Who Pays for My Rental Care When I Get in An Accident?

THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RENTAL CAR COVERAGE

  1. Always Purchase Rental Car Coverage on your own Policy;
  2. Make sure your coverage will cover the vehicle you need;
  3. The other driver’s insurance company may take weeks to authorize a rental car

One of the most frustrating parts of getting into an automobile accident is often being without transportation. Some clients have additional vehicles that they have access to following an accident and they are not quite as burdened. Unfortunately, many of our clients have one vehicle and when that vehicle is wrecked, it compounds the frustration, stress, anxiety, pain and suffering already involved in an auto mobile vehicle accident

When clients are involved in an accident that is not their fault, they automatically assume that they will instantaneously be placed in a rental vehicle at the expense of the at fault driver. Unfortunately, this is very far from the truth. The at fault driver‘s insurance company will investigate the accident to determine fault even if fault on the part of the other driver appears obvious at the time.  At the Law Office of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., we have seen this situation many times as Henderson personal injury attorneys. This process can often take a week and sometimes even up to 30 days. You do have the option to rent a vehicle at your own expense during that time to be in reimbursed when and if the other insurance company finds that their insured driver is at fault.

That is why it is of critical importance that you have rental car coverage on your own policy. Your insurance company will place you in a rental vehicle immediately following the accident regardless of who is at fault. When purchasing rental car coverage, it is important to understand the options. Sometimes they limit you to the cost per day.  I often have clients very frustrated that they are used to driving in SUV or truck and they are placed in a small economy vehicle as their rental vehicle.

When purchasing rental car coverage, there is usually an option to the cost per day or/and the total amount of rental allowed.  If you are a person who is concerned about what your temporary vehicle may be, it is important that you review this coverage at the time you purchase the coverage.  This is a coverage to be used when your car is being repaired or is deemed a total loss. It’s also important to note that your insurance company will pay for the rental until your vehicle is repaired. 

These polices will have a limit on how much will be paid per day and/or how much total it will pay per claim. The limit per claim might be a maximum dollar amount or a maximum number of days of coverage. For example on my own insurance policy, I also am a person who drives a large vehicle to accommodate my three sons. Therefore, a small compact vehicle would not work for my family. For a minimal additional cost, I raised my rental car coverage to a total of $50 per day for rental coverage.  That way, if I need a rental vehicle I can be placed in a larger car to accommodate my family.

Under most policies, you can only purchase rental reimbursement insurance if you also have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy.  These are the two most common types of auto insurance offered for property damage to your vehicle. Although they are generally sold together, the type of damage they covers very different:

Collision Insurance provides coverage for damage to your vehicle in the event of a covered accident involving a collision with another vehicle. This includes repairs or a full replacement of your covered vehicle if your vehicle is deemed a total loss.

Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by covered events such as theft, crime, or weather events like hail, which are not collision-related. 

WHY IS MY INSURANCE PAYING WHEN IT’S NOT MY FAULT

It is also often frustrating for clients that their insurance company is paying for their rental car when they are not at fault for the accident. You should not allow this to be a frustration. If it is found that you are not at fault for causing the collision, the at fault driver‘s insurance company will pay back your company for the cost of your property damage including the cost of your rental car. Purchasing rental insurance is covering you and your family for losses that may occur. It is important to realize as well that many drivers on the road do not even have insurance. The last estimate available in Las Vegas estimated that approximately 15% of all drivers on the road in Las Vegas and Henderson do not have auto insurance coverage at all. That means if you are unfortunately involved in an accident with one of those drivers your insurance company will have to cover your losses.  Please note that in those situations, most of the large insurance companies are aggressive at going after the at fault driver personally to reimburse them for the damage paid.

The most important thing to remember and to take away from this blog is to protect you and your family by purchasing insurance that will cover you in the event of an accident.  The cost of adding rental car coverage to your policy is generally $2.00 to $20.00 per month depending on your carrier and your other coverages. Considering that the average cost of a rental car is $30.00 to $45.00 per day, this coverage is well worth the small additional expense.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

Don’t let your self be in a position where you are stranded without a vehicle. Not being able to get into a rental car immediately following the accident causes more grief to accident victims sometimes than the injuries themselves. We live in a society where you cannot depend on the perpetrator to pay for your damages. If you do not have rental insurance on your auto policy you are at the complete mercy of the adverse driver’s insurance company or possibly lack thereof. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  we have been helping our clients review their insurance policies for over 15 years. Please do not hesitate to contact our office and we will be happy to give you a consultation regarding what coverages you currently have and likely need. A brief review of your auto insurance policy can protect you and your family from additional losses in the future at a very minimal cost. Please call the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt to review your automobile insurance policy today. This consultation is free to anyone who calls the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. and it only takes a few minutes.  These few minutes could save you a great deal of grief, headache, and distress in the event you are in an accident

If you have a question about rental car coverage and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

SHOULD I BUY THE EXTENDED WARRANTY WHEN I BUY A CAR?

What to look for when buying an extended warranty for your vehicle

1) Length of time of the plan

2) Mileage the plan covers

3) The combination of time versus mileage (make sure it works for you)

4) The reputability of the provider of the plan

5) What the plan covers (read the fine print carefully!)

Extended service warranties, often called vehicle service contracts, are often an investment in peace of mind for a car buyer. However, there are several things to consider before you purchase such a policy. It is important to understand that an extended service contract is really an insurance policy on the mechanics of your vehicle and, like any insurance policy, will cover certain issues and will not cover others. Therefore, when buying such a policy it is important that you investigate the source of the coverage and the company.

This blog will briefly outline what to look for when purchasing an extended contract for your vehicle. For many car buyers, purchasing the extended warranty or vehicle service contract can reduce the financial worry of costly repairs. These are often more cost-effective on higher end vehicles in which repairs can be costly, even a simple repair.  

Where can I Purchase an Extended Warranty

Extended warranty plans, also called mechanical breakdown insurance, are available from various sources. The dealership will often want you to purchase the extended warranty when you buy your vehicle. They are also available through auto clubs like AAA and various insurance companies. Since these plans can vary in the length of time, the price, and the coverage that is provided for your vehicle, the small print really matters in these policies. In addition, these are aftermarket programs and they usually have specific limitations as to what repairs they will cover and where the work could be done. This is extremely important, especially if you are a person who likes to take your vehicle to a specific mechanic or dealership. Be very careful to review the policy you are purchasing to make sure that you can take your vehicle to the dealership or to your own mechanic.  In fact, take this blog with you if you are going to buy a vehicle and make the finance representative circle the provisions in the warranty policy regarding these issues before you purchase the policy.

When purchasing your extended warranty from the dealership, they might offer you various warranty programs from different companies. If you are going to purchase the extended vehicle warranty at the dealership, you should make sure it is backed by the manufacture of the car and not just the dealership or a third-party company. A manufacturer backed extended warranty can be used at any dealership in the United Stated.   Again, it is important that you have a choice to take your vehicle to the dealership. In addition, many warranty policies are only honored at the dealership where the vehicle was sold or certain mechanics.

