Boulder City Magazine® August 2008 Issue
by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish
Insurance Issues In Auto Accident Cases
A cursory review of the daily courthouse filings will tell you that the most common type of court case involves personal injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents. These cases represent only a small percentage of the total number of injury and property damage claims for auto accidents because most of them are settled without litigation.
Boulder City Magazine®
|In nearly all such cases significant issues exist involving the types and amount of applicable insurance coverage.
The most important insurance question for both the driver who is allegedly at fault and the injured person is what is the amount of liability insurance coverage, if any, for the negligent party. The minimum liability insurance limits required by law are $15,000 per injured person and $30,000 per accident. Anyone with any significant assets will want higher limits and possibly a personal liability umbrella policy of up to $2 million.
Another important insurance issue involves medical payment coverage, which pays medical bills incurred as a result of the accident without regard to fault. Having “med pay” coverