Category Archives: Car Accidents

I WAS HIT FROM BEHIND IN MY CAR BY ANOTHER DRIVER, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

 

  • Take photos of your vehicle in the location of the impact before moving your car only if it is safe to do so.
  • Take photos of the other vehicle at the scene of the accident.
  • Call the police and wait for the police
  • Seek Medical attention if you have pain

Laura Hunt Attorney

Figures posted from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), show that of the approximately 6 million car accidents that happen in the United States each year, over 40% of them (2.5 million) are rear-end collisions.  According tothe Washington Post, About 1,700 people die in rear-end collisions and another 500,000 are hurt yearly. That means the odds are that if you or a loved one is involved in an auto collision that it will likely be a rear-end type auto collision.  Sometimes, rear-end collisions involve a minor impact where no one is hurt. Sometimes, they involve a substantial impact with serious injuries. Regardless of the type of collision you are in, there are certain steps that you will always want to take to preserve and document evidence and information at the scene of the accident that will be lost if it is not preserved.  Sometimes, the stress of being involved in the accident can affect your recollection of the events. Try to stay calm and take the following steps to protect yourself:

First, if it is safe to do so, take photos of the vehicles immediately following the collision before they are moved.  This is important in case the adverse driver has a different recollection of the event at a later date and to document how the collision occurred. Even if you have to pull off the road, take pictures of cars, the other driver, the road conditions, and the location of the accident.  Take a lot of photos. This will be the only proof you have regarding the accident.

Second, always call the police to the scene of the accident.  Establishing an official record protects everyone. Determining what happened and noting important factors such as weather and property damage are important. The police know exactly what questions to ask and what details should be captured. Compiling all witness statements, photos and contributing factors into an official police report ensures that an accurate record of the incident will be available later to your insurance company or attorney.

Third, seek medical attention quickly.  It is important for you to know that often times pain and injuries inflicted from a rear-end collision may not felt at the time of the collision.  Pain and discomfort may take 24 hours to set in following your accident. That’s why you want to seek medical treatment immediately after being hit in a rear-end impact.   The sooner you seek medical help, the easier it will be to prover your pain and injuries are a result of the rear-end auto collision and not your everyday activities as the insurance company will want to argue.   If you have pain or stiffness, go to a quick care or your family chiropractor. If you do not know where to go for medical help, call the Law Offices of Laura Hunt, PC today.

Fourth, if there are any witnesses, be sure to obtain their name, address and phone number.  You may need to contact them at a later time to be a witness and give a statement.

It is important to take the right steps following a rear-end collision and contact an attorney.   If you or a loved one is involved in a rear end auto accident while you’re out of town feel free to call the Law offices of Laura Hunt, PC… We are available 24/7 via phone and text message at 702-600-0032 to answer questions that you have at the time of your accident. We have been helping people injured in car accidents for the last decade and recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

Rear-auto  accidents are  a very common occurrence. At  some point, the odds are that most drivers  will be involved in such a collision. Especially given the level of distractions drivers have such as cell phones, text messaging, iPods and general stress.   Unfortunately, many drivers will have had the difficult experience of dealing with a serious rear-end collision. That is when an attorney can help by dealing with all the unpleasant aspects of an accident, like getting your car fixed and paying your doctors.   While there are some exceptions and unusual circumstances based on differences in state law, as a general rule, the driver of the rear-ending car is at fault for rear-end collisions.  Therefore, the driver of the rear-ending car will be liable for the damage caused in the accident, which will be paid by his insurance company.

If you are involved in a rear-end automobile collision, contact our offices today.  By contacting a lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your damages. At my office, we are experienced to handle all types of automobile injury claims and property damage claims.  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. With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review all of the coverages available in order to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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 AN ACCIDENT WHEN I AM OUT OF TOWN?

 

  • If you are injured while out of town, always provide your health insurance information to the hospital and all medical providers
  • If you do not have health insurance, seek medical care appropriate for your level of injury.  If your injuries are not critical, seek medical attention at the closest quick care facility.
  • When you receive the paperwork from your health insurance company following the accident, consult the Law Offices of Laura Hunt, PC to for assistance filing out the forms.
  • Continue with your medical car when you return home.

 

Laura Hunt AttorneyVacation season is approaching and families will be hitting the road to visit distant relatives and friends.  If you are injured in a car accident when you are traveling, there are certain things you should know. Most people are of the opinion that when they are injured in an auto accident the insurance company for the at fault driver will immediately and timely pay all of their medical bills for whatever treatment they need. This is 100% false. It is extremely important that you protect yourself because there will be a substantial delay in any funds that you receive from the at fault driver following a car accident. If you are injured when you are out of town, if you are fortunate to have health insurance you should absolutely provide that information to the hospital, ambulance company and anywhere that you receive treatment while you are out of town.

There are several reasons for this. First, your health insurance will timely pay these bills and, if the at fault driver has insurance coverage they will be responsible to pay your health insurance company back. The second reason is that if the adverse party does not have insurance coverage or does not have enough insurance coverage, you will not be responsible to pay back your health insurance company for these bills. In addition, your health insurance company has substantial negotiated discounts with most of the providers that you will not receive if they are paid by the third-party or if you have to pay them out-of-pocket because they were not timely submitted to your health insurance company.

If you, unfortunately, do not have health insurance and you are injured while you’re out of town it is important to seek the appropriate medical care consistent with the injuries that you received. If your injuries are not life-threatening or critical, it may be in your best interest to go to a quick care facility close to the location of the accident. The reason for this is that the hospital bill could be substantial and could even be more than the available automobile insurance coverage available from the adverse driver. In past blogs I outlined that states have different minimum requirements for insurance coverage, but many states have only a $15,000 required amount of coverage per driver, some states have only a $10,000 required minimum per driver. Therefore it is important that you make good decisions when obtaining medical care so that these bills can be paid. In addition, you will not know at the time of the accident if the adverse driver even has coverage that is in force and effect at the time of the accident, and it is possible that you could be stuck with your medical bills if the other driver does not have coverage and you do not have UIM coverage.

It would be nice if the world was perfect and every person who was at fault for causing injury had enough money to cover the injury or enough insurance to cover the injury and timely paid bills that were incurred. Unfortunately, this is not the world that we live in and it is important that you protect you and your family following an accident.

If you have health insurance and you submitted your health insurance information to the providers that you saw while out of town, it is likely that you will receive paperwork in the mail called subrogation paperwork from your health insurance company. At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt, PC we have been helping injured drivers in car accidents who are residents of Henderson and Las Vegas for over 10 years. We are happy to go over these documents with you and fill them out as part of our representation. It is important that the subrogation forms are timely and accurately returned to your health insurance company to make sure that your bills get paid timely and that the appropriate discounts are made.

It is important to take the right steps following a collision out of town to get the medical care that you and your family need without adversely affecting your financial condition.  If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident while you’re out of town feel free to call the Law offices of Laura Hunt, PC.. We are available 24/7 via phone and text message at 702-600-0032 to answer questions that you have at the time of your accident. We have been helping people injured in car accidents for the last decade and recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

If you are involved in an accident while out of town, contact our offices today.  By contacting a lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your damages. At my office, we are experienced to handle all types of automobile injury claims and property damage claims.  Having worked for the 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. With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review all of the  coverages available to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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.

GET READY FOR SPRING BREAK, DOES MY AUTO INSURANCE COVER ME ON A RENTAL CAR?

  • Before leaving for your trip, call your insurance agent and ask if you are covered on a rental
    car.
  • Before leaving for your trip, call your credit card company to see what coverage they offer on
    rental cars, and use that care to rent the car.
  • Before leaving, verify that you have collision coverage. If not, purchase collision coverage on the rental car.
  • Before leaving for your trip, check the rates for insurance through the company online and check rates when booking.

Laura Hunt AttorneySpring break is approaching and many people and families will be hitting the road for vacations. Often time’s people are flying to their destinations and renting a car or driving a rental vehicle to their destination to avoid excess miles on their private vehicles. Before you decide to hit the open road and spring for a rental car, you should know what kind of coverage you already have on a rental car through your own policy and credit cards. You’ll need this information before you can determine whether or not you need to buy the rental car insurance offered through the rental car company. It is not a decision you want to make at the rental car counter. It’s a complicated decision. You may already be covered through your existing car insurance or your credit card. “Your personal auto car coverage usually does cover rental car coverage,” says Merle Scheiber of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

However, only the personal coverages that you pay for would apply to the rental vehicle. This means that if you do not carry collision on you vehicle which is coverage for damage to your vehicle, you would not have coverage for damage to the rental car if you did not purchase the rental car company’s collision coverage. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you have collision coverage on your own policy, which pays for damages to your vehicle from accidents involving other cars or objects. “For people who already have collision coverage on the rental car, getting the rental car insurance policy is a waste of money,” says Neil Abrams, an auto rental consultant of Abrams Consulting Group based in Purchase, N.Y. But if you do not have collision coverage on your own vehicle, you’ll want to purchase that coverage at the rental car counter or use a credit card that provides this coverage.

A number of major credit card companies offer rental auto insurance to cardholders, such as Visa and American Express. However, not all Visa or American Express cards carry the same benefits, and therefore, it is very important that you call your credit card company and find out what your card offers. It is important to listen closely. It is not sufficient that you find out that you “have coverage by using your credit card.” You need to find out what coverages you have which are generally collision (damage to the vehicle you are driving) and liability (damage to other vehicles and injuries to other persons) You need both and your credit card company may only provide liability. In addition, certain cards only offer such coverages to elite members or certain card holders, so check with your credit card company first.

So What exactly are the benefits of buying insurance from the rental company? It protects you from out-of-pocket expenses caused by loss or damage to the vehicle, including theft. Rental car insurance can cost approximately $20-$25 per day, depending on what option you select. The collision damage waiver, aka the “optional vehicle protection or loss damage waiver”, can cost as much as $19 per day and changes liability for collision damage from the person renting the car (you) to the car rental company. It is important to note that even if you carry collision on your personal auto policy, you will be liable for you deductible when you turn the car in regardless of fault for the damage to the rental car at that time. Your insurance carrier may reimburse that money to you at a later time if it is not your fault and the other driver was insured.

Liability insurance generally costs between $7 and $14 a day and is for damage you cause to another person or property while driving the car. However, your auto insurance on your own car should already include liability insurance and will generally cover you on a “non-owned vehicle.” Before leaving on any trip where you will be renting a car, call your agent or the 800 number on you card and ask what type of coverage you have for a “non-owned vehicle” and they should be happy to assist you. Their customer service agent should be able to explain what coverage you have on a rental car. If they are not pleasant and helpful, you should look for an insurance company that is pleasant and helpful to their own insured’s.

Although the rental companies are required to provide statutory minimum liability coverage on the vehicles they rent by state law, you do not want to be in a situation where you are reliant on a rental car company who’s’ interests will come first to protect you. In a serious accident, that’s not going to do much to protect you and your personal assets. Statutory minimum liability coverage provides some protection to renters involved in an accident while driving a rental vehicle but they have don’t have the same duty to you as your insurance company. “It’s not insurance, in the technical sense, that rental companies offer,” Abrams says. Rental companies are not licensed insurance agents in every state. Instead, they offer a protection package. “It doesn’t help where clear negligence is involved,” Abrams warns. “If you leave your car with the engine running and the key in the ignition, and the car disappears, the rental company may have a problem with that.”

Abrams adds that some people are protected through their homeowner’s policy. Home owners can extend the liability when the policyholder is not in their home, i.e., while renting a car. However, the provisions vary from one policy to another, so be sure to check ahead of time. This would only cover a stolen vehicle or goods in the vehicle, not damages to the vehicle or injuries.