Some policies are definitely better than others.

For example, AAA offers a vehicle service contract that includes warranty protections and also extra services such as battery placement, reimbursement for travel expenses if you are on a trip and rental coverage while your vehicle is being fixed.  If you do your research and look for the right plan, you can really get more bang for your buck. But also be careful to purchase from a large reputable company. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we strongly urge consumers of extended warranty protection programs to only purchase them through a large dealership, a national auto club, an insurance company like AAA or Farmers or State Farm, or the manufacturer such as General Motors or Ford. There are a large number of “fly-by-night “extended warranty service companies and you will get many letters and even crank phone calls from these companies. Do not purchase an extended warranty policy from a vendor you have never heard of or who calls you on the phone or sends you an unsolicited letter. Many consumers have been burned by these companies. However, there are reputable, extended warranty programs for your vehicle available that can bring you peace of mind and possibly save you significant repair costs.

For example General Motors offers an extended warranty plan that can only be purchased with a new car. The cost of that plan can be rolled into the financing and is transferable, which could boost the cars value. However, it is important to note when financing a warranty policy on a new vehicle, if your vehicle becomes a total loss that may be a cost that is not reimbursable. Therefore, you should ask the dealership when purchasing that policy if the car is totaled before the term of the policy where will there be a refund of the remaining balance. Sometimes they are nonrefundable and sometimes they are refundable if the car is totaled before the term of the policy. This is an important question to ask the dealership and make sure you see that in writing in the policy. Make the finance representative point out and circle that provision of the policy for you.

Shop for the best price before you go to the dealership.

Extended warranty policies are often put in front of the car buyer at the time of purchase of the vehicle. It is likely that you have not thought about this piece of your purchase or compared rates at that time. The finance manager will put the paperwork in front of you and make it sound like it is the best deal available. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, we are skilled in personal injury law and contract law. We urge you to research this contract before you purchase an extended warranty vehicle policy. Before you go to the dealership to purchase a new car, call AAA, go online to check with the manufactures, and shop for the warranty so that you are familiar with what a reasonable cost is before you get to the dealership. It is not likely that the dealership is going to offer you the best deal at the time you purchase your vehicle. You should understand that the price of that extended warranty policy from the dealership is often negotiable. They might tell you that the price is not negotiable. However, when you see that is being offered a lower price from other vendors you’ll understand that is not the case, and can effectively negotiate a fair price for the coverage.

Understand what is covered

I touched on this earlier, but it is extremely important that you understand what you are buying at the time you purchase an extended vehicle warranty contract. Not all warranties are the same and some are not even close.  The very greatly in the time the policy lasts and the mileage that is covered. Often, wear and tear parts such as brakes brake pads, lightbulbs, and tires are not covered under extended warranties. However, there are further complications and usually levels of packages offered in these warranties, each with a different price and each with a different coverage –similar to health insurance. Take the time to read the fine print and know what is not covered. Often times you will be shocked at certain mechanical conditions they will claim are not covered and you do not want to find that out at the time the repair is needed. Also, check the deductibles offered.  Different packages are also based on different deductibles. Understand what your finances can afford and what the average cost of repair is for your vehicle. If you were buying a more modest vehicle, then a smaller deductible would probably be more cost-effective. On higher end vehicles where repair costs are generally over $500, it may be cost-effective to get a policy with a higher deductible.

If you have a question about an extended warranty policy and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

What if I am Injured in two different accidents close together, Can I recover?

What Do I do if I am involved in 2 injury accidents close in time?

  1. Seek medical care for the second accident immediately;
  2. Explain clearly any new symptoms you are having;
  3. Document the difference in your condition after the second accident;
  4. See the same doctor so she can document your new injuries or exaserbation of your previous injuries;
  5. Be open and honest with all your doctors about both of your injury accidents.

The answer to the question, “What if I am injured in two different accidents close together, Can I recover”  is yes! It’s not an uncommon scenario. An individual is injured in an auto accident and two months later is injured in a second car accident involving different defendants.  Insurance companies for the defendants will want to point the finger at the injuries coming from the second accident. The case is now more complex due to the multiple injuries. The question becomes, how is the fact finder supposed to handle the apportionment of the injuries when there were two accidents causing the same or similar injury? It is important to contact an attorney after any injury accident. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, Henderson Injury attorneys, we will make sure your rights are protected.  With nearly ten years of experience representing the insurance companies, Henderson Injury Accident attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. has the experience you need to fight the insurance company. The law is well settled regarding burden of proof regarding a victim who is involved in multiple car accidents. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on the issue of multiple injuries from multiple car accidents.

The Nevada Supreme Court addressed the issue of injuries from multiple accidents in the case of Kleitz v. Raskin, 738 P.2d 508 (1987). In the Kleitz case, appellant Kleitz was injured in an automobile accident on December 23, 1981. His treating doctor examined Kleitz and determined that he was suffering from a loss of lumbar curve due to muscle spasms.  The doctor saw Kleitz on January 25, 1982 and believed that Kleitz should be hospitalized. Hi doctor opined that Kleitz may have suffered a herniated disc from the December 23, 1981, accident.

              Unfortunately, while Kleitz was driving to the hospital on January 25th, Kleitz after his doctor’s appointment, was involved in a second automobile accident. The driver of the at fault vehicle  in the second accident was respondent, Ellen Raskin. In 1985, Kleitz brought suit against the persons involved in both the first accident and the second accident. Kleitz settled with the first accident defendants but reserved his rights against Raskin. Raskin then moved for summary judgment alleging that the second accident did not cause additional injury to Kleitz. Summary judgment is when a party asks a court to make a finding as a matter of law, rather than allowing a jury to decide the facts.  Raskin used the doctor’s testimony who stated that he had examined Kleitz before and after the second accident and found that his condition was unchanged in support of the motion for summary judgment . Kleitz moved for partial summary judgment on a legal issue asking the trial court if two unrelated at fault drivers in two separate automobile accidents produce an injury to the plaintiff which cannot be apportioned between the two impacts, are both jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff?

The trial court granted Raskin’s motion for summary judgment concluding that “Inasmuch as plaintiff cannot apportion damages as between tortfeasors, the jury would have nothing upon which to base a reasoned opinion as to damages to be awarded in the event liability was established.”  On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court concluded that under the facts presented, the plaintiff must prove that the second accident defendant’s actions were the cause of the injury. Once this is shown by the Plaintiff, the burden of proof then shifts to the defendant to apportion damages. If the defendant fails to meet his burden, then he is jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of the plaintiff’s damages attributable to the injury.

