In Nevada, motorcycle riders are required by law to have the same liability insurance that is required for automobile owners. This mandatory insurance pays for injuries to others or damage to their property if the policyholder is responsible for an accident. But your motorcycle liability insurance will not cover your injuries if you caused the motorcycle crash.
The Nevada Division of Insurance recommends that motorcyclists consider buying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect themselves and their passengers in an accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage pays for your medical costs if an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault for an accident. This coverage will also protect your passenger.
A 2021 survey by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that one in eight drivers (12.6%) on the road in 2019 was driving without insurance. In Nevada, the rate is a little better at 10.4%. But that’s still more than one in 10 drivers who are driving uninsured.
Are you a motorcyclist who has chosen to carry UM/UIM coverage? Insurance brokers are supposed to offer it when you buy liability insurance. Many riders and motorists turn it down. Some do so to save money. Others decline UM/UIM coverage because they do not understand how it works.
If you ride a motorcycle and do not carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, here’s a chance to learn how uninsured motorist insurance works and what happens to an uninsured motorist in an accident. The Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers of Sam & Ash Injury Law, are here to help you get back on your feet after a serious motorcycle crash. Regardless of whether you have UM/UIM coverage, we’ll work to help you recover full compensation for a crash that was not your fault.
How Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Work?
UM coverage pays for losses if the policyholder is in an accident in which an uninsured driver is at fault. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident and the driver who caused the crash does not have insurance, then you would file a claim against your UM policy. A UIM policy provides coverage for you if you are injured by a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your losses and expenses. You also would turn to UM/UIM coverage if you were injured by a hit-and-run driver because there would be no liability insurance available.
There are two types of UM/UIM coverage available in Nevada:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage — You and/or a passenger can obtain money for:
o Reasonable and necessary medical expenses
o Lost wages
o Future lost earning capacity
o Pain and suffering.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage — Pays for damage to your motorcycle.
A policyholder’s UM/UIM coverage is limited to the amount of liability coverage he or she maintains.
Nevada requires liability coverage of at least:
- $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 in any one accident
- $20,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
You can, of course, purchase more liability coverage.
Another form of auto/motorcycle insurance available in Nevada is medical payment coverage, also known as MedPay. This insurance pays your and/or your passenger’s medical bills after an accident without regard to fault. This is often the only way to have coverage for medical costs that result from a motorcycle accident involving just you.
How To Sue an Uninsured Motorist After a Motorcycle Accident
One argument for maintaining UM/UIM coverage is that most motorcycle accidents involving automobiles are caused by the automobile driver’s error. Typically, the car driver turns into the path of a motorcyclist or hits a motorcycle while changing lanes or backing up.
Any motorcyclist with time on the road has heard about a rider being hit and the motorist claiming that he or she never saw the motorcycle. In addition, motorists often misjudge the speed of bikes, especially how quickly the motorcycle they are tailgating can stop.
Motorcyclists and their passengers are far more vulnerable to injury in a collision than anyone in a car or truck.
If the motorcycle accident you were in was caused by the negligence of another driver, that other driver’s insurance coverage should cover the losses you suffered. But, if they do not have insurance, you will need to file a claim against your UM/UIM coverage if you have it.
Technically, you can sue someone who has harmed you through their negligence and, if you obtain a judgment, their assets may be seized to satisfy that judgment against them. But in reality, almost all legal claims are paid through insurance. If the person who hit you is uninsured, it is likely that they do not have other assets to target with a personal injury claim.
Another problem is that the insurer may not want to pay you, either. Even your own insurance carrier may balk at paying a motorcycle accident claim under your UM/UIM coverage, especially if you have been seriously injured and have a costly claim. This is when an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Sam & Ash can step forward and fight for you to receive What’s Right.
As your attorneys, we can investigate the motorcycle accident to gather evidence demonstrating the driver’s fault, calculate the full extent of your losses, and present a demand letter to the insurance company. At this point, most cases are negotiated to reach a settlement. But if the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and argue for full compensation in court.
Whether you hold UM/UIM coverage or make a claim against a negligent driver’s liability insurance, the experienced Nevada motorcycle accident attorneys of Sam & Ash in Las Vegas can review any settlement offer you receive and advise you of your legal options. Keep in mind that, if you have not fully recovered from your injuries, an insurance adjuster cannot know your full costs and losses.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may need help obtaining a proper insurance settlement. Even your insurance carrier may balk at an expensive uninsured motorist coverage claim. A motorcycle accident lawyer at Sam & Ash in Las Vegas will review your case for free and explain what compensation you have a right to expect. We’ll fight to see that you get What’s Right.