When we talk about car crashes, we often assume the circumstances are straightforward: two vehicles collide, both drivers stay on the scene, and the damages are settled by insurance companies. Unfortunately, this scenario is not always the case. There are many variables that can complicate matters and lengthen the process of receiving a settlement. Here are common circumstances you may not be prepared for.
What if the other driver is uninsured or under-insured?
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that more than 10% of drivers in Nevada are uninsured. Many more are only insured with the state minimum coverage ($25,000). This is why adding under-insured/uninsured (UIM/UM) coverage to your auto insurance policy is important. It will cover the cost of injuries to you and your passengers in the event that the at-fault vehicle/driver does not have auto insurance or insufficient auto insurance.
While under-insured/uninsured is not required in Nevada, it gives drivers additional protection. Filing a UIM/UM claim shouldn’t raise your insurance premium.
What if you’re injured as a passenger?
When you’re a passenger and have sustained injuries, you are fault-free and can recover from any involved party as long as you can prove they were at least 1% liable. Contact Pomponio Injury Law as soon as possible after an accident so that they can investigate the facts and determine every potential avenue of recovery. For example, you may be able to recover from the auto insurance of the vehicle you were in, the other vehicle involved, and in some cases, your own personal auto insurance even though your vehicle was not involved.
What if you’re in a taxi or rideshare?
Because your vehicle is not involved, and you’re not liable for what occurred, you typically won’t be provided accident information or driver and vehicle information once police arrive. As such, it’s important for you to gather as much information as possible. Start by taking pictures of the vehicles’ damage and attempt to obtain pictures of the drivers’ IDs and auto insurance information.
If you’re the passenger in a rideshare vehicle, report the accident on your app. Typically, the company sends a confirming email with a reference number. If in a taxi, file a report. The Taxicab Authority will typically present itself at the accident scene.
Taxi or rideshare companies sometimes utilize “commercial” liability policies, which provide significant coverage (sometimes more than $1 million). However, this is not always the case, and rideshare company coverage can vary, depending on if the rideshare vehicle was carrying passengers. Because of these variables, it’s important to contact Pomponio Injury Law to investigate all potential avenues of recovery.
Note: Auto insurance companies may deny claims or terminate coverage if the driver is using the vehicle to conduct commercial services, such as driving a rideshare.
What if the other driver fled the scene?
If the at-fault driver flees the scene after an accident, it’s important to jump into action and take note of the other vehicle’s identifying features, such as license plate number, model, color, bumper stickers or damage to the vehicle. If you’re able to take pictures or video footage of the vehicle, that’s even better.
Regardless of the severity of the accident, call the police immediately so that they may be able to locate the vehicle. It’s also important to file a police report within 10 days of the accident. Contact Pomponio Injury Law as soon as possible for assistance in locating the at-fault vehicle and for guidance about other potential avenues of recovery, such as UIM/UM coverage.