In reaching this decision, the Nevada Supreme Court relied upon the Washington Supreme Court case of Phennah v. Whalen, 621 P. 2d 1304 (1980). In Phennah, the plaintiff was injured in two automobile accidents that took place about four months apart. Trial testimony of the doctors established that both accidents caused the plaintiff’s injury, but there was no basis for segregating or apportioning damages among the causes. The issue before the court in Phennah was whether the plaintiff was required to offer an evidentiary basis for the segregation of damages among successive defendants. The Wisconsin Supreme Court made the following ruling:

“Once a plaintiff has proved that each successive negligent defendant has caused some damage, the burden of proving allocation of those damages among themselves is upon the defendants; if the jury finds that the harm is indivisible, than the defendants are jointly and severally liable for the entire harm. Id. 1310.”

The Nevada Supreme Court expressly concurred with the findings and result in the Phennah decision and noted that a similar legal principle is also found in section 433B(2) of the Restatement of Torts, which explains that the rational for placing upon the defendant the burden of apportioning damages as follows:

“As between the proved tortfeasors who has clearly caused some harm, and the entirely innocent plaintiff, any hardship due to lack of evidence as to the extent of the harm caused, should fall upon the former.” Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 433B Comment D (1965).

As stated in both the Restatement and the Phennah decision, the plaintiff must first establish that both the defendant’s actions were the cause of his/her injuries and then the burden shifts to the defendant to apportion damages.  The Nevada Supreme Court reversed summary judgment but stated that Raskin may renew his motion for summary judgment at which time Kleitz must demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the second accident contributed to his injury.

The best way to protect your claim if you are involved in two injury accidents of any kind is to be candid and honest with your attorney and your doctors about these conditions at your first consultation. Henderson Auto Accident Injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, have handled hundreds of cases involving victims of multiple car accidents. Your truthfulness about your medical conditions and injuries will allow your doctors to understand your new injuries.  It is important to be open about your past medical history. This honesty will put you in the best position possible for a maximum recovery in your case. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will have access to past accident history whether or not you are candid. It can damage your case if they find it be other means. That is why it is important to remember all of your past injuries when discussing your case with your attorney and your doctor and let your attorney and doctors know about these issues. If you are not honest in disclosing these conditions in the beginning, you are setting yourself up for many different problems including harming your credibility, ruining your entire case, and even subjecting yourself to legal action.

If you have a question about a prior accident or multiple injuries, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

WHAT IS A ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE POLICY?

Three things to consider when purchasing a roadside assistance policy

1) Know what the policy you’re buying includes;

2) Consider if you do a lot of driving;

3) Compare companies that offer roadside assistance and the benefits they include.

What is roadside Assistance?

The most common and widely used roadside assistance policy is through AAA. Roadside assistance is serviced by a professional to make minor mechanical repairs and adjustments in order to get your vehicle drivable again when you become stranded on the road.  These policies usually include things like changing a tire, getting keys locked in the car out of the vehicle, changing the battery, extrication, etc. Most of these policies also include towing.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-driving/what-to-consider-when-buying-roadside-assistance-plan/

With the infinite number of things that can go wrong with a vehicle at any given time, these policies can be a huge relief in a breakdown situation. I personally have had a roadside assistance policy ever since I started driving. There have been countless occasions that I have been very grateful that this is a policy that I purchased. They are generally relatively inexpensive and they are usually offered through your primary insurance company. You never know when an emergency will arise.

For example, once I was driving back from Utah and I had two of my sons in the vehicle who were very young at the time.  We got a flat tire somewhere between Cedar City and St. George. Thank goodness I was able to safely pull the vehicle to the side of the road. However, driving a large SUV makes it very difficult to change the tire in the dark. The vehicle has 22 in tires that are heavy and the spare is mounted up underneath the vehicle. Fortunately, my roadside assistance company, which was AAA, sent someone within 45 minutes to my location. He was friendly, professional, and he changed my tire in less than 10 minutes.  I can recall another time when I was at the fishing hole with my three young sons enjoying a lovely evening of fishing in a small town pond. Suddenly, the weather started to change and clouds and lightening started to roll in. I started to load our supplies into my vehicle and started the vehicle. Then, one of my sons decided to shut all the doors to the car. This was at a time when it was very easy to lock the keys in the car. He shut the doors to the vehicle while the car was running and vehicle locked.  I was stranded at the fishing pond with my sons. Fortunately, a neighbor was kind enough to let us use their phone, since my phone was also locked in the vehicle, and my roadside assistance company sent someone from Cedar City within the hour to unlock the vehicle.

https://calstate.aaa.com

Hopefully, your luck is better than mine and you have not found yourselves in these type of situations. However, speaking from experience and understanding the nature of the unexpected events that happened in our lives as an insurance lawyer and a personal injury lawyer in Henderson Nevada for over 15 years, I know that many situations cannot be foreseeable. What can be foreseeable is planning for the unknown. A roadside assistance policy is generally under $200 a year and can be an absolute lifesaver literally in certain situations.

Most common situations requiring roadside assistance

Towing service

Roadside assistance policies generally provide towing service if they are unable to make your vehicle drivable safely. It is important to look at your roadside assistance policy and evaluate their different options. I did find out the hard way that the standard roadside assistance policy that I had only provided for 10 miles of towing. However, for an extra $15 a year it increased to 100 miles. You can see that that it would be a big deal if you were stranded on the highway.   Ten miles is not very far when you leave Mesquite. Look at the policy you are purchasing and make sure that you are buying the best policy for your needs. They won’t leave you stranded at 10 miles; however, you will be at the mercy of the towing company per mile for the remainder of the distance which can cost more than the policy itself would have cost in the first place.

Battery jumpstart service.

In addition to towing, often times, especially in the heat of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada, batteries can die or lose their charge. This is especially important for people driving electric cars since those vehicles can require special service. That is also important when looking at a policy to purchase; make sure that they have capabilities to charge or jump an electric vehicle. Generally, standard vehicles that use standard batteries can be jumpstarted relatively easily when service technician arrives.

Flat Tires

A flat tire can occur at any time. With the amount of construction on our roadways, it is even possible to get a flat tire with a new tire. Most vehicles have a spare tire and can be changed at the scene. However, although I do have the skills to change a tire, it can be difficult, depending on your vehicle. With the roadside assistance policy they will send someone out to change your tire and you will be back on the road in no time. I can tell you firsthand that can be well worth $200 a year to change a flat tire that can occur at any time

Locksmith service

Although many of the newer vehicles cannot have the keys locked in them, there are still many makes and models on the road where the keys can be inadvertently locked inside the vehicle. A roadside assistance technician can generally gain entry into the vehicle through the window with a special tool. If the roadside assistance professional cannot gain entry to your vehicle they will call a locksmith. Make sure you check the policy that you are purchasing to see if they cover locksmith services.

Fuel delivery service

Although I personally have never had a situation of running out of gas, it is not an uncommon occurrence and even the most diligent driver can forget to fill up timely. A roadside assistance company will bring fuel to your vehicle and get you back on the road. There may be a charge for the fuel itself, but you would pay for that in any event. Having someone bring 5 gallons of gas to you as a stranded motorist on the side of the road is well worth the cost of the roadside assistance policy.

