Nevada Car Crash Information
Prepared by Bradley C. Harr
As the result of an accident, there are normally three insurance claims: Property Damage, MedPay, and Liability.
Most of the insurance company regarding property damage and MedPay benefits will be handled immediately following the accident and may not require legal intervention for our office to resolve. You are hiring us to help you primarily with the last claim, or liability coverage. Liability coverage is the claims against the irresponsible or inattentive person who causes the crash.
In order for us to serve you as effectively and efficiently as possible, we provide the information list to help you better understand how your claim will be processed and what you can expect.
Generally speaking, you are entitled to have your car repaired at the shop of your choice, and you are entitled to have a rental while your car/truck is being repaired.
If your car is not repairable, or if the repair bill exceeds the value of your car, then the insurance company will “total” your car. You are entitled to be compensated for the “Fair Market Value” of your vehicle. We encourage you to do a little homework be visiting www.nada.com or a similar source. Check the local newspaper and determine what you think the “Fair Market Value” of your vehicle is before you talk to the insurance adjuster about the value of your car. Any recent maintenance or upgrades may increase what the insurance company is willing to offer. However, in order for any recent work to be consider, you will need to provide the receipts to the insurance company. Ultimately, the insurance company will pay you the retail “book” value.
We will assist you with this property damage claim if you reach a snag. Typically we do not help with property damage because if you pay an attorney to help you with this claim, there is less money available for you to repair/replace your car/truck.
MedPay benefits are optional in the State of Nevada. We will have to look at your insurance policy to determine whether your policy provides these benefits.
If you purchase MedPay coverage from your automobile insurance company, they will pay a specified amount of medical bills which relate to your crash. In essence, the insurance company does not care who caused the accident; rather, if you are injured in or around your car, and have purchased MedPay Benefits, they will pay that specified amount of medical coverage.
MedPay Benefits are not required. You may have no coverage or you may have a lot. We will review your policy and help you determine the amount of coverage. It is not uncommon for an insurance policy to have medical benefits in an equal amount as the liability coverage. Ultimately, your claim is against the at-fault driver, so if you do not have MedPay, your reasonably incurred medical bills will be paid for by the adverse party’s insurance company. If you do not have this coverage, we can often help coordinate with the medical providers you have chosen so you can get medical care.
Once the MedPay benefits are exhausted your health insurance, if any, will pay the medical bills. When we settle the claim against the at-fault driver, we will pay back your health insurance company for any benefits they provide.
We will assist you with your MedPay benefits if you are having problems. However, like property damage, we try and let you handle these claims on your own because if you pay an attorney to help you coordinate the benefits, there is less money for you.
You have hired us to represent you in your claim against the person who caused the crash. In other words, we will represent you against the person who negligently hurt you, this is your liability claim. In order to be successful you must prove four (4)things:
- Who caused the accident?
- What are your injuries?
- Causation or proof that the accident caused these injuries
- What amount of money will fairly compensate you for your injuries?
We are sorry that you were hurt, and we will work hard for you to prove all four part of your negligence or liability claim.
To help you recover your losses, we will ultimately build a Settlement Package which will be sent to the person who hurt you, or their insurance company. We will handle all communications with the other person’s insurance company regarding your claim for injury, wage loss, and other damages. When we put a Settlement Package together, we present a package of all expenses related to the crash, as if nothing has ever been paid. This includes bills paid through the “MedPay Benefit” (discussed above), any bills paid by your health insurance, or bills you have paid yourself which relate to the accident. Therefore, we need copies of all documents relating to your case. We can better fight for you if you will:
- Periodically provide us copies of medical bills you receive. We order records and bills from your health care provider directly. However, sometimes they do make an error and do not send us everything. Your copies allow us to double check the records.
- Please call us when you see your doctor (not your physical therapist, massage therapist, etc.) so we can understand the status of your treatment, and the plan for your future care.
- Please call us immediately if you get a collection notice so we can contact the doctor, and perhaps keep it from showing up on your credit report. Most doctors are willing to work with patients when they know we are involved.
- Call us when anything significant happens regarding your case (i.e. another motor vehicle accident, surgery, epidural injections, pregnancy, etc.)
- We will handle all communications with the person who hurt you or their insurance.
- We will help coordinate your medical bills with your health insurance after your MedPay benefits are exhausted.
- We can set up liens with your medical provider for balances owed, if your doctor will accept a lien.
- We will speak with your health insurer about questions that they may have regarding your accident.
- Ultimately, when you are finished treating, we will build a Settlement Package and we will evaluate your case to help advise you of what your case is worth and how best to settle it. When we settle your case, we will do our best to see that all reasonable medical bills are paid, you are reimbursed for lost wages, and to the extent possible, we will make sure that your auto insurance and health insurance are repaid for any benefits they provided.
- Before we settle your case, we will discuss the settlement with you. You will be provided an accounting showing the total settlement, repayment of medical bills including insurance, attorney’s fees and costs, and the net amount of money that you will receive.
We seek to settle your case as efficiently as possible. We look forward to working with you, and will do everything we can to help make this difficult time go as smoothly as possible.