As of 2017, one out of eight drivers did not carry adequate automobile insurance, according to an Insurance Information Institute study. That’s a lot of people on the road with little or no insurance.
The state of Nevada’s Revised Statute 687B.145 mandates carriers to offer uninsured and underinsured coverage that is equal to coverage limits for bodily injury. The coverage limits are $25,000 per claim and $50,000 per accident, and go a long way toward protecting victims. Otherwise, responsible drivers can be left with astronomical medical bills, heightened insurance rates and loss of wages because of someone else’s reckless behavior.
For drivers with underinsurance coverage, your individual policy will pay the difference when the at-fault driver’s coverage is inadequate.
Dire Consequences for Uninsured Drivers in Las Vegas
Nevada has harsher penalties for uninsured drivers than some other states. A first offense usually comes with a fine between $250 to $1,000, based on the length of the insurance lapse, along with a reinstatement fee of approximately $250. After that, the offender will need to file an SR-22 Certificate of Financial Responsibility, which can be likened to instant karma. The measure invokes immediate penalties if insurance coverage is ever dropped again.
For second and third uninsured driver offenses, the fines climb to between $500 and $1,000, again, on par with how long the insurance has been lapsed, along with reinstatement fees that range between 500 and $750. The SR-22 Certificate is mandatory for drivers with multiple offenses and the driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of one month.
Penalties such as these do create some level of satisfaction for the car accident victim, but the sad truth is they do nothing to mitigate the financial devastation when innocent parties are involved in a wreck with an uninsured driver. Being hit by a drunk driver or getting into an accident with someone who has no insurance creates real hardship.
A tangled web of laws govern these types of accidents, and consequences for guilty parties can be moderate or severe. The good news for innocent victims is that it’s likely you will receive full compensation by meeting a few criteria.
How to Get Paid
Getting adequately compensated usually comes down to having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage already in place. Under this scenario, your insurance company will basically act as the at-fault motorist’s insurance company, so your vehicle will be repaired and you’ll be repaid for expenses ASAP.
You will be required to file your claim through your own insurer. Once you submit your claim, since retaining you as a customer is important to any insurance company, you’ll have a pretty good chance of receiving a fair settlement. Most carriers pay out promptly, and then bill the defendant’s insurance once liability is determined.
So What if I Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
The caveat here is that Nevada requires insurance companies to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but drivers are under no obligation to take it. Visitors from other states that don’t have uninsured policy requirements may be even less likely to carry protection. But even if another driver doesn’t have the proper insurance, that doesn’t completely absolve them of responsibility.
A lawsuit can be brought against anyone who causes an accident, and reckless drivers may be forced to pay out of pocket. These types of resolutions usually come after a lengthy court process. A settlement can be reached during mediation, however, this process often takes a lot of legal wrangling, and may or not be successful, depending on whether the at-fault driver owns assets.