Extrication

This is not as uncommon as it sounds. It is not uncommon to have a vehicle slide off the road especially in icy conditions. If you find yourself in a ditch or in a location where your vehicle is stuck, a roadside assistance company can send a tow truck to pull your vehicle back to the road.

An embarrassing story for me … Years ago, I went to pick my son up at school one day,  and the parking lot was not paved at his school. I pulled my large SUV into a parking space and the front portion of this parking space physically gave way and my vehicle was left on three wheels in the space. Picture a dirt mound and part of it sliding away from one of the tires LOL. And of course in front of my vehicle was a 30 foot drop off and that is why part of the dirt gave way.  Although the roadside assistance driver was a little perplexed when he arrived, he was fortunately able to wench rocks under the front tire to stabilize the vehicle in order to pull it out of the space. Hopefully, you will not find yourself in this embarrassing situation, with every parent you know staring at your vehicle wondering who that incompetent driver is was who parked there to begin with, but again, your roadside assistance company will be invaluable in a situation like that

Numerous  road side assistance polices are available. Insurance companies such as AAA, State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, AARP, OnStar, and Nationwide offer these polices.   https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/roadside-assistance-services/# If you have a question about a roadside assistance policy and or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

https://www.aarproadside.com/aarp/about-us

https://www.allstate.com/roadside-assistance.aspx https://www.nationwide.com/personal/insurance/auto/coverages/types/roadside-assistance

What You Need to Know About Auto Insurance Coverages

FIVE MOST COMMON COVERAGES ON YOUR POLICY

  1. Liability – covers the other driver
  2. Comprehensive/ collision- covers your vehicle repairs
  3. UIM/UM – covers your medical if you are not at fault and the other driver has no or too little coverage
  4. Rental – covers your rental car immediately
  5. Medical Payments- covers your medical bills whether or not you are at fault

One of the most frequently asked questions I get  from friends and family members as an insurance attorney handling peoples injury and property claims is “what kind of insurance do I have?”  At the Henderson Auto Accident Injury offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience dealing with insurance policies and coverages.

The most common statement a client makes when they come in the offices usually is, “I have full coverage.”  However after reviewing thousands of insurance policies, it has become clear that most people don’t know what “Full coverage” is. In past years, many people used insurance agents who were helpful in explaining what types of coverages people needed.  Agents would have assisted them in purchasing their insurance. If you are able to use an insurance agent that you know and trust, I would highly recommend that. Understanding insurance coverages can be complex, and often times a large increase in coverage comes with a very small rate increase.

For that reason, it is extremely important to understand what insurance coverages for your automobile are available and what the different coverages mean in the event that you are injured or your property is damaged or you have injured someone else.   Most auto insurance policies are relatively simple to understand if you know the terminology they use. I think insurance companies intentionally use vague and ambiguous language so that people don’t know what they’re really buying. The following are the type of coverages that you will be asked if you buy insurance online or by an agent when you go to purchase insurance. Your responses and your purchases can be critical to your well-being in the event that you or someone you love is injured in an accident.

The more you know, the better buyer you can be.  The following is a brief outline of these coverages to help you understand what you are buying when you are buying insurance:

Liability Coverage (often called bodily injury coverage).  

The first coverage that you purchase, which is required by law, is called liability coverage (often called bodily injury coverage).   What that means is the amount of money that your insurance company will pay for property damage and bodily injury for the adverse driver and passengers ( a.k.a. third-parties) in the event you cause an automobile accident. In Nevada, state minimum is 15/30/10. Most people do not know what that means either. When there are three numbers, the first number is the amount your insurance company will pay per person for bodily injury and the second number is the amount your insurance company will pay per accident for bodily injury. For example if you get into an automobile collision and it is your fault and there’s one person in the other vehicle they can only obtain $15,000 from your insurance company. If there were two people in the vehicle they could obtain $15,000 each. However if they were three or more people in that vehicle, the $30,000 would be split between those people if they were injured. It is not rocket science to know that in today’s exorbitant world of medical billing, $15,000 does not go very far. The third number is the total amount your insurance company will pay for property damage to the other vehicle or property such as a damaged road sign as a result of the accident. If you purchase a minimum insurance policy you could wind up being personally exposed. Meaning, if there’s not enough insurance coverage, the other driver could sue you and obtain a judgment against your personal assets to recover their damages. For this reason, it is extremely important to insure yourself and your family as high as you can afford to in order to protect your personal assets. Meaning if you own your home, and you have savings accounts, you want to make sure that you have enough insurance. I often recommended umbrella policy to people which is usually a cost of approximately $12-$15 per month and will protect your assets.  An Umbrella policy provides a higher layer of coverage for your auto, home, boat, etc. on top of your limits, usually in the amount of a million dollars.

https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-guide/liability-insurance/

Collision Coverage

The second type of coverage which most people consider to be “full coverage” is collision coverage. Collision coverage means that payments will be made to fix your vehicle in the event that your car is damaged in an accident. If you purchase collision coverage, that coverage will cover damage to your automobile. It is extremely important to know what your deductible is. Often times, changing your deductible from $1000.00 down to $500.00 is as little as $8.00 to $10.00 on your overall premium. It is important that you check what you’re paying for and what you could get for just a little bit more. When you go to Target, you can see all the items on the shelf and you can see what all the items cost and their value so you can choose accordingly. Unfortunately, with buying insurance, they don’t make it that simple.   You have to ask these questions either of the agent or when you’re buying online you need to change the deductibles and change your coverages and see how it affects your premium.

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/insurance/auto/car-insurance-collision-coverage/

Medical Payments Coverage

A little known coverage that many agents don’t even mention or offer is called Medical Payments coverage and this can be extraordinarily important for you if you are in an accident. Medical Payments Coverage is usually a fixed amount anywhere from $1000.00, or $2,000.00, or $5,000.00 on up. It means that your insurance company will pay your medical bills regardless of whether you have health insurance if you are in an automobile accident and you’re injured. Medical payments coverage can be very important because often times you may have large co-pays, especially for ambulance bills, from an accident. Health insurance often will not cover things like physical therapy as much as you need or you may have large deductible on your health insurance policy. Medical payments coverage is generally an inexpensive coverage which will protect you from out of pocket medical expenses if you are in an accident. It’s important to know that even if it is not your fault, it can take months or years to recover from the other driver. Your medical providers, (hospitals, ambulances, quick cares, etc.) will not wait until the claim is final to send you to collections. When purchasing insurance always look at what medical payments coverage is available and the cost. If it fits your budget, you should purchase medical payments to protect yourself. Another important issue to know about medical payments is that it is not an at fault coverage, meaning if you use your medical payments coverage on your policy,  it is not counted as a claim against you for your rates.

