Uninsured Driver Gets Off Scot Free After Collision?
(Las Vegas, NV)
I was in a car accident last week where the guy who hit me had no insurance. My job is currently only giving me roughly 8 to 12 hours a week so money is extremely tight. Prior to the accident I had been hired on at a second job, a candy kiosk at my local airport, but didn't start work until after my accident (it takes a while to start training with waiting for the fingerprinting and badging class).
I broke my hand in the collision. The accident happened only last week so right now my hand is still in a splint. Tomorrow I have my appointment with the hand surgeon specialist where I'm sure they will give me a hard cast. I've worked 2 shifts and as I was leaving last night one of the supervisors let me know if I get a hard cast it's a health code violation and I will be fired.
Is there anything I can do? I'm so frustrated my car got totaled, my hand got broken, I'm broker than I was before, and now I'm loosing a job that was offering me 30 hours a week; and the guy who caused the accident gets away scot-free because he has no insurance!?! There must be something I can do about this. Thanks for any info you can give.
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ANSWER for "Uninsured Driver Gets Off Scot Free After Collision?":
Michelle (Las Vegas, NV):
Unfortunately the State of Nevada isn't a "No-Fault" insurance State. If it was you could have sought compensation from your own insurance company.
But wait....if at the time of the collision you carried "Uninsured Motorist" liability insurance with your own automobile insurance company you might be able to recover compensation under that policy.
Grab your automobile insurance policy. You will find in the first few pages a page which says "Declaration Page". On that page you will see if you actually paid the extra few dollars a month and purchased the optional underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance.
If you do have uninsured coverage call your insurance company immediately and report the collision. You should have already done that at, or about the time of the collision, but if you haven't then do so now. Your insurance company will be able to pay you up to whatever uninsured limits you purchased.
Finally, if you didn't carry uninsured motorist coverage, you can always sue the at-fault driver. In the State of Nevada the Small Claims Court jurisdiction, or "maximum limit" a person can sue for is up to $5,000 dollars. You don't need a lawyer to file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court. The entire Small Claims Court System was devised to make the legal process accessible to non-lawyers.
Even if the at-fault driver doesn't have enough money to sue over, and he probably doesn't or he would have carried insurance, you will at least be able to get a judgment against him. You can ask the Judge to award you a judgment for not only your medical bills, but your lost wages and pain and suffering, as long as it totals under $5,000 dollars.
Once you have a judgment against him you can file it in the county in which the at-fault driver resides or works, or in any other counties where your think he might do business. The judgment accrues interest at the lawful rate.
Who knows? Maybe a few years from now that judgment will catch up with him when he goes to buy a house or other item on credit and the judgment shows up. You may eventually get paid.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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