Higher Payouts for Car Accident Victims in Nevada’s Future
The amount of car insurance coverage that Nevada drivers are required to have is increasing substantially. Beginning next year on July 1, 2018, the minimum required auto liability coverage is increasing from $15,000 to $25,000 for the injury or death of one person. For the injury or death of two or more people, the minimum is increasing from $30,000 to $50,000. And the minimum coverage for property damage is doubling from $10,000 to $20,000.
Therefore if someone today gets injured by a driver carrying minimum coverage, she’d only be able to recover a maximum of $15,000 through the at-fault driver’s insurance. But if someone gets injured next July by a driver with minimum coverage, she’d be able to recover up to $10,000 more through the at-fault driver’s insurance.
These higher liability minimums do not mean insurance companies will behave more generously with their settlements. Insurance companies are businesses and therefore will strive to pay the least amount of money possible and may even try to shift liability onto the accident victim. Therefore, people injured in a car accident are advised not to deal with the other driver’s insurance without their own personal injury attorney zealously fighting for the highest possible settlement. Otherwise, the insurance adjuster will try every trick in the trade to lowball the victim, who already may be in a vulnerable state from having been injured.
There are many possible sources of money damages for car accident victims. If an insurance company’s payout is insufficient to cover an accident victim’s expenses, the victim may decide to sue the at-fault driver personally (if that driver has reachable assets). And depending on the facts of the case, the victim may have causes of action against the vehicle’s manufacturer and other parties that may have been responsible for the accident.
Bodily injury insurance applies to all damages arising from car accident victims’ physical injuries. This includes not just medical bills but also lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. And if the victim died from the accident, this insurance also covers funeral expenses.
Although Nevada law requires that drivers carry auto insurance, many do not. That is why drivers are strongly advised to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which protects them in the event of an accident with an at-fault driver carrying no liability insurance.
It is important to know that an accident victim may still be able to recover from another driver’s insurance even if the victim was partially to blame for the accident. Nevada law follows the “modified comparative negligence” rule, which means victims can still recover money damages as long as they were not more to blame for the accident than the perpetrator was. So even if you may have contributed to an accident occurring, do not assume you have no legal recourse. You may still be entitled to sizeable money damages for your injuries. Learn more about bodily liability insurance in Nevada.
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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