https://www.valuepenguin.com/medical-payments-car-insurance-coverage

UM/UIM Coverage

Another extremely important coverage that people often drop to save money is called UM/UIM. This means uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured is self-explanatory, it means that if someone without insurance hits you, you have coverage for your medical bills and injuries. Underinsured coverage means that if someone with a small policy, like the state minimum of $15,000 hits you and you are seriously injured, you can recover against your own policy after the $15,000.00 is paid from the other driver. In the state of Nevada, it is estimated that 13% of all drivers on the road do not have car insurance.  It is extremely important to protect yourself and your assets from reckless and illegal drivers. In the state of Nevada, when you purchase insurance, the insurance company is required to offer you UM/UIM benefits and if you reject the same they must have you sign a waiver. Think carefully before you reject these benefits because if you are in a serious accident these benefits could protect you and your loved ones from undue financial burden. https://www.insure.com/car-insurance/uninsured.html

Rental Car Coverage

Also, there is the coverage for rental car benefits and towing. These are somewhat self-explanatory, however, there are a few tricks. When looking at your towing coverage always check the amount of miles that they will tow your vehicle. Sometimes they have separate towing packages where they’ll only tow your vehicle 5 -10 miles and then you are at the mercy of the tow truck company for the rest of the bill. It’s often pennies to change the policy to a better towing policy where they will tow you up to 100 miles.  It is similar with rental coverage. If you, like me, drive a large vehicle to take your family places and haul groceries, and you are need of a rental car from an auto accident, most policies will offer you the $20 a day, very basic economy car. This may not fit your needs, and if it does not, it can be very costly to you to rent a larger vehicle. When purchasing rental insurance you usually have the option of $20-$30 a day or $50 a day in rental coverage. Again, this is generally a very inexpensive change on the policy and when purchasing rental insurance, check to see the cost of having a better vehicle in the event that you need a rental car. Often it is less than twenty dollars. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/rental-car-insurance/

I hope this information was helpful and if you ever have questions when purchasing auto insurance, please do not hesitate to contact the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury  Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC. The Law Offices of Laura Hunt is a boutique law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving insurance and auto accidents. Please feel free to call if you have questions when purchasing your auto insurance at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence.  If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to receive. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening her boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people.  During her time working for an insurance company, Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

My health insurance won’t pay my medical bills from an auto accident

WHEN YOUR ARE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT AND YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, REMEMBER THESE THREE TIPS:

  1. Use your health insurance for all emergency care
  2. Retain an attorney immediately to handle subrogation and injuries claims
  3. Do not give any medical provider your auto insurance information.

When you have a personal injury claim after being involved in an accident, the at fault driver often has a limited auto insurance policy.  Your health insurance will have more coverage and allows you to get the emergency care you need. Although they will have a subrogation lien, meaning they will get paid back, that amount will be at their negotiated rates instead of the entire bill.  It often comes as a surprise to our clients that they need to pay back their health insurance company.

As a long time personal injury attorney in Henderson, Nevada, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. will address these claims on your behalf.   The funds to pay back the health insurance company will come out of your settlement the same as if you paid those bills directly.  However, it will be much less to pay back the subrogation lien than to pay the bills directly. In addition, there is the serious issue of collections.  Your health insurance will pay them timely and is contractually bound to wait for repayment until your personal injury lawsuit is settled. The hospital will not wait until your personal injury lawsuit is settled and will demand payment in full within 30 days.  

How the Subrogation Process Works

The term subrogation is often used in discussing personal injury settlements. Often, clients are not familiar with this term. Subrogation is commonly used as a synonym for reimbursement. However, they are actually contractually different. But for purposes of resolving your personal injury claim they act with the same outcome. Below I will summarize the process of subrogation as it affects personal injury claims that arise from your health insurance plan.

Notice of Subrogation Notice Letters

At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, as experience personal injury attorneys we advise our clients at their first visit if they obtained emergency room care that they will be receiving a letter from their health insurance company that will request details of the accident. We ask that our clients bring that letter or send that letter to us immediately. This is the health insurance companies attempt to deny your claim. They can seek reimbursement or have a subrogation claim on your recovery if you obtain one but they cannot deny your claim because it was an accident. However, they often will make the attempt.

Their initial letter will request additional information from you –the injured person. It is important that you provide that letter to your attorney immediately. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we contact the health insurance timely.   We handle personal injury matters and respond to the health inaurance company’s letters. The Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt will advise the health insurance company that we will honor their subrogation lien, but that all claims need to be paid timely.  We will work with the health inaurance company to timely respond to their requests for information so that our client is in complaince with the responsibitiles she has under the contract. Health insurance companies will often attempt to deny claims on the basis that the insured breached  the contract by failing to provide requested information, forms and documentation to the inaurance company.

The initial letter from the health insurance company will usually point out provisions of your insurance policy that entitles them to be paid back out of your personal injury recovery.  The policy will not have provisions that they do not have to pay at all based on a third party at fault. Often times, an automobile policy will not cover your medical bills and you could be stuck with additional bills that your insurance company did not pay. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  we will make sure that your health insurance company honors the terms and conditions of their health insurance policy which is a contract with you and pay your claims timely.

Why do you have to worry about subrogation?

Whether you realize it or not, you are contractually bound on the subrogation claim by the very reason of having health insurance. The concept of subrogation is that health insurance companies do not believe they should have to pay for injuries that someone else is liable for and this is also part of Federal Law for some policies.  A health insurance policy is a contract that clearly states that if a third-party injury pays for your medical bills, the health insurance company is entitled to receive reimbursement for those bills that they have already paid.

The health insurance company will attempt to assert that the at fault parties liability insurance policy is liable for your medical bills and expenses for your personal injury claim. That is why it is important to obtain counsel. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we have handled thousands of personal injury matters for over 15 years and are very experienced in handling the subrogation portion of your claim. It usually is contractually complex and not something that you want to navigate on your own. Failure to properly handle the subrogation claim in a personal injury accident can cost you money out of your pocket and possibly prevent you from obtaining a recovery at all.

Your lawyer will obtain a copy of your insurance policy

If you do not have a copy of your health insurance policy, the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  will obtain a copy on your behalf. In the plan, the health insurance company’s reimbursement and subrogation rights will be identified. This is often difficult to find in a voluminous health insurance policy. It is important to understand what your rights are involving your health insurance company.   It is also important that you understand the policy and Federal Law. This is why it is important to obtain counsel. At the law offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we are experienced in subrogation matters under federal law and under state law. There have been certain circumstances where the policy fails to outline the right of subrogation or reimbursement and they are contractually prevented from seeking the same.

Do not let your health insurance company take advantage of you or put you in a situation where your bills are not paid and going to collections. Contact the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. as soon as you have been involved in an auto injury accident and we can assist you with all of these contractual situations and make sure you get the medical care you need and deserve.

An Attorney Can Often Obtain a Reduction for Attorneys’ Fees

By retaining a Henderson Personal Injury Attorney to handle your case and the health plan does not state otherwise, your attorney can demand a reduction of the lien for the cost of attorney’s fees.  Meaning that if the Henderson Personal Injury attorney charges a 33 percent fee, she would seek a 33 percent reduction in the reimbursement or subrogation claim.