Jan Zobel, a tax preparer in Oakland, Calif., rents a car when she travels to Hawaii several times a year. Zobel receives coverage using her American Express card, which charges her $17.95 per rental. “I’m not a big AmEx card user, but you can bet that I pay for every rental now with that card,” she says.

If you chose to buy insurance through the rental car company, be sure to read the fine print. Even go online before you leave and review their coverages. Many people do not read the rental agreement when renting a car. That’s why you should make these decisions before you get the rental car counter. Every car rental agreement is different, and you should be aware of that when renting a car. Do your research. Most agreements are similar but like anything, when you sign your name to something, you should know what you are signing. You can be contractually obligated. Another issue, for example, the agreement might only cover one driver, so that would prevent you from taking turns on the road with someone. Don’t be afraid to call the rental car company and ask questions before you take the insurance policy.

Most important, make sure you have some form of insurance on the rental car at the time you pick it up. You do not want is to get into an accident and find out you are underinsured—or worse, uninsured. Many rental companies will allow uninsured customers to rent a car. For example, if you reserve from Hertz at the airport, the reservationist will not ask you for your insurance policy, nor do you have to show proof of insurance, experts say. If you are not insured, you must understand exposure and liability, what coverage you may have through credit card or homeowners, and look at the protection packages offered from the rental company. I would highly urge you to do this before you leave for your trip so that you do not waste money on coverages you already have but also have the coverages you need.

If you are involved in an accident while in a rental car, contact our offices today. By contacting a lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your damages. At my office, we are experienced to handle all types of automobile injury claims and property damage claims. Having worked for the 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. With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review all of the coverages available to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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.

U turn legal in nevada

When is a U-Turn Legal in Nevada and in Henderson?

Laura Hunt AttorneyHenderson and Nevada drivers in general are often unsure if it is legal to make a U-turn or not. I will attempt to clarify this issue in our community. According to the Nevada driver’s handbook:
U-turns are generally allowed if they can be completed safely. In business areas, you must be at an intersection or on a divided highway where an appropriate opening exists. U-turns are not allowed where prohibited by a traffic sign or signal, or if there is less than 500 feet visibility in both directions.” (NRS 484B.403) Specifically, NRS 483B.403 states as follows:

TITLE 43 PUBLIC SAFETY; VEHICLES; WATERCRAFT
Chapter 484B Rules of the Road

NRS 484B.403 When U-turns are authorized and prohibited; additional penalty for violation committed in work zone.

1. A U-turn may be made on any road where the turn can be made with safety, except as prohibited by this section and by the provisions of NRS 484B.227 and 484B.407.
2. If an official traffic-control device indicates that a U-turn is prohibited, the driver shall obey the directions of the device.
3. The driver of a vehicle shall not make a U-turn in a business district, except at an intersection or on a divided highway where an appropriate opening or crossing place exists.
4. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, local authorities and the Department of Transportation may prohibit U-turns at any location within their respective jurisdictions.
5. A person who violates any provision of this section may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.130.

In addition, NRS 484B.227 governs U-turns on the highway and states as follows:

NRS 484B.227 Driving on divided highway: Prohibited turns; additional penalty for violation committed in work zone.

1. Every vehicle driven upon a divided highway must be driven only upon the right-hand roadway and must not be driven over, across or within any dividing space, barrier or section or make any left turn, semicircular turn or U-turn, except through an opening in the barrier or dividing section or space or at a crossover or intersection established by a public authority.
2. A person who violates any provision of this section may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.130.

Also, NRS 484B.407 governs vehicles turning on curve or crest of grade prohibits U-turns in these circumstances. It states that a “vehicle shall not be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve, or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade, where such vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet.”

Generally, a driver can make a U-Turn if there is no sign prohibiting a U-Turn. Nevada traffic signs can control whether a U-turn is permitted by law or not. A driver in Henderson, Nevada or Las Vegas, Nevada who makes a U-turn at an intersection where a posted “No U-Turn” sign exists has executed an illegal U-turn, and a traffic ticket could be issued. According to Nevada Highway Patrolman Jason Buratczuk (as quoted in the local newspaper):

“A U-turn can be done anywhere it is safe to do so,” Buratczuk said. “The only time it says in the law you can’t make a U-turn is when there is a sign posted advising no U-turn. Driving on or across medians and such is illegal as well, but I don’t want to open that can of worms. So at the intersection in question, if there is no sign specifically stating no U-turn, then a U-turn is permissible.”

Something else important to point out is a statutory exception to the U-turn rules. That is, you cannot make a U-turn in a school zone when children are present. Specifically, NRS 484B.363 states as follows:

NRS 484B.363  School zone or school crossing zone: Speed limit; designation; signs; U-turn and overtaking another vehicle prohibited; determination of hours in which speed limit is in effect; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian or person riding bicycle.
1.  A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour in an area designated as a school zone except:
(a) On a day on which school is not in session;
(b) During the period from a half hour after school is no longer in operation to a half hour before school is next in operation;
(c) If the zone is designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the hours when the pupils of the school are in class and the yellow lights of the speed limit beacon are not flashing in the manner which indicates that the speed limit is in effect; or
(d) If the zone is not designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the times when the sign designating the school zone indicates that the speed limit is not in effect.
2.  A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour in an area designated as a school crossing zone except:
(a) On a day on which school is not in session;
(b) During the period from a half hour after school is no longer in operation to a half hour before school is next in operation;
(c) If the zone is designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the hours when the pupils of the school are in class and the yellow lights of the speed limit beacon are not flashing in the manner which indicates that the speed limit is in effect; or
(d) If the zone is not designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the times when the sign designating the school zone indicates that the speed limit is not in effect.
3.  The driver of a vehicle shall not make a U-turn in an area designated as a school zone or school crossing zone except:
(a) When there are no children present;
(b) On a day on which school is not in session;
(c) During the period from a half hour after school is no longer in operation to a half hour before school is next in operation;
(d) If the zone is designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the hours when the pupils of the school are in class and the yellow lights of the speed limit beacon are not flashing in the manner which indicates that the speed limit is in effect; or
(e) If the zone is not designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the times when the sign designating the school zone or school crossing zone indicates that the speed limit is not in effect.
4.  The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass another vehicle traveling in the same direction in an area designated as a school zone or school crossing zone except:
(a) On a day on which the school is not in session;
(b) During the period from a half hour after school is no longer in operation to a half hour before school is next in operation;
(c) If the zone is designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the hours when the pupils of the school are in class and the yellow lights of the speed limit beacon are not flashing in the manner which indicates that the speed limit is in effect; or
(d) If the zone is not designated by an operational speed limit beacon, during the times when the sign designating the school zone or school crossing zone indicates that the speed limit is not in effect.
5.  The governing body of a local government or the Department of Transportation shall designate school zones and school crossing zones. An area must not be designated as a school zone if imposing a speed limit of 15 miles per hour would be unsafe because of higher speed limits in adjoining areas.
6.  Each such governing body and the Department of Transportation shall provide signs to mark the beginning and end of each school zone and school crossing zone which it respectively designates. Each sign marking the beginning of such a zone must include a designation of the hours when the speed limit is in effect or that the speed limit is in effect when children are present.
7.  With respect to each school zone and school crossing zone in a school district, the superintendent of the school district or his or her designee, in conjunction with the Department of Transportation and the governing body of the local government that designated the school zone or school crossing zone and after consulting with the principal of the school and the agency that is responsible for enforcing the speed limit in the zone, shall determine the times when the speed limit is in effect.
8.  If, while violating any provision of subsections 1 to 4, inclusive, the driver of a motor vehicle is the proximate cause of a collision with a pedestrian or a person riding a bicycle, the driver is subject to the additional penalty set forth in subsection 4 of NRS 484B.653.
9.  As used in this section, “speed limit beacon” means a device which is used in conjunction with a sign and equipped with two or more yellow lights that flash alternately to indicate when the speed limit in a school zone or school crossing zone is in effect.
(Added to NRS by 1985, 640; A 1993, 2586; 1999,

In summary, Henderson drivers and Nevada drivers in general can make a U-Turn anywhere it is safe and there is no sign prohibiting a U-Turn. Remember the exceptions that there are no U-Turns in a school zone when children are present and no U-Turns on the Highway.

If you are involved in a car accident as a result of someone executing an illegal U-Turn, contact our offices today. By contacting a lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your damages. At my office, we are experienced to handle all types of automobile injury claims. Having worked for the insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my personal injury law firm, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims. With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review all of the coverages available to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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.

Why It Is Necessary to call the Police to the Scene of an Accident

In a nutshell, you should call the police after an accident because:

  1. You need an accurate record of the event
  2. You need an impartial, experienced officer to make the record
  3. Unfortunately, the other driver may have a different memory of the event then you at a later date;
  4. Your claim may proceed more quickly if the police are called

call police after accident

If you haven’t been in a car accident, it’s probably only a matter of time before you will be. According to thebalance.com, the average American driver has three to four accidents over the course of their lifetime. With today’s crowded roadways and distracted drivers, those numbers can only go up. No matter how careful you are, having an accident is something statistically you will have to endure. It’s a challenge to remain calm and know what to do when you’ve been in an accident. That’s why it’s imperative that you call the police whenever you are involved in any kind of collision.

Many times drivers are reluctant to call the police. The other driver might insist it’s not necessary. Or maybe the damage seems minor and no one is hurt, so you think it isn’t worth the hassle. Resist the temptation to simply exchange information and take a few quick photos with your phone. What you do in the immediate aftermath of a collision sets the tone for how any subsequent claims will proceed. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t hesitate to call the police in the event of an accident:

First, you will be too frazzled to make sound decisions. Think back to a time when something sudden and unsettling happened to you. Did you remember it clearly later? Did you stay calm? Chances are the choices you make when you are upset are not the choices you would make again in hindsight. Rather than struggling to keep your wits about you after an accident, let the police take that burden from you.

Second, the police are impartial. Sometimes the cause of an accident seems cut and dry–but that’s not for you or any other driver to determine. Don’t admit or assign blame. Simply call the police and let them evaluate the situation. They will be far more objective than anyone directly involved.

Third, establishing an official record protects everyone. Determining what happened and noting important factors such as weather and road conditions is important. The police know exactly what questions to ask and what details should be captured. Compiling all witness statements, photos and contributing factors into an official police report ensures that an accurate record of the incident will be available later to your insurance company or attorney.

Not all vehicle damage or physical injury is immediately apparent. Just because no one seems hurt and there is no noticeable vehicle damage in the immediate aftermath, that doesn’t mean things won’t change. Injuries can take several days to reveal themselves, and most drivers cannot accurately assess the extent of damage to their car.

The police know how to handle tense situations. Many people react with irrational anger and aggression after an accident. This could cause a bad situation to become far worse. Police officers are trained to diffuse volatile situations; calling them to the scene will help everyone maintain their composure. For most of us, being involved in a car accident is statistically inevitable. When it happens to you, keep a level head and call the police to protect your best interests!

By contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your damages. At my office, we are experienced to handle all types of automobile injury claims. Having worked for the 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. With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review your coverages to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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.

My child was a passenger in someone else’s car in an accident what do I do?

  • Take your child for medical attention immediately to determine injuries
  • Obtain a copy of the police report
  • Obtain a copy of the drivers insurance in with your child was a passenger
  • Watch your child closely for any changes or signs of continuing injury and obtain the appropriate medical care.

Laura Hunt AttorneyIf your child is involved in an auto accident while traveling with friends or family, your child is considered a fault free passenger and is covered by the at fault driver‘s policy. Your child is also covered by underinsured motorist coverage if available in the passenger car that he or she was in.   Uninsured coverage and Underinsured coverage (referred to as UM/UIM) is coverage that covers you if the other driver is not insured or is underinsured. You should always carry UM/UIM coverage.

If your child is severely injured, your child would also be covered under your auto insurance coverage on your UM/UIM policy. Therefore, there could be three or more auto insurance policies that could cover your child as a fault free passenger if he or she is injured in an automobile accident.

