If you’ve been in an accident, it can be extremely confusing to know where to begin dealing with all the hardships and fallout from the damages that you’ve sustained. If medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages may are piling up, you need to know how to get compensation as quickly as possible for your accident.
Dealing with insurance companies to reach a settlement for your claim isn’t always a straightforward process though. It’s important to understand how you get to settlements with insurance companies so that you can make sure that you get what you deserve to compensate you for your damages from the accident.
Insurance Coverage and Fault in Nevada
Nevada is a fault state, meaning that motorists have to carry minimum levels of liability insurance under the law so that anyone they potentially injure due to recklessness or negligence will have adequate compensation available. In addition to liability insurance from an at-fault party, your own insurance company may have obligations to compensate you if your plan includes benefits like medical payments coverage.
Minimum Coverage Requirements
Nevada law requires three different categories of liability insurance to be carried by all motorists. Each provides a slightly different scope of protection to people and property that may be harmed.
- $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 of coverage for bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 of property damage per accident
These minimums are enforced by a misdemeanor charge. Those caught without adequate coverage could receive a fine of up to $1000 and face possible license suspension. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist could potentially make it much more difficult to collect compensation, however, unless your insurance provides uninsured motorist protection.
Nevada operates under the legal doctrine of comparative fault. This means that it’s often recognized that more than one party contributed to the conditions that led to an accident, and the share of the responsibility can be divided between them. If an insurance claims adjuster believes that you were partly at fault in your accident, you are likely to receive a smaller settlement offer.
In court, comparative fault would reduce the compensation you are awarded by your proportional share of the fault. Your insurance company will likely employ the same tactic to reduce your payout.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is a type of insurance that exists in some states where there are lower requirements of liability insurance for someone to mitigate the risk of personal injury. Due to the liability requirements of the state, these types of policies aren’t very common in Nevada. Medical payment coverage is also commonly referred to as PIP though, and in some cases, you may have this type of coverage here in Nevada.
Medical payment coverage is a type of insurance plan where you can tap into its fund for unforeseen medical bills. Unlike with your standard health insurance, you won’t end up owing this back after your settlement. This means that it can help with expenses a lot while you are negotiating with the insurance company and waiting on a settlement.
How to File a Claim
Filing a claim with your insurance isn’t hard, and you should let them know of an accident as soon as you are able to after the accident occurs. The priority after an accident, of course, is to take care of yourself and make sure you are healthy and safe.
Get to safety, alert the police and seek medical attention right away after an accident. The insurance company will want as much information as you can provide, so make sure to get insurance and vehicle details from other drivers and information from the police about your police report and case number. Once your insurance company obtains all the information they need, an insurance adjuster will take over and contact you for any more details or evidence they may require.
The Steps to Auto Insurance Settlements and Compensation
Once your claim is in the hands of the insurance company, they will obtain the police report and determine who was likely at fault during the accident. The responsibility then falls on the at-fault party’s liability provider to compensate the injured party for any damages incurred, up to their maximum amount of coverage. When there are fundamental disagreements about who is at fault or the extent of damages incurred, this can sometimes lead to lengthy negotiations over settlement offers.
When the adjuster has determined an amount you are owed, they’ll first send you a release to sign. This forfeits your right to pursue any further claims against them or the driver after the payment. Once you sign this you’ve accepted their offer, so consult with your car accident attorney first and make sure you are getting a fair deal.
Insurance companies don’t often want to pay more than they feel they have to, so they may low-ball offer you to see if they can get away with writing a smaller check. They know that you have bills piling up from the accident, and the more desperate you get for financial relief, the more ready you’ll be to accept a subpar offer. Don’t let them bully you, and make sure you don’t accept an offer that doesn’t fully compensate you for your hardships up to the maximum covered in their policy.
Seek Fair Compensation Today with the Attorneys at Pacific West Injury Law
When you’re injured in an accident, you want to get a settlement that ensures that you don’t bear any financial hardships from an accident that wasn’t your fault. Here at Pacific West Injury Law, we’re experts at negotiating quick and fair settlements with insurance companies so that nobody in Las Vegas faces financial hurdles due to the negligent actions of another.
Contact us to have us look over your case and see what we can do to help you negotiate a settlement that gives you the compensation that you deserve.