Category Archives: Motorcycle Accidents

CAN THE INSURANCE COMPANY GET MONEY BACK FROM ME? SUBROGATION IN NEVADA – WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME

  • The Insurance company can recover money paid to you by another insurance company in some cases
  • Subrogation means the “right to be paid back.”
  • The insurance company does not have to give me notice they are entitled to be paid back in some cases.  You are deemed to have notice by the policy language
  • It is important to have experienced legal counsel to help you navigate the subrogation issues in any give case.

 

What is Subrogation?

Subrogation means, in legal terms, that an entity or company has the legal right to “step into the shoes” of another party and raise their claim for damages. There has been a trend the past 10 years to limit subrogation rights in many states.  Subrogation rights are exercised by insurance companies against each other and often against their own insureds. The following are some of the ways subrogation may affect you if you are involved in an accident in the state of Nevada. http://clmmag.theclm.org/home/article/anti-subro-laws

Subrogation of Collision Coverage in Nevada

The most common claims that are subrogated by insurance companies are claims for  property damage. When you are involved in an automobile accident, if you carry collision coverage on your vehicle,  your insurance company will pay for damage to your vehicle immediately without regard to fault and without undue delay. If the accident is not your fault they will “subrogate“ all monies they have paid through the adverse driver’s insurance company. This means your insurance company will get paid back for damages they paid on your behalf including rental costs and cost of repair and towing. Often times clients do not want to use their own insurance for fear that it will raise their rates. If you are not at fault for the collision your rates should not be increased. The other insurance company will pay your insurance company back on the subrogation claim. Using your own insurance is beneficial to you because your insurance company has a fiduciary responsibility to treat you fairly and pay all damages to your vehicle or a fair and reasonable total loss settlement. The adverse insurance company does not have this duty to you and their goal is usually to pay and fix as little as possible. In addition, the adverse insurance company has no duty to timely or immediately repair your vehicle and can take weeks to investigate the claim before they even agree to pay your property damage. For this reason, we highly recommend that you carry collision coverage and rental coverage on your vehicle and use your own insurance to have your vehicle repaired when you are in an accident.

Subrogation of Medical Payments Coverage in Nevada

Not all types of claims may be subrogated. In Maxwell vs. Allstate Insurance Co., 102 Nev. 502, 728 P.2d 812 (1986),  https://casetext.com/case/maxwell-v-allstate-ins-co ; the issue before the Court was whether Allstate’s subrogation rights were enforceable against their own insured.   There was a clause in the Allstate medical payments policy called a subrogation clause.  Since Maxwell had recovered from the adverse driver’s insurance policy, Allstate wanted their money back. Maxwell took the position that the medical payments subrogation clause in Allstate’s auto policy violated public policy and  the Nevada Supreme Court agreed and  found that it did violate public policy. http://ag.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/agnvgov/Content/Publications/AGO_2017-11..pdf

Based upon this case, Nevada is within a minority of states that will not allow subrogation of Medical Payments coverage.  The court reasoned that a person is entitled to receive all the insurance coverages that he/she pays for under their policy.   The Court held that it violates public policy to allow an insurer, which was Allstate in this case, to collect a premium for Medical Payments Coverage and then not provide that benefit to the paying insured.

The Court further found that Allstate was required to pay the benefit to which their insured had paid for and could not subrogate or collect this money back from the insured claiming the insured was receiving a “double recovery.”  The Court held that allowing subrogation by the first-party insurer against the insured’s third-party recovery would be a windfall to the first-party carrier.  The court recognized that often time’s injuries to their first-party insured  were serious enough that recovery of both policies would be insufficient to compensate their inured. The court held Allstate’s subrogation clause was void as against public policy. http://nevadainsurancelaw.com/nevada-disallows-subrogation-firstparty-med-pay-carrier-insureds-thirdparty-recovery/

Medical payments coverage, is not fault-based. If you are driving your vehicle and you drive off the road, your med-pay coverage applies even if the accident is your fault.  Medical Payments coverage also pays for the medical bills of every passenger in your vehicle at the time of the accident, regardless of fault. Each passenger has coverage up to your medical payments limits.  If you have $10,000.00 in med-pay coverage, you and all passengers have $10,000.00 each in coverage. In the State of Nevada, there is no right of subrogation for medical payments coverage by the adverse driver.

Health Insurance Companies Rights of Subrogation

If you use health insurance coverage to pay for accident-related medical bills, your health insurance company will most likely have a “Right of Subrogation”.  This means that if you receive money from the adverse driver’s bodily injury liability coverage, you must pay back your health insurance carrier for what they paid out on accident-related medical bills. Some health insurance carriers will require you to sign a Subrogation Agreement before they pay your medical bills. Using health insurance coverage on an auto accident claim is benfeical because of their negotiated rates that you do not get when using medical payments coverage.  However, you can use both and maximize your coverages. You are only obligated to pay back your health insurance carrier what they paid out, not the full amount of your medical bills.

