Like most other states, Nevada requires a motorist to maintain an automobile liability insurance policy. This allows an insurance company to pay injured parties if the motorist is found to be at-fault for an accident.
Nevertheless, it’s estimated that approximately 20 percent of Nevada drivers are uninsured.
Nevada law requires that automobile liability insurance policies carry minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons on any one accident; and
- $20,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
Motorists are not required to purchase insurance that pays for their own injuries or property damage.
In order to ensure that you are protected if you’re ever injured in a Las Vegas car accident, you should talk with your insurance broker about additional coverage and supplemental insurance, for example for uninsured motorists / under-insured motorists.
It’s the best chance for a full recovery after sustaining losses in an accident in consideration of the number of Nevada drivers who are driving uninsured.
Types of supplemental automobile insurance
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — Also known as no-fault insurance, this will pay medical bills, rehabilitative costs, and lost wages to the policyholder or passengers regardless of who is at fault.
- Med Pay — Covers the medical treatment for any injuries to the policyholder driver or passengers with no consideration of fault.
- Uninsured motorist / under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage — This will protect you if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover your losses.
- Collision — This will cover any damage to your vehicle that results from a crash, regardless of who is determined to be at fault.
- Comprehensive — This pays for damage to your vehicle that occurs due to reasons other than an accident like flooding, falling objects, and even theft.
Automobile insurance claim dos and don’ts
If you have been involved in an accident, there are things you should do to help your case with your insurer, and things your should not do because they can harm your chances for a successful recovery.
- Do take photos and try to gather evidence after the crash: This will help document the scene and serve as evidence for your claim.
- Do review your insurance policy: Understanding the terms of your agreement with the insurance company may provide insight into the outcome of your claim.
- Do be honest with the insurance company: Any misrepresentation of the facts of your claim could result in denial of coverage.
- Do get a copy of the accident report: Review the report for accuracy as this will be a crucial piece of evidence to support your claim.
- Don’t admit fault: You may have the instinct to apologize, but it’s essential to remember that anything you say after the crash may open you to liability. An apology may be considered to be an indicator of fault during a claim investigation.
- Don’t wait to correspond with your insurer: A successful claim is dependent on timely claim submission, and diligently following up.
- Don’t give a recorded statement: Many insurers will try to get you to record a statement to prove inefficiencies in your story and pay you less. Consult with an attorney first.
- Don’t accept the first offer: Often, insurers will open with a low-ball offer in the hopes you will accept a settlement for less than your claim may be worth.
Steps to file an auto insurance claim
- Contact the police after the accident: Your insurer will likely request a copy of the police report which can contain information that’s valuable to your claim.
- Contact your insurer after the accident: You should be prepared to give them some basic facts about the cars and drivers involved, the severity of the damage, time and location of the crash, and a description of the accident. You will also be given a claim number.
- Follow up with the adjuster: You will be assigned an adjuster to work on your claim, and they will likely contact you for a more detailed recollection of the events. Be cooperative, but remember the conversation is likely being recorded so stick to just the facts.
- Vehicle damage inspection: Your adjuster may opt to inspect the vehicle themselves, or ask you to take it to a certified repair shop for an estimate.
- Review: The adjuster will review the facts of the case, your policy details, and damages to determine what kind of offer will be made.
- The initial offer: After a thorough review, the adjuster will likely present you with an initial settlement offer.
- Negotiations: If the initial offer is not satisfactory, you and your attorney may enter into settlement negotiations where you use the available evidence to show the insurer why you deserve more.
- Resolution: During negotiations, you should be able to use the facts of the case to come to a decision that both sides can agree to. Once a resolution is made, you will sign a release, and the adjuster will authorize the final payment.