If you have a question about your health insurance and claims from an auto accident, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

DO I HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT AFTER MY ACCIDENT?

There are a number of steps that can take place during the course of a car accident negotiation and litigation process.  However, there are a few points to bear in mind:

  1. The plaintiff is not legally required to have an attorney in order to file a lawsuit.
  2. Most auto accident claims resolve without suit being filed.
  3. Many accident claims where a lawsuit is filed result in a settlement after the lawsuit is filed.

   In Nevada, injured victims are constitutionally entitled to a right to a jury trial in a civil action.  However, most auto accident claims settle without going all the way to trial. In fact, it is so stated in Article one as follows:

Article 1, Nevada Constitution –

The right of trial by Jury shall be secured to all and remain inviolate forever; but a Jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law; and in civil cases, if three fourths of the Jurors agree upon a verdict it shall stand and have the same force and effect as a verdict

A CLAIM VERSUS A LAWSUIT

There is often confusion on the difference between a car accident lawsuit and an insurance claim.  This may be because a “settlement” can occur in both situations. In fact, even when suit is filed most claims settle after litigation begins.  In general, an auto accident insurance claim arises when you notify the insurance company of a claim in an attempt to collect damages due and owing under provisions of an applicable insurance policy.  In the beginning, negotiations will ensue between the insurance company representative, aka the claims adjuster, and you or with your attorney, if you are represented by counsel.

If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be filed.  A lawsuit is formal legal action that is filed in the civil court of the appropriate jurisdiction.  Suit is filed when a settlement cannot be reached and the Plaintiff, aka injured victim, is seeking to recover monetary damages from the defendant, aka the at fault driver.  If negotiations fail and your attorney is forced to file a lawsuit, the following are the steps she will follow in your case:

Step 1: File a Complaint

A lawsuit is commenced when the plaintiff files a document called the complaint (sometimes called a “petition” in certain states) with the court. A complaint is a document stating what happened, the claimed damages, and the legal basis for bringing the lawsuit. After the plaintiff files the complaint, the lawsuit has officially begun.  Nevada is a notice pleading state, meaning that the complaint gives notice of the lawsuit with minimal facts.

Step 2: Serve the Complaint on the Defendant

The U.S. legal system holds a requirement that  legal notice is provided to someone who is the subject of a legal proceeding. Informing the defendant of the lawsuit means “serving” them with a copy of the complaint, and usually a “summons.” There are special rules governing who may serve the complaint, when it must be served, and how. These rules vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in Nevada the plaintiff has 120 days to serve the defendant. This deadline can usually be extended when the defendant is difficult to track down, but a motion before the court is required.

Step 3: The Defendant Files an Answer

In an answer, the defendant responds to the plaintiff’s complaint and admits or denies the factual allegations listed in the complaint. The answer is also where the defendant will set forth any legal defenses to the claims of the Plaintiff.

Step 4: Discovery

Discovery is the process through which the parties exchange information that’s relevant or likely to lead to the uncovering of relevant evidence. The purpose of discovery is to allow for an opportunity for each side to see all the facts.  In Nevada, as in most states, the discovery process includes interrogatories (written questions), requests for production of documents, and depositions (oral statements made under oath).

Step 5: Trial

After the parties have completed discovery, each side will have all the information and will then prepare to present its case in court. The trial will consist of each side making opening statements, the plaintiff presenting its evidence in the form of oral testimony and presentation of  documentary evidence. The defendant will cross-examine plaintiff’s witnesses. The defendant will also present its defense by cross-examining plaintiff’s witnesses. In conclusion , both parties will give closing statements.

After closing statements are completed, the jury (or judge, if it’s a bench trial), will deliberate and reach a verdict finding in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, by a “preponderance of the evidence,” and entering a judgment accordingly (if the judgment is in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant will be ordered to pay damages in a certain dollar amount).

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence.  If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to receive. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening her boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people.  During her time working for an insurance company, Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

WHAT IS CBD and WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT IT?

As of December 2018, the most recent farm bill, CBD became legal in the US and it is already exploding into the market place.  But what is it? In this blog, I will give an overview of this new product and the legal requirements for its production.

WHAT DOES CBD STAND FOR?

CBD is the acronym for Cannabidiol, a rising cannabinoid found in hemp/cannabis plants.

WHAT IS A CANNABINOID?

The cannabis plant  contains a number of compounds known as cannabinoids. There is estimated to be over 100 cannabinoids produced by a single plant.  THC is only one such cannabinoid. Many of these cannabinoids have little research, however, research on cannabinoids such as CBD is constantly expanding.

Where does CBD oil come from?

CBD is derived from the plant, Cannabis Sativa L. This name refers to all varieties of the plant including both hemp and medical/recreational cannabis (formerly referred to as “marijuana”). While hemp and medical/recreational cannabis share similar names, the one main difference is between the levels of the intoxicating compound, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Agricultural hemp is naturally high in CBD and is classified as less than 0.3% THC in the dry weight material. Medical/Recreational cannabis refers to plants with large flowering buds and high amounts of THC, between 1%-30%. This type of product can only be sold and consumed in states with laws around medical or recreational cannabis, while hemp-derived products can be sold all across the US.               CBD Oil products are made with CBD that is derived from agricultural hemp.

Is CBD oil different than hemp seed oil?

The hemp plant has many uses and is a great source of nutrition. Hemp seed oil refers to oils that have been made using only the hemp seeds. Hemp seeds themselves do not contain significant amounts of cannabinoids like CBD, but does contain essential nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp-derived CBD oil is extracted from all parts of the plant—which includes the seed, the stem, and the stalk—and contains higher concentrations of cannabinoids, between 5%-50% in concentration.

WHAT IS HEMP?

Hemp oil is generally pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant which are also considered to have health benefits because they contain a large amount of antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 and fatty acids. Hemp oil does not contain the same amount of cannabinoids found in CBD oil which are extracted from the whole plant instead of just the seeds.

Is CBD oil psychoactive?

Although CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), CBD alone does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, (https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf  ) “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” No, CBD is not psychoactive because it contains only trace amounts of THC.  CBD has surged in popularity amongst the medical community for its safety profile. The therapeutic results achieved without feelings of intoxication make it a great remedy.

What are the benefits of taking CBD oil?

Our everyday stresses can make staying balanced difficult. It can be difficult to stay balanced and healthy. The human body has an internal system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), that produces its own cannabinoids called Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The ECS helps maintain homeostasis and talks to every other organ system in the body. Hemp-derived CBD has the ability to balance the system that’s designed to balance you, via the ECS.

CBD has been lauded for a wide variety of health concerns, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the certain childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which historically have not responded to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.

In the marketplace, CBD is often promoted to address anxiety and  insomnia. Some studies have suggested that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.

In addition, CBD studies have been and are being conducted that indicate that CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. “A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.”

What Illegal Claims are being Made about CBD?

Recently, the FDA sent out warnings to four CBD companies related to more than a dozen products and multiple online platforms, on which the FDA stated the companies made “unfounded, egregious claims about their products’ ability to limit, treat or cure cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, opioid use disorder and other serious diseases,” without evidence or FDA approval.