It is also important to note that Med-pay coverage is also not vehicle-specific. This means that it follows you and your family to protect them in any accident involving an automobile. It also applies to auto v. pedestrian accidents and accidents which occur when you are not in your own vehicle.    If you are involved in an accident, and have multiple insurance policies, it is critical to contact legal counsel right away to maximize your benefits. Hospitals are ruthless at going after a Medical Payments policy and then billing you the difference even though they are required to bill your health insurance first.  

Subrogation of Uninsured Motorist Coverage/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Benefits in Nevada

Subrogation also sometimes comes in the form of an Offset.  If you use your med-pay coverage and UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE or UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE on the same accident claim, your auto insurance carrier will obtain an offset for med-pay coverage paid by them but only to the extent that they believe there is an excess recovery.  This means that if you have a UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE claim, which has a value of $20,000.00, and your insurance company pays $5,000.00 in med-pay coverage, they will offset the value of your claim by the amount of your med-pay coverage. On a $20,000.00 claim, they will only pay you $15,000.00. This concept of offset was created by Nevada case law. If your claim is worth $25,000, and your carrier pays $5,000 in med-pay benefits on your claim, your carrier will pay you $20,000, if your UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE is above 15/30. It is important to point out that offset is subtracted from the value of your UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE claim, and not simply from your UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE limits. Offset also applies to UNDERINSURED  MOTORIST COVERAGE claims. On UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE claims, your carrier also gets a reduction for the adverse driver’s BI limits and offset for med-pay benefits paid from the value of your claim. https://law.justia.com/cases/nevada/supreme-court/1996/26854-1.html

If you have been in an accident and have question please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today.  At my office, we are experienced in reviewing injury and property damage claims and coverages and all policies involved.  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 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.

Keeping Safe When Driving a Motorcycle

Driving a motorcycle comes with a certain amount of risk, which can be drastically reduced by following a few simple tips. Continue reading

Traumatic Brain Injury Is the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injury

One of the most common injuries for a victim of a motorcycle accident to receive is traumatic brain injury. This injury can affect every system in the body, and many victims require extensive care to make a recovery. Continue reading

Protect Yourself After a Motorcycle Accident in Las Vegas

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A motorcycle accident could change your life in an instant. If you’re a victim, an attorney can help make your life easier by taking appropriate legal action against those responsible.

Seek Legal Counsel As Soon As Possible

It is no secret. Motorcycle riders are vulnerable, and their life is at risk every time they ride their motorcycles. However, when accidents do occur, accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting their rights and bringing them compensation whenever possible. It is important to act quickly and begin the process of gathering information such as police reports, medical records and eyewitness accounts. This way, you’ll be able to maximize all your available insurance coverage.

Protect Your Legal Rights

Unfortunately, when you ride a motorcycle, you don’t have the same protection as when you are driving a car. When accidents happen, in most cases, you are seriously hurt. A motorcycle attorney in Las Vegas can help you understand your options and show you a way to make a claim for compensation. Determining fault is not always as straightforward a process as you might think. Your lawyer in Vegas can guide you through the process so a silly mistake on your part does not discredit your claim and prevent you from gaining compensation.

Evaluation and Investigation

Your motorcycle attorney will start by evaluating your case and informing you of the steps to follow. By starting this process early, your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and reconstruct the accident before too much valuable information is lost. This can add validity and strength to your motorcycle accident claim.

Get the Legal Assistance You Need to Make a Claim

Most motorcycle accident attorneys offer a first free consultation, so don’t hesitate to seek assistance and protect yourself. Whether it was due to reckless driving or other negligent actions by individuals or an organization, you and your family can be helped to recover financially from your accident. You may be entitled to compensation and be able to get your life back on track.

How to React in the Event of a Motorcycle Accident

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Knowing what to do when involved in a motorcycle accident can keep future costs down and ensure you don’t make any crucial mistakes.

What to Do When Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

Driving a motorcycle can be fun and adventurous. However, there are times when you or some other driver on the road may make a mistake and suddenly get into an accident. When a motorcycle accident happens, it can be overwhelming to try and understand all that needs to be done. The following will provide a clearer picture as to what this should be.

Steps to Take After An Accident Has Occurred

Once an accident has occurred, it’s understandable that the first thing you might do is panic. However, it’s important that you remain calm. There are a number of steps that need to be taken right away. The first thing to do is dial 911. Then, it’s time to interact with anyone else involved in the accident. Take down their motorcycle insurance and contact information, as well as the license plate numbers, make, license and model of all vehicles that were involved. Don’t leave the scene until the police arrive. In the interim, don’t talk to any insurance adjuster that calls. For everything else, a motorcycle attorney in Las Vegas is necessary.