When you take your child for medical attention, if available, provide your child’s health insurance information to the provider. If your child does not have medical insurance, contact a personal injury attorney immediately to assist you with medical care for your child without being sent to collections for unpaid medical bills. When your child has concluded medical care, The Law Offices of Laura Hunt can negotiate a fair settlement for your child and handle the minor’s compromise of the claim.  Nevada has a mandatory procedure to follow when settling a minor’s claim.  This law can be found at N.R.S. 41.200 and states as follows:

NRS 41.200  Compromise by parent or guardian of claim by minor against third person; requirements of court petition; establishment of blocked financial investment for proceeds of compromise; no fees to be charged in proceedings.

1.  If an unemancipated minor has a disputed claim for money against a third person, either parent, or if the parents of the minor are living separate and apart, then the custodial parent, or if no custody award has been made, the parent with whom the minor is living, or if a general guardian or guardian of the estate of the minor has been appointed, then that guardian, has the right to compromise the claim. Such a compromise is not effective until it is approved by the district court of the county where the minor resides, or if the minor is not a resident of the State of Nevada, then by the district court of the county where the claim was incurred, upon a verified petition in writing, regularly filed with the court.

2.  The petition must set forth:

(a) The name, age and residence of the minor;

(b) The facts which bring the minor within the purview of this section, including:

(1) The circumstances which make it a disputed claim for money;

(2) The name of the third person against whom the claim is made; and

(3) If the claim is the result of an accident or motor vehicle crash, the date, place and facts of the accident or motor vehicle crash;

(c) The names and residence of the parents or the legal guardian of the minor;

(d) The name and residence of the person or persons having physical custody or control of the minor;

(e) The name and residence of the petitioner and the relationship of the petitioner to the minor;

(f) The total amount of the proceeds of the proposed compromise and the apportionment of those proceeds, including the amount to be used for:

(1) Attorney’s fees and whether the attorney’s fees are fixed or contingent fees, and if the attorney’s fees are contingent fees the percentage of the proceeds to be paid as attorney’s fees;

(2) Medical expenses; and

(3) Other expenses,

Ê and whether these fees and expenses are to be deducted before or after the calculation of any contingency fee;

(g) Whether the petitioner believes the acceptance of this compromise is in the best interest of the minor; and

(h) That the petitioner has been advised and understands that acceptance of the compromise will bar the minor from seeking further relief from the third person offering the compromise.

3.  If the claim involves a personal injury suffered by the minor, the petitioner must submit all relevant medical and health care records to the court at the compromise hearing. The records must include documentation of:

(a) The injury, prognosis, treatment and progress of recovery of the minor; and

(b) The amount of medical expenses incurred to date, the nature and amount of medical expenses which have been paid and by whom, any amount owing for medical expenses and an estimate of the amount of medical expenses which may be incurred in the future.

4.  If the court approves the compromise of the claim of the minor, the court must direct the money to be paid to the father, mother or guardian of the minor, with or without the filing of any bond, or it must require a general guardian or guardian ad litem to be appointed and the money to be paid to the guardian or guardian ad litem, with or without a bond, as the court, in its discretion, deems to be in the best interests of the minor.

5.  Upon receiving the proceeds of the compromise, the parent or guardian to whom the proceeds of the compromise are ordered to be paid, shall establish a blocked financial investment for the benefit of the minor with the proceeds of the compromise. Money may be obtained from the blocked financial investment only pursuant to subsection 6. Within 30 days after receiving the proceeds of the compromise, the parent or guardian shall file with the court proof that the blocked financial investment has been established. If the balance of the investment is more than $10,000, the parent, guardian or person in charge of managing the investment shall annually file with the court a verified report detailing the activities of the investment during the previous 12 months. If the balance of the investment is $10,000 or less, the court may order the parent, guardian or person in charge of managing the investment to file such periodic verified reports as the court deems appropriate. The court may hold a hearing on a verified report only if it deems a hearing necessary to receive an explanation of the activities of the investment.

6.  The beneficiary of a block financial investment may obtain control of or money from the investment:

(a) By an order of the court which held the compromise hearing; or

(b) By certification of the court which held the compromise hearing that the beneficiary has reached the age of 18 years, at which time control of the investment must be transferred to the beneficiary or the investment must be closed and the money distributed to the beneficiary.

7.  The clerk of the district court shall not charge any fee for filing a petition for leave to compromise or for placing the petition upon the calendar to be heard by the court.

8.  As used in this section, the term “blocked financial investment” means a savings account established in a depository institution in this state, a certificate of deposit, a United States savings bond, a fixed or variable annuity contract, or another reliable investment that is approved by the court.

It sets out the procedure that must be followed when settling a minor’s claim.  Under this statute, the parent or guardian of the child must file a minor’s compromise to allow the court to approve and review the settlement.   After the court approves the agreed upon settlement, the parent or guardian must place the funds in a “blocked financial investment for the benefit of the minor until the minor is 18 years old and can access the funds.

By contacting a lawyer immediately, your child can receive the necessary medical care without the worry of medical bill being sent to collections.  At my office, we are happy to handle the health insurance company’s subrogation claim for you.  Having worked for the insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of medical claims involving children.   With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review the coverages to maximize the money your child receives.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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.

who pays medical bills after an accident

Who is going to pay my medical bills when I’m in a car accident?

  • Always give the hospital your Health insurance card
  • Do not give your car insurance information to the Hospital
  • Protect yourself by having your own Underinsured Motorist coverage
  • Keep all medical bills and insurance Explanations of Benefits sent to you in a file
  • You will need to return the Subrogation forms to your health insurance company
  • An attorney can navigate the sea of paperwork required when multiple insurance Policies exist

Laura Hunt AttorneyBeing in a serious automobile accident is one of the most traumatic things that will happen to most people in their lives. Panic, nervousness and fear set in and often people are confused, angry and uncertain as to what to do at the time. The prevailing thoughts from our clients are that when someone is in an accident that is not their fault, “everything will be taken care of and they will pay all my bills.”   Unfortunately, in the society we live in, and especially in the state of Nevada, this is absolutely not the case. Most of my clients are shocked to hear that drivers are only required by law to carry $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident on their vehicles. This means that each person who is injured in an accident  can only collect $15,000 for their injuries against the insurance company of the other driver. Of course, the other driver is still personally liable for any bills that you may have, but often people do not have those funds or they declare bankruptcy before it is ever paid or it can take years to get a legal judgment.

