If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident, you could seek compensation. The key to recovering damages is proving another party’s negligence. But what if negligence is obvious, but the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance? Can you still obtain compensation?
Getting the money you deserve if the at-fault party fails to pay for insurance is complicated but possible. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can explore other ways to obtain compensation.
If you’d like to learn more about your options, contact the legal team from Pacific West Injury Law at any convenient time.
File a Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Driver
About 10% of drivers in Nevada are uninsured. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file a lawsuit against them personally. To take the case to court, you would still need to:
- Collect evidence – anything that can prove the other driver’s fault is valuable evidence. This includes photos of the accident scene, police reports, the at-fault driver’s previous accident history, etc.
- Obtain witness testimonies – eyewitness testimonies can prove crucial to demonstrating negligence. Make sure to get the contact details of as many witnesses as possible.
- Hire expert witnesses – to prove pain and suffering, to demonstrate the need for future treatment, or show the reduction of earning capacity, you may need expert testimonies.
- File a lawsuit – collect and file all the necessary paperwork to initiate a lawsuit.
While it’s possible to do all the above without an attorney, it’s easy to miss something important. A small mistake could lead to case dismissal.
Statute of Limitations
If you plan to sue the at-fault driver, you need to keep the statute of limitations in mind. In Nevada, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit. The exceptions include:
- Age – if the injured person is a minor, the clock starts running when they turn 18.
- Location – if the defendant is out of Nevada, the clock doesn’t run until they return.
- Death – if the injured party dies at any time during the 2-year period after the accident, the family has one more year to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Discovery – in some cases, it’s possible to discover the injury caused by the car accident some time after the incident occurs. If you can prove that you weren’t aware of the injuries before, the clock starts running on the discovery date.
When two years after the accident pass, you may still have a chance to recover damages. Consider speaking to a car accident attorney to find out whether your case is still viable.
If you sue the other driver for damages and prove negligence, you can win the case. Unfortunately, if the driver can’t afford auto insurance, they may not have enough money to pay for your damages.
If the defendant doesn’t pay according to the judgment, the court may suspend their license. This can serve as an additional incentive to make regular payments. However, it could still take some time to recover the full amount.
Rely on Your Insurance
Another way to cover your accident expenses is to take advantage of your own insurance. But only if you have additional insurance options.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Once you find out that at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, call your insurance company to check if you have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
This type of coverage reimburses damages you face in a car accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, future medical treatment and loss of earning capacity, and more.
If you also purchase uninsured motorist property damage coverage, property repair and replacement can also be compensated.
Med Pay covers injury-related damages regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, the maximum payout is only $10,000.
According to the law, in Nevada insurance providers must offer this type of coverage. It’s usually a small addition to the premium. Make sure to call your company after the accident to find out if you have it.
PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
PIP covers personal injury damages that usually include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
- Certain home care expenses
This insurance doesn’t cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. All the above insurance options aren’t mandatory in Nevada. If you don’t have any of them, you have to either sue the driver or rely on your medical insurance to cover injury-related expenses.
Steps to Take After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you were hit by an uninsured driver, you need to take the following steps:
- Call the police to report the accident and mention the other driver’s lack of insurance.
- Collect as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible.
- Get contact details from the eyewitnesses.
- Get contact details from the uninsured driver.
The uninsured driver may try to offer you money to settle the problem on the spot. Otherwise, they could face hefty fines for driving without insurance.
Since you don’t know the extent of your injuries and car damages, you can’t possibly estimate a fair amount. Accordingly, taking money from another driver and allowing them to leave isn’t a good option. Call a car accident attorney as soon as possible to get valuable advice about your further actions.
Speak to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
If the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance, it doesn’t mean you can’t obtain compensation. By contacting an attorney after the accident, you can learn about your options and increase the chances of recovering damages.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we help car accident victims get the money they deserve. If you were hit by an uninsured driver, call us for a free case evaluation.