Why Immediate Medical Attention is Oftentimes Necessary

Given the lack of protection when driving a motorcycle, medical attention is oftentimes necessary to safeguard against long-term injuries. Some of the most common injuries that result from a motorcycle accident include facial fractures, road rash, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and paralysis. If you suspect any of these have happened, you need to seek medical attention immediately!

Always Protect Yourself With the Proper Gear

In order to ensure that you are protected in the event of an accident, wearing the proper motorcycle gear is recommended. This includes full-faced safety helmets, as well as footwear and gloves that are specific for motorcycles. Always bring with you a first aid kit and emergency roadside kit. By doing all of this, you will be as safe as possible if you are ever in an accident.

Protect Yourself with the Right Motorcycle Insurance

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Nevada law requires all motorcycle riders to have proper insurance, and having the right coverage at the right price is essential to protecting rider rights.

Protect Your Rights and Save with the Right Motorcycle Coverage

Nevada law demands that all motorcycle riders have the minimum liability insurance. If you lack that insurance, then a motorcycle attorney in Las Vegas will be limited in his or her efforts to protect your rights. In fact, not having insurance is in effect giving up rights, and even if you are involved in an accident and not at fault, the responsibility may fall on you for failure to comply.

Carry the Minimum Amount of Motorcycle Insurance at All Times

In order to ensure that your rights remain intact and are fully protectable, there must never be a gap in liability coverage. The liability component of insurance covers your financial responsibility if you are at fault. If there is a gap for any reason, consider extending the liability portion — insurance companies are required to do this in such an event. If you encounter difficulties in doing so, then consider picking up liability insurance with another company and contacting an attorney for advice.

Liability Alone is Not the Ideal Coverage for Most Riders

Liability coverage is a viable option when it is the only option, but most motorcycle riders will want coverage that is more robust in order to ensure that the policy fully protects them financially. Consider that repairing or replacing a motorcycle that has been stolen or damaged in an accident is expensive.

Types of Coverage Available

Collision covers your expenses even if you’re at fault. It covers repair or replacement of the motorcycle, and it can even extend to helmets and other riding apparel. Comprehensive extends that level of protection to damage caused by non-collision incidents, such as theft or a hurricane. If a motorcycle is totaled, total loss coverage provides the insured with the MSRP rather than the adjusted value.

Lowering Your Financial Obligation

Comprehensive motorcycle insurance with all the bells and whistles can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce your financial obligation. Increasing your deductible will lower your up-front costs, and participation in motorcycle safety programs often provide significant insurance discounts.

Motorcycle Injury

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Bikers are more likely to be injured in an accident than those who operate closed vehicles. When you’re driving a motorcycle, it’s important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to protect yourself in the event of an accident.

Common Motorcyclist Injuries

Motorcycles are a common vehicle on the today’s roadways. Many people bring out their “steel horses” at the first sign of warm weather to experience the thrill of riding down the interstate at freeway speeds or to simply tool around in their neighborhood. Though most motorcycle excursions are relatively uneventful, accidents can still happen. Below are some injuries that are unique to the motorcycle rider.

Biker’s Arm

Unlike the occupant of a vehicle, who is surrounded by a steel frame, the motorcycle driver has nothing between him and the hazards of a crash. When a motorcyclist is thrown from the bike, instinct will cause him or her to bring the arms to the front of the body for protection. This action results in extreme force on the arms that can lead to torn skin, bruising and nerve damage.

Road Rash

Road rash is any injury to the skin as a result of sliding along the road. Wearing thin clothes leads to an increased risk of injury. Road rash can lead to more than a simple abrasion. Skin irritation and infection can result if the injury is improperly treated. To help avoid the problems that road rash can cause, consider investing in protective gear such as knee pads, a leather jacket and gloves.

Eardrum Injury

You may be surprised to learn that you need to provide adequate protection for your ears in order to preserve your hearing when operating a motorcycle. A helmet will protect your head, but you will need earplugs to protect you from bursting an eardrum or losing your hearing prematurely. Be sure that the earplugs you choose allow you to safely interact with your environment to avoid accidents.

Taking steps to protect yourself can help you avoid unnecessary injuries and hospital trips. If you should be so unfortunate as to be the victim of a motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle attorney Las Vegas to get the help you need in filing a successful claim.

Keeping Yourself Safe on a Motorcycle Is More Involved than Driving

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Helmets can keep your head protected in the event of an accident, but keeping yourself safe may require more than headgear. In some respects, you might need to develop a kind of sixth sense when riding.

Things to Consider: Keeping Yourself Safe on a Motorcycle

Motorcycles can be a great deal of fun and liberating for some people. However, they can also prove to be dangerous if you’re not paying attention. Since the vehicle is open, a wide variety of damages could occur from even the simplest of accidents. What can you do to keep yourself safe as well as protect others on the road?

