top personal injury lawyers las vegas

Damage to your vehicle can be very disruptive financially, especially if you still owe money on an auto loan. A vehicle totaled by an uninsured driver represents an even bigger problem because your source of compensation becomes unclear. Advice from a car accident lawyer could prevent missteps that your insurer might exploit to reduce your settlement.

Definition of a Totaled Vehicle

Totaled is the word for describing damage that is so extensive that an insurer chooses to pay out the fair market value of the vehicle instead of paying for repairs. In Nevada, estimated repair costs above 65 percent of the vehicle’s market value represent a total loss. The market value should not be confused with what might be owed on a vehicle loan or what you paid for the vehicle.

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Standard Process for Dealing With an Uninsured Driver

  1. Call the police.
  2. Seek medical care if needed.
  3. Obtain the other driver’s information.
  4. Report the accident to your insurer.
  5. Check your insurance policy for uninsured motorist coverage.
  6. File a claim against your insurance or investigate suing the uninsured driver.
  7. Accept or decline the settlement offer from your insurer or other responsible party.

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The Importance of Calling the Police

In most cases, people have to report an accident to the police anyway as a matter of following the law. When law enforcement responds to an accident, the investigation should reveal that the driver who hit you could not produce a valid proof of insurance. Car accident lawyers in Las Vegas view official police reports as important evidence in cases involving uninsured motorists.

First of all, if you will be filing a claim on your own policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, the insurer will want an official police record. Secondly, should a lawsuit become necessary against the uninsured driver, then the police report offers clear evidence of negligence. State law obligates drivers to have insurance coverage. Failure to follow this law illustrates recklessness and unlawful conduct.

An uninsured driver may try to talk you out of calling police. You should still call the police. The absence of a police report could interfere with your claim for damages.

Although police reports frequently matter in these cases, you may still have a chance to document what happened. Injury lawyers Las Vegas have the resources to investigate an accident by interviewing witnesses, checking surveillance footage, or consulting accident reconstruction specialists.

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Take Care of Your Injuries

Your health should always be your top priority. Timely medical care can reduce the threat of long-term physical problems after an injury. Concerns about your wrecked vehicle may be distracting, but you should not let worries about the at-fault driver’s lack of insurance prevent you from seeking medical care.

Get As Much Information As Possible About the Uninsured Driver

At the accident scene, you should strive to collect as much information as possible about the other driver. You will share your contact and insurance information as well.

Sometimes uninsured drivers present insurance information, and you think everything is normal. Only later do you find out that the policy was no longer in effect. This further complicates the situation because you were operating under the assumption that the driver had coverage. If you discover that this has happened to you, then an accident attorney in Las Vegas will explain what to do next.

Even if an uninsured driver does not cooperate, you could try to take pictures of the vehicle, license plate, and accident scene. These images will establish some facts about the case and help you prepare an insurance claim or lawsuit.

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Inform Your Insurer Right Away

Insurance policies are contracts that place responsibilities on the insurer and on you. Your responsibilities include disclosing information about accidents concerning the insured vehicle.

Legal advice is always appropriate before speaking with any insurer, including your own insurance company. A total loss of your vehicle to an uninsured driver almost always forces you to make a first-party claim on your own policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage.

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How a Car Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas Helps You Understand Your Insurance

For clear and unbiased answers about your auto policy, you could ask a lawyer to look at your coverage. Your auto policy may have Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist UM/UIM coverage.

If UM/UIM coverage is present, this may very well be the route that you take to collect compensation for your ruined car. Insurers might market themselves as helpful, but their primary interest will be keeping payments to you as low as possible. The insurance company might even try to argue that you contributed to the accident in some way and therefore should receive less money. This is why talking to an insurance adjuster without legal guidance can put you at risk. What you might consider an innocent statement might be seen as an admission of partial fault. You have the option of handing off this conversation to a lawyer who has a greater awareness of how to legally manage conversations with insurers.

However, a car accident lawyer can explore all viable routes before making a claim on your own insurance. For example, the at-fault driver may have been driving a car owned by another individual or company. Any insurance carried by the vehicle’s actual owner could provide a source of compensation.

Personal injury law also grants you the right to sue the uninsured driver directly and make a claim upon that person’s assets. Nevada is an at-fault state, which means that people who suffer damages may take legal action against whoever caused the loss.

Why You Probably Won’t Sue an Uninsured Driver

Just because you have a right to sue an uninsured at-fault driver for damages does not mean that there is anything to win. The primary reason people go without auto insurance is an inability to pay the premiums. Someone in that financial position likely has no assets to compensate you for a totaled vehicle.

Car accident lawyers Las Vegas are certainly willing to check into the responsible party to see if any financial resources are present. A person can possess money and assets and still not bother to buy insurance.

Uninsured Drivers Are a Constant Problem

The Insurance Information Institute reported that 10.4 percent of drivers in Nevada lacked auto insurance in 2019. With 1 in 10 drivers likely violating the law, you are hardly alone in having to deal with a car accident involving an uninsured driver. Uninsured drivers can cause extra problems when they crash into rideshare vehicles. The confusing layers of insurance that cover rideshares very much warrant a consultation with an Uber accident lawyer. Uber provides uninsured driver coverage, but you may need legal support to collect what you deserve.

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A Personal Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas Who Fights for You

As if getting into a wreck is not alarming enough, the news that the other driver was uninsured will likely send you looking for a car accident lawyer near me. At Lach Injury Law, we work hard to alleviate your stress and we are your key to maximum settlement results. To learn what to do after an uninsured driver totals your car, contact Lach Injury Law today.

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