas car accident attorney with a proven track record of resolving these matters for their clients can be an invaluable partner during this process.
Hire a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Following an Uninsured Driver Accident
Following any type of car accident, you need to focus on your recovery so your life can get back to as normal as possible. Hiring a Las Vegas car accident attorney allows you to focus on your recovery while the lawyer pursues a settlement for your injuries and damages. You have enough to be concerned about, so having a partner you know is working in your best interest can give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your recovery.
If you suffered any type of injury in an accident with an uninsured motorist, call a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Las Vegas. You can contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-996-5950 or contact us online using our simple free consultation form.