For this reason, it is extraordinarily important to be wise about your medical bills when you are involved in an accident.  If you find yourself at the hospital following an accident, always give your health insurance information, if you are one of the fortunate Americans to have such coverage, to the hospital. The hospital is required by state law to bill your health insurance before they bill anywhere else.  Nevada Law states as follows on this issue:

NRS 449.757  Limitations on efforts of hospitals to collect; date for accrual of interest; rate of interest; limitations on additional fees.

1.  When a person receives hospital care, the hospital must not proceed with any efforts to collect on any amount owed to the hospital for the hospital care from the responsible party, other than for any copayment or deductible, if the responsible party has health insurance or may be eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or any other public program which may pay all or part of the bill, until the hospital has submitted a bill to the health insurance company or public program and the health insurance company or public program has made a determination concerning payment of the claim.

2.  Collection efforts may begin and interest may begin to accrue on any amount owed to the hospital for hospital care which remains unpaid by the responsible party not sooner than 30 days after the responsible party is sent a bill by mail stating the amount that he or she is responsible to pay which has been established after receiving a determination concerning payment of the claim by any insurer or public program and after applying any discounts. Interest must accrue at a rate which does not exceed the prime rate at the largest bank in Nevada as ascertained by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions on January 1 or July 1, as the case may be, immediately preceding the date on which the payment becomes due, plus 2 percent. The rate must be adjusted accordingly on each January 1 and July 1 thereafter until the payment is satisfied.

3.  Except for the interest authorized pursuant to subsection 2 and any court costs and attorney’s fees awarded by a court, no other fees may be charged concerning the amount that remains unpaid, including, without limitation, collection fees, other attorney’s fees or any other fees or costs.

(Added to NRS by 2007, 1497; A 2011, 1525)

NRS 449.758  Limitations on efforts of hospital to collect when hospital has contractual agreement with third party that provides health coverage for care provided; exception.

1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, if a hospital provides hospital care to a person who has a policy of health insurance issued by a third party that provides health coverage for care provided at that hospital and the hospital has a contractual agreement with the third party, the hospital shall proceed with any efforts to collect on any amount owed to the hospital for the hospital care in accordance with the provisions of NRS 449.757 and shall not collect or attempt to collect that amount from:

(a) Any proceeds or potential proceeds of a civil action brought by or on behalf of the patient, including, without limitation, any amount awarded for medical expenses; or

(b) An insurer other than a health insurer, including, without limitation, an insurer that provides coverage under a policy of casualty or property insurance.

2.  This section does not apply to:

(a) Amounts owed to the hospital under the policy of health insurance that are not collectible; or

(b) Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or any other public program which may pay all or part of the bill.

3.  This section does not limit any rights of a patient to contest an attempt to collect an amount owed to a hospital, including, without limitation, contesting a lien obtained by a hospital.

4.  As used in this section, “third party” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 439B.260.

(Added to NRS by 2011, 1524)

You must also understand that you will not know the policy limits of the other driver and your hospital bill can easily exceed the $15,000.  Please do not think that the other driver is off the hook if you have health insurance.  That is far from the truth. The collateral source doctrine in Nevada as held by the Nevada Supreme Court states as follows :

We now adopt a per se rule barring the admission of a collateral source of payment for an injury into evidence for any purpose.  Collateral source evidence inevitably prejudices the jury because it greatly increases the likelihood that a jury will reduce a plaintiff’s award of damages because it knows the plaintiff is already receiving compensation

Proctor v. Castelletti, 112 Nev 88, 911 P.2d 853, 854 (1996).

This means that regardless of who pays your medical bills, the adverse driver is also liable for them and they are not entitled to the reduced rate that your insurance company may have negotiated to resolve those bills. This means, as we are all familiar with, that when your hospital bill comes in and it is $25,000 and your health insurance company pays their negotiated rate of $3,000, the adverse driver is still liable for $25,000 bill. However, if he only has a $15,000 policy, you can at least collect the $15,000 to help compensate for everything that you have been through.  This is also one of the reasons it is extremely important to make sure that you are covered through your own policy.

who pays medical bills after an accident

I  will have separate blogs on  underinsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. When you see your declarations page it will list your different coverages including collision, comprehensive, bodily injury,  UM/UIM, towing, rental, medical payments coverage (etc.)  (all covered in other blogs).

Briefly, Collision coverage is coverage to fix your own vehicle, usually subject to a deductible.  Comprehensive Coverage covers damage done to your vehicle from events other than accidents like theft, vandalism, fire, impacts with deer, etc.  Comprehensive  is not collision coverage but they are generally sold together.  Bodily injury coverage is coverage to pay other drivers that you may injure.  UM/UIM is coverage that covers you if the other driver is not insured or underinsured. You should always carry UM/UIM  coverage.

I never understand why agents would recommend to clients that they cover themselves less than they cover other drivers on the road.  In fact, in Nevada, insurance companies must offer you this coverage and if you reject uninsured /underinsured coverage you must sign a waiver that the insurance company must produce at a later time in the event of a claim that you knowingly rejected this coverage.

I highly recommend that you carry underinsured and uninsured coverage to protect yourself. Unfortunately, the Nevada state legislature does not protect our drivers.  Nevada is one of the lowest bodily injury coverage states in the country.  Only Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Louisiana have lower limit requirements.  South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, California and Arizona also have $15,000.00 state minimum requirements.

By contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your vehicle. At my office, we are happy to handle the health insurance company’s subrogation claim for you.  Having worked for the insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of medical claims.   With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review your coverages to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura 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 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.

 

 

who pays medical bills after an accident

Who Pays My Doctor if I am Involved in an Auto Accident?

Laura Hunt AttorneyWhen you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, it is critical that you or your loved one obtain medical attention as soon as possible.  If you have health insurance you should obtain medical care at a hospital if you are injured. If you do not have medical insurance and your injuries are not life-threatening, it is often best to be seen at a quick care to evaluate the level of your injuries and determine if you need to be transported to a hospital.  If you have health insurance, always give your emergency providers your health insurance information. This is critical advice.

Will the At-Fault Driver Pay For My Medical Bills?

People often think that when they are involved in an auto accident, the at fault driver will be able to pay for all of their medical bills. Although it is a fact that they are legally responsible for those bills, they often do not have the funds to pay those bills. In the state of Nevada, unfortunately, the legislature only requires drivers to maintain a $15,000 per person automobile accident liability policy. Therefore, many drivers in the state of Nevada are driving on the road ways with only $15,000 of insurance to cover any injuries that they inflict on other drivers. In the world of skyrocketing medical costs that we live in, it is obvious that $15,000 will not cover extensive medical damages. When you are involved in an automobile collision, you will not have the information as to whether or not the other driver has any insurance at all, and if they do, how much coverage, for a significant amount of time following the auto accident.  In fact, since the Nevada legislature again sided with insurance companies several years ago and determined that insurance companies do not have to tell you how much insurance the other driver has following an accident.  It often requires a lawsuit against the other driver to even find out how much insurance they have to cover your injuries.

Therefore, it is important to protect yourself and your finances when you are involved in a collision.  At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt, we have been helping injured drivers and passengers in Henderson and Las Vegas get compensated for the injuries they sustained and the medical bills incurred in automobile accidents for over 10 years. We understand the importance of our clients obtaining the best medical care possible and having their medical bills paid.

What if Health Insurance Denies Auto Accident Related Bills?

Often times, your health insurance may initially deny medical bills related to an automobile accident. However, once the appropriate subrogation forms are submitted to your insurance company, they are required to pay those bills. They are allowed to be reimbursed from the other driver’s insurance policy. However, they cannot deny paying these bills. That doesn’t mean that they won’t improperly deny payment.   With our years of experience, we will get your bills paid.  In these complex insurance matters where there is health insurance coverage, insurance from the other driver, and other coverages available, it is important to have a personal injury attorney to negotiate these bills in order to maximize your recovery and make sure they are paid by the correct policy.

As long as we maintain a third-party payer system in this country where insurance companies control our healthcare system, the negotiated rates of the insurance companies cannot be matched.  For example if you are seen in the hospital and your bill is $15,000, a negotiated rate from your health insurance company or Medicare or Medicaid is likely well under $5000.  The other driver does not get the benefit of this offset when arguing this case in a court of law. Therefore, the other driver is liable for the extent of the medical bills as they are incurred on their face and not as they are negotiated by insurance company.

I know this appears to be a complicated explanation for who should pay your medical bills. But the short answer is always your health insurance if you have coverage available for your emergency care. If you do not have health insurance, and your injuries are not life-threatening, seek treatment at a quick care medical facility immediately for an evaluation and referral to the appropriate doctors. It is an unfortunate reality that the driver that hit you may very well not have enough insurance or money to cover a large medical bill and if you do not have health insurance or underinsured motorist coverage you could be stuck for that bill, even though the accident is not your fault.

By contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately, you can receive the care that you need and be assured that you will receive the maximum compensation available for the injuries you sustained and have your medical bills paid.  We are happy to review your policy with you to make sure that you have coverages that best suit your needs.  Having worked in the insurance industry as an attorney for 9 years before opening our boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of insurance policies.   With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review your coverages quickly and efficiently so that you know exactly what coverages you have or need in the event of an accident.

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents or tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices.  The Law Offices of Laura 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.

taking photos after a car accident

The Need to Take Photos After an Auto Accident

Laura Hunt AttorneyThe moments after a car accident can be confusing and stressful for most people.  It is a traumatic event which most people are not expecting and most have not experienced before.  As with any trauma, there are numerous concerns that immediately flood your mind. Of course, always foremost, is the well-being of all persons involved in the collision. Immediately following any accident, if you are physically able, you should always check on the health and condition of your passengers and passengers in the other vehicles.   Call for medical help immediately if emergency care is needed.

Everybody is OK. Now What?

Once you have confirmed that persons are stable or have called for emergency help for anyone who is not stable, it is critically important that you document the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. In a digital world people no longer expect to hear the testimony of witnesses to determine how the event happened.  It is almost expected that there will be photos and even video.  Although it seems at the scene of the accident that there can only be one explanation for how the impact occurred, many years of experience shows us that witnesses will have different accounts of the same event. For that reason, it is critically important that evidence from the scene be preserved so that at a later time, it can be easily determined who is at fault and how the collision occurred.

Therefore, taking photographs of the vehicles in their location in which they came to rest after the impact is crucial. In the age of the smart phone, it is a convenience we often take for granted and do not use to its most effective potential.   If the accident occurs at night, it is important to make sure you are using a flash when taking photos.  When taking photos, be sure to obtain photographs with license plates and identifying information on vehicles. If possible, it is often helpful to have photographs of the other driver or witnesses at the scene of the accident for later identification.  Take photographs from a wide angle so that you can see the entirety of the vehicles involved in the collision. Now that film is not an issue in the modern age, there cannot be too many photographs taken.

What else should I take pictures of?

In addition to photographs of where the vehicles came to rest,  take photographs of any debris left from the vehicles on the road way or on the side of the roadway before it is moved for safety reasons. In addition, take photographs of the roadway, any signs near the scene of the accident and if the accident occurred at an intersection take photographs of the entire configuration of the intersection.  Also photograph any witnesses and other drivers, just in case.

Often times, the scene will change from the time of the accident until the time a claim against the other driver is made. For example, additional roadway signs can be added or construction can be started or concluded.  Also, the condition of the roadway can change.   For example, there could be sand rock or debris on the road at a later time or at the time of the accident.  For that reason, it is critical to document the scene of the accident as it was on the date of the accident.

Pictures of vehicle damage.

In addition to documenting the accident scene, it is critical to document the damage to the vehicles. This evidence can be of significant importance to your personal injury attorney if there is a liability dispute.  It is also persuasive evidence to show the extent of damage to a vehicle as well as the persons occupying the vehicle. For those reasons, you will want to take photographs of all vehicles damaged in the accident at the scene.  Keep in mind this will likely be your only opportunity to take photographs of the other driver’s vehicle.  Thus, it is crucially important to capture this evidence at the scene.

Also in the digital age, it is always a good idea to back up any critical photos that you take of an accident. I would highly recommend that when you have the opportunity following the accident, that you download and archive the photos of the scene to a safe and secure location such as a zip drive. That way these photos will be available to you in the future should you need them in pursuing your claim.

Do police take photos of an accident scene?

Although the police do sometimes take photographs of an accident scene, they are often difficult to obtain and are sometimes lost. If you’re able to capture your own evidence it will be much easier to present your claim to the other driver’s insurance company. However, if you are severely injured and you are unable to capture this information the police may take photos in a serious accident.

In the event that the responding emergency agency takes the photos, they will archive those photos and they can be obtained at a later time. There is generally a cost involved in obtaining those photos and some delay.  With extensive experience in the handling of auto accident claims, I can obtain any evidence that was collected by a responding agency including police, fire and ambulance responders.

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents or tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices.  The Law Offices of Laura 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.

tips for towed car

My car has been towed. What do I do?

Laura Hunt AttorneyHas Your Car Been Towed?  Here’s what to do.

  • Relax. You’ll find it! The worst thing you can do is stress out.
  • If you’ve been towed from a parking lot or garage, look for signs indicating the towing company name and number.
  • if you’ve been involved in an accident do not have your car towed to the tow yard if possible. Have it towed to your home.
  • If possible, arrange to have the car towed to your home or a friends home instead of a tow yard to prevent theft of personal property.
  • Call your attorney, just in case. Your instinct might be to call your insurance company, but check with your attorney FIRST!

There are several instances in which your car could be towed. Commonly, if your car is not drivable from the scene of an auto accident, the police or responding highway patrol officer will have your car towed from the scene. Critical advice that I give all clients is to have the car towed to your home or a friend’s home. If you are ever in an accident, please store this advice in your mind should you need it someday. Have the car towed to your home or the home of a friend. When the car is towed to a tow yard multiple problems arise.

Problems with Tow Yards

First, unfortunately I will not name names but I have personal experience from helping many clients over the years who have had personal property stolen from their vehicle at tow yards. This is a very difficult issue to prove and from my experience in working with clients over the past 20 years it is a common practice. In addition to the potential theft of your personal property out of your vehicle, many tow yard to require a ridiculous amount of identification to even look at or get to the vehicle and they charge exorbitant rates by the day to hold your vehicle there.  In fact, often times the tow bill has gotten so large that on an older vehicle, the tow fees are greater than the value of the vehicle and the tow yard sells the vehicle at auction.

In order to avoid these risks and pitfalls of trying to get your vehicle out of the tow yard, advise the tow company at the scene of the accident tow the vehicle to your house or a friend’s house. Even if you live in an apartment your insurance company will pay to have it towed to a collision center from your home.

Towing Coverage on Insurance

That brings me to the next issue of towing, and that is towing coverage on your insurance policy.  Towing coverage, often listed as TL on your policy, generally pays the cost of towing of your car to a repair shop when it is unable to be driven.  It also covers a specified amount of labor that is necessary in towing the vehicle. Often times on insurance policies, if you do not have collision coverage, they do not offer towing coverage. It is important to check with your agent or review your online purchase and specifically look for towing coverage and see if you have towing coverage separate from collision coverage. However, I highly recommend that everyone carry collision coverage on their vehicle.

Supplemental policies can also be purchased at a very low rate. For example AAA offers a roadside assistance policy for $85-$100 a year approximately which will cover towing costs in the event that your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident.  If you do not carry collision coverage, this is a valuable option.  These policies can be invaluable in the event of emergency. When purchasing a roadside assistant policy it is important to review the policy. Often the basic policy only allows for 10 miles or less in towing and then you are subject to the rate of the towing company that is sent. Generally for another $10-$15 in upgrading the roadside assistance policy they will cover you from 50 to 100 miles. This is an important element of your policy to check when you are purchasing it. It can save you hundreds of dollars in the event of a breakdown when you’re not close to a repair facility.  It is not something you want to learn the hard way. Usually when they offer different policies it is important to review the differences in the policies. Often, for only a few, dollars you can receive a great deal more coverage.

Towed from a Parking Lot?

Finally, there is the event that your vehicle is towed from a parking place or parking lot. Although it does not happen frequently it does happen. Always be careful when parking especially in downtown areas in looking for signs. If the sign is posted and you park in that area they do have the right to tow your vehicle. You could be subject to $300 to $500 towing charges and impound fees for parking in a towing area. However, if this occurs be sure to take pictures of the parking lot, the location of all signs, where your vehicle was parked, and make sure the signs were visible from location where you parked. If they tow your vehicle illegally you will need this documentation to fight the fine and recoup your losses. Please do not hesitate to contact the Law offices of Laura Hunt should you have any questions regarding a towing issue or your towing coverage on your policy. We are happy to review your policy with you to make sure that you have coverages the best suit your needs.  Having worked in the insurance industry as an attorney for 9 years before opening our boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of insurance policies.   With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review your coverage quickly and efficiently so that you know exactly what coverages you have or need in the event of an accident.

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents or tragedies occur. We wish everyone a safe and happy season. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices.  The Law Offices of Laura 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.