Take Steps to Avoid Collisions

One of the biggest problems motorcyclists have on the road is the inability for other drivers to see them coming. Always ensure that your brake lights, turn signals and headlights are in optimum condition. Giving others the best chance possible to see your vehicle can alert them to your presence.

Don’t overestimate the size of your motorcycle. All too often, cyclists believe they can fit in between cars in traffic jams or while on the freeways. The slightest miscalculation could put you in peril as well as cause a great deal of damage to several vehicles.

The Bike Can Only Protect You So Much

Keeping your motorcycle in prime condition can only do so much for your safety. The other half depends on your own ability to be observant. You need to know where everyone is at all times within your area. The reason why this is more imperative on a bike than in a car is because you don’t have the benefit of framework or the body of a vehicle to protect you from an impact.

Motorcycle Accidents Can Be Very Dangerous

While on a motorcycle, the risk of injury increases with every mile per hour you travel. Through the negligence of others, it’s quite easy to break a leg or suffer severe bodily trauma. If you’re ever in an accident of this nature, contact a motorcycle attorney in Las Vegas immediately. Your way of life could depend on financial restitution as well as recovery.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

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Although TBI injuries can be life threatening, they are often survivable. Learn about the symptoms and causes of TBI following an auto accident.

TBI: An Auto Accident Injury

Automobile accidents are a common occurrence across the roadways of America. Most vehicle accidents do not result in death, but the injuries sustained can be life altering. One of the most severe of these accident-related injuries is traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

What is TBI?

TBI occurs when the brain is subjected to extreme external force. TBI can occur with both closed and penetrating head injuries. In closed head injuries, the skull remains intact. Penetrating head injuries, on the other hand, involve penetration into the skull and exposure of the brain. Although the initial injury may not be severe in and of itself, the cascading effects of altered cerebral blood flow and pressure changes within the skull can contribute greatly to the outcome.

The effects of TBI will vary depending on the type of injury sustained. Mild TBI can lead to headache, vomiting, difficulty sleeping and loss of consciousness from a few seconds to a few minutes. Moderate or severe TBI injuries include loss of consciousness from several minutes to more than 24 hours, seizures, drainage of clear fluids from the nose or ears and an inability to wake from sleep.

The Story of Phineas Gage

One extreme TBI case is the story of Phineas Gage, a young American railroad worker who lived during the mid to late 1800s. He sustained a severe case of TBI when a 3-foot, 7-inch iron rod 1 ¼-inches in diameter was propelled through his head following an explosion of blasting powder. The rod passed behind his left eye and exited through the top of his head. Despite this horrific injury, Gage was able to recover to the point of becoming a stagecoach driver. He died twelve years later from complications resulting from his injury. He reportedly suffered from personality changes that prevented him from resuming his original job.

What Next?

Although most TBI accidents are not as extreme as the one above, they can still have a profound impact on the life of the victim. A competent car accident lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to help victims obtain compensation for medical expenses resulting from this condition.

A Motorcycle Accident Can Cost More than Just Medical Expenses

Paying for medical expenses after a motorcycle accident can be costly. Unfortunately, the extent of your injuries could greatly alter your finances for the rest of your life beyond the hospital bills.

More than Medical Bills: Other Financial Losses after an Accident

One of the first things that come to mind after an accident is the obstacle of paying for medical treatment. While insurance may be able to cover some of the financial damage, there is more at stake than the co-pay or deductible when an accident results in a trip to the emergency room. The physical and mental damages from the experience could restrict your way of life, reducing the ability to sustain yourself or a family.

Career Capabilities

In many situations, a motorcycle accident can reduce a person’s ability to work in their chosen field. Muscle, nerve and mental damages can prevent a person from doing his or her job. This could affect a person’s income as employers need efficient personnel. Without a motorcycle attorney in Las Vegas, it may be difficult to get compensation for lost wages.

Educational costs for a new career path may be necessary if you’re unable to continue at your present job. This can cost a great deal of money depending on the training you’ll need to become self-sufficient.

Cognitive Complications

In the event of brain damage, you may need assistance for everyday tasks. This could come in the form of live-in nurses, therapists and other medical needs. Reasoning and comprehension could be diminished, making it difficult to maintain a steady job.

The ability to maintain rational thought is important when dealing with finances. Without this ability, you could make poor choices, which end up exhausting what money you may have left. This is one of the reasons why health care professionals are needed, and they don’t work for free. Someone will have to pick up the bill to make sure you receive the proper care.

A Ripple Effect of Monetary Damages

Depending on the severity of the motorcycle accident, your life could be turned upside down. Things you took for granted may no longer be available. If you’re ever injured in an accident, do what you can to protect your future. It could cost you far more than you may realize.