Some of the claims the FDA said these companies made were:

  • “CBD successfully stopped cancer cells in multiple different cervical cancer varieties.”
  • “CBD also decreased human glioma cell growth and invasion, thus suggesting a possible role of CBD as an antitumor agent.”
  • “For Alzheimer’s patients, CBD is one treatment option that is slowing the progression of that disease.”
  • “CBD has demonstrated the ability to block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms responsible for the pain associated with migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS and other related disorders.”
  • “CBD reduced the rewarding effects of morphine and reduced drug seeking of heroin.”

          In a statement recently released by the FDA, they announced they will hold public hearings  on CBD products to  form of a high-level working group to provide updates to the agency’s website to provide CBD information to the public.

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm635048.htm

QUALITY IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR CBD.

For CBD to be the most beneficial, it should be full spectrum.  It is important to understand the quality, purity and potency of the CBD oil you purchase.  Labs should use High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to measure CBD levels, to the milligram, in every batch.  In some cases, a second level of lab testing is conducted to validate potency findings who independently analyzes the CBD.  CBD products should not contain pesticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, residual solvents, heavy metal contamination.  

What Does Full Spectrum CBD mean?

Full Spectrum CBD Oil is usually sold in the form of a tincture which is also labeled as an oil. CBD oil is most commonly labeled as either a CBD isolate or a full-spectrum CBD oil. Full spectrum CBD contains less than .3% of THC favored  by those who want the inclusion of plant terpenes for better therapeutic results. CBD isolate is a pure isolated cannabidiol with plant material removed and is a lower cost per milligram and considered by most to be less therapeutic.

IS CBD LEGAL?

In all CBD products, THC content cannot be  over .3% in order to be legal and not considered to be a schedule one narcotic.    

If you have a question about CBD or products containing CBD, please don’t hesitate to call our office.  In addition to handling auto accident and injury cases, The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is available to consult with businesses regarding the sale and manufacture of CBD products.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence.  If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to receive. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening her boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people.  During her time working for an insurance company, Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

If I have a pre-existing Condition Can I make a claim for Injuries in an accident?

ANSWER: Yes, You can make a claim for injuries if you have a pre-existing condition

It is a long standing legal proposition that a tort defendant “takes his victim as he finds him.”  This rule is referred to in the law as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. This legal theory makes a defendant responsible for all damages resulting from his negligence The Defendant, aka the insurance company, will want to argue because of the plaintiff’s preexisting condition, the injuries he/she are more severe than they would have been in a non-frail person. However, this argument will not prevail

Under the law, A person who has a condition or disability at the time that he or she is involved in an  injury accident is entitled to recover damages for any aggravation of that preexisting condition or disability that results from the accident.  Thus, a person cannot recover damages for the injury they have, but rather for making that injury worse and for additional injuries they suffer.  

This is true even if the person’s condition or disability made him more susceptible to the possibility  to being injured than a person without injury would have been. Therefore, even if a healthy person probably would not have suffered any substantial injury in the accident, a person with prior injury may be more likely to sustain injury and the adverse driver is liable for those injuries.

The most important thing to remember is that having a pre-existing condition does not prevent you from recovering damages in an injury accident. A pre-existing condition may make you more susceptible to injury,  but that does not allow the insurance company to offer you less compensation. It is very important to be up-front with your lawyer about your past accident, injuries and medical conditions . Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. has many years’ experience working for and against the insurance companies.   With this experience and a skilled legal team, she can help get you the compensation that you are you entitled too, regardless of your condition before the accident. If you or anyone you know is injured in an accident, please call our office today at (702) 450-4868 to schedule your free consultation with Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. a  highly experienced Las Vegas and Henderson car accident attorney.

Where a preexisting condition or disability is made worse, the damages as to  for the exacerbation are limited to the additional injury caused by the accident.  In fact, the Nevada Pattern Jury Instructions specifically address this issue at Nev. J.I. 10.06 as follows:

PERSONAL INJURY; AGGRAVATION OF PREEXISTING CONDITION

A person who has a condition or disability at the time of an injury is not entitled to recover damages there for.  However, he is entitled to recover damages for any aggravation of such preexisting condition or disability proximately resulting from the injury.

This is true even if the person’s condition or disability made him more susceptible to the possibility of ill effects than a normally healthy person would have been, and even if a normally healthy person probably would not have suffered any substantial injury.

Where a preexisting condition or disability is so aggravated, the damages as to such condition or disability are limited to the additional injury caused by the aggravation.

NEV. J.I. 10.06

BAJI 14.65

Courts have addressed this issue repeatedly over the years.  In Lovely v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 7274 (Me. May 30, 1995) the plaintiff suffered from a preexisting injury which was exacerbated by a subsequent accident.  The defendant successfully argued to the trial court that, in order to recover, the plaintiff had the burden of demonstrating which portion of his injury resulted from each accident.  After reviewing the evidence, held that the medical testimony failed to provide a basis for apportioning the damages as between the two acidents.  Although the record contained substantial evidence of pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses attributable to plaintiff’s elbow injury, the trial court declined to award any damages based on this injury, finding that plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof. 

The Appellant Court reversed on the ground that the trial court had mistakenly placed the burden of proof as to apportionment on the plaintiff.  Rather than awarding no damages for the elbow injury, the Appellant  Court ruled that the trial court should have awarded plaintiff his total damages.  In so holding, the Court actually invoked not the eggshell-plaintiff rule, but also the single-injury rule, traditionally applied in cases involving multiple tortfeasors.   The court held that that the single-injury rule “places any hardship resulting from the difficulty of apportionment on the proven wrongdoer and not on the innocent plaintiff,” the Court extended the application of the rule to cases involving preexisting conditions. Thus, the Court held that where a preexisting condition is exacerbated or made worse by a negligent act, resulting in an aggregate injury which is incapable of apportionment, the tort feasor and not the victim must suffer the hardship of proving apportionment.

Insurance companies use any tactic possible to unreasonably deny or undervalue claims.  You need an attorney experienced in dealing with insurance companies. Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. has been a Henderson Accident attorney for over ten years.  Prior to working exclusively with injured people, Laura worked for a major insurance company in house for many years. She knows how to beat then to the punch so to speak.  She can help you fight for the compensation you deserve, including pursuing a filing a lawsuit against the person or persons who caused your injuries. Insurance companies understand that at the end of the day it will be a jury who will decide the value and not the insurance company.  However, it takes experience to convince a jury that your condition and pain and suffering has been caused by the defendant’s negligence, rather than the pre-existing condition. An experienced lawyer like Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. knows how to prover your injuries. If you have a prior injury or pre-existing condition and are injured in an accident, you will want to do the following:

  • Maintain Documentation: You should make sure you discuss any pre-existing conditions with your doctors.
  • Discuss differences with your Doctor –Ask them to be clear about explaining whether your current problems and symptoms are due to the accident or the prior condition.
  • Be Honest with your Doctor – You must also be honest and open about your prior condition when speaking to your Doctor.
  • Be Honest with your Attorney — Hiding information puts your lawyer at a disadvantage when negotiating with the insurance company.

 

The best way to protect your claim if you have pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries is to be candid and honest with your attorney and your doctors about these conditions at your first consultation. Your truthfulness about your medical condition will allow your doctors to understand your new injuries.  It is important to be open about your past medical history. This honesty will put you in the best position possible for a maximum recovery in your case. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will have access to past accident history whether or not you are candid. It can damage your case if they find it be other means.  That is why it is important to remember to all of your past injuries when discussing your case with your attorney and your doctor and let your attorney and doctors known about these issues. If you are not honest in disclosing these conditions in the beginning, you are setting yourself up for many different problems including harming your credibility, ruining your entire case, and even subjecting yourself to legal action.

 

If you have a question about a pre-existing condition, please don’t hesitate to call our office or a loved one is injured call our office immediately.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today.  At my office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

Fatal accident investigation. What really happens?

Sadly, statistics show that driving is dangerous in this country.

  • Almost 1.25 million people die in auto accidents each year
  • Tragically, auto accidents are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29, and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14.
  • Over one half of the victims are young people ages 15-44.
  • There are an average of 3,287 deaths a day as a result of automobile accidents
  • Automobile accidents are the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
  • Experts predict that auto accidents will become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.

https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/

Most of us take driving for granted.  It is part of our everyday routine. We are in and out of the car many times a day, putting thousands of miles on our vehicles every year.   When a hazard occurs, you often only have a split second to react in a way that could save your life. . If you are changing the radio station, talking on a cell phone or not paying attention to the road, that opportunity is lost. In fact, in researching and writing this blog, I believe I will enroll my teenage son in the defensive driving course at the Las Vegas Motor speedway.  https://driversedge.org/the-program/  The better prepared drivers are to react, the better their chances at avoiding a fatal accident.

In working for a major insurance company as an attorney for many years, I had the unfortunate experience of reviewing many fatal accident claims files.  I think that the luxury and comfort of modern vehicles makes drivers forget that they are moving at a high rate of speed and not at a concert or sitting in a movie theater.  Drivers are becoming desensitized to the danger of the roadway.

When the police and/or highway patrol are dispatched to the scene of an accident, they conduct a thorough and often lengthy investigation of the scene.  The following are the steps of the investigation process:

Tape off the scene

The scene of a fatal traffic accident is taped off to preserve evidence. It is marked off like any other crime scene. Photographs are taken and all the evidence is carefully collected

Take Measurements of Skid Marks

Measuring the skid marks left on the road surface by the cars is a significant indicator of how the accident took place.  Police can often tell from the skid marks how fast the vehicles were traveling prior to impact.

 

Calculating drag factor

Once the skid marks are measured, police use various formulas to compute how fast the cars were traveling. It’s important to take into consideration the “drag factor” of the concrete or asphalt, whether it is raining or snowing and if the surface is sloped. Police use algebraic calculation to determine the coefficient friction on the roadway.  Drag factor is the deceleration coefficiant for an entire vehicle. The coefficient of Friction is the deceleration coefficient for a sliding tier. The Drag factor and coefficient of Friction are the same, if and only if, all four tiers of a motor vehicle are locked and sliding on a surface.

 

Interviewing all Witness

Then, all witnesses are interviewed. This could be occupants, drivers, bystanders etc. The primary officer interviews the suspect driver if they’re able to speak. While the interviews are being conducted, the other members of the team begin to collect the evidence. This includes creating a scale diagram, taking photos, alcohol bottles, and blood and urine samples if the crash is alcohol related

 

Testing for Impaired Drivers

The driver would be questioned and examined for signs of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and to see if they were otherwise medically impaired. A drug/tox screen would be ordered. The results of this usually take several days, at minimum.

 

Look for Mechanical Failures

 

The vehicle would be carefully examined to see if there were any mechanical failures, malfunctions, or relevant modifications.

 

Careful Site Inspection

 

The site of the accident would be carefully diagrammed. Critical items would include the position when the vehicle started moving, the area of impact, the area of initial braking, and the point of rest. As a team, the police will walk through the entire scene to get a feel for it… how it happened… looking for evidence. In a fatal crash, the evidence can be skid marks, debris field… it could be the distance a bumper off a car flew after impact… anything inside that scene is a possible piece of evidence.

 

Check for Possible Surveillance Video

There would be a search for any surveillance video of the area at the time of the accident.

 

Autopsy of Victims

An autopsy would be performed on the victims to determine the precise causes of their deaths, and whether there were any intervening medical issues.

 

Further review of Evidence

When all the evidence has been gathered, there is often a multi-disciplinary meeting of accident and homicide investigators, prosecutors, and possibly psychological or medical experts to determine the culpability of the driver or others involved.

 

Criminal Charges

 

Once the evidence is collected, the team works for days, weeks and sometimes months to complete the investigation.  The evidence is generally put into a booklet form or report format and the principle officers and the traffic supervisor meet with the District Attorney to discuss charges. If the driver is found to have some antagonistic relationship with the victims or their families, the prosecutor will consider whether the case is a deliberate act, as opposed to an accident (this is rare). If the actions of the driver are deliberate, the appropriate charges aren’t something like unsafe backing or careless driving. They become murder.

If the driver reports he/she lost consciousness before or during the incident, a medical examination will be ordered to determine whether she might have suffered a seizure or some other medical problem. If she was aware of this problem and drove in spite of it, her culpability will increase.

The prosecutor is ultimately the final arbiter of what charges, if any, will be filed.

 

How to Become a safer Driver, Experts offer the following advice:

  • When you come to an intersection, don’t just look straight ahead, look all around. Don’t just look at the car in front of you; look at the car in front of it.
  • Don’t follow too closely. If the car in front brakes unexpectedly, you have more time to react if you have more space.
  • Pay more attention, be more courteous.
  • Use a “hands-free” device if you have to talk on the cell phone.
  • Be alert for other drivers who are acting recklessly.
  • Change your attitude — slow down, relax and take your time getting to your destination.
  • Be an extremely courteous driver
  • Be an extremely defensive driver
  • Be on the lookout for drivers who appear impaired

Safety Features Matter


When shopping for a vehicle in today’s market,  airbags really offer the best protection in the event of an accident. However, seatbelts are still extremely important and must be used with the other protections.   It is also important to check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) crash test scores   https://www.nhtsa.gov/  before making a final selection for a car. In today’s market, you can shop for safety and style.  It is no longer an either or choice.

All of this information will eventually be released to the participating insurance companies, who may undertake their own investigation. If a loved one has been involved in a fatal accident, please don’t hesitate to call our office immediately.  We can make sure that injured victims receive the care they need and deserve and that families of victims with fatal injuries receive justice, and advise on how to preserve evidence.  If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today. At my office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

         At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.