The Dangers of Uninsured Drivers

Accidents on the nation’s highways have become a deadly and expensive occurrence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that motor vehicle accidents are now the leading cause of death of individuals between five to 35 years of age, and the annual cost of medical care and productivity losses due to injuries in motor vehicle accidents is a staggering $99 billion.

Experienced personal injury attorneys know that the stress related to an automobile accident can be magnified when the driver causing the accident flees the scene. Victims of hit-and-run accidents or accidents involving uninsured drivers must pursue a claim with their own insurance carrier under their uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Mandatory Minimum Liability Insurance

The law in Nevada requires that each motor vehicle owner must maintain a valid insurance policy providing at least $15,000 in liability coverage to compensate a single victim in an accident caused by the insured motorist and $30,000 in coverage for two or more victims in the same accident. Despite the fact that most states, including Nevada, make it a crime to operate a vehicle without the required insurance coverage, a study by the Insurance Research Council shows that 13.8 percent of motorists across the nation do not have the minimum amount of insurance coverage required by state law.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Auto insurance companies offer their policyholders uninsured motorist coverage to protect them in case they are injured in a hit-and-run accident or in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. The uninsured motorist coverage provisions of an insurance policy allow an accident victim to file a claim for compensation with the company insuring the victim’s own vehicle. In effect, the victim’s insurance company takes on the role of the uninsured driver’s insurer.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Attorneys like Adam Kutner of Las Vegas advise clients that auto insurance companies offer optional coverage to protect a driver injured in an accident in which an at-fault driver has insufficient liability insurance to fully compensate the victim. If the other driver’s insurance company pays out the full amount of its coverage to the victim, the victim’s own insurance company might pay toward the unpaid compensation. The amount the victim’s insurance company is responsible for depends upon the amount of the underinsured motorist coverage purchased and the extent of the victim’s damages.

Claiming Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Benefits

Even though uninsured and underinsured motorist claims are filed with an injured driver’s own insurance company, a personal injury attorney like Adam Kutner still must prove the extent of the injuries and that they were caused through the fault of the other driver. It is common, particularly in an uninsured motorist claim, for the victim’s insurance company to take an adversarial position to avoid paying the claim. This is one reason why the services of a personal injury lawyer like Adam Kutner are needed even in claims against one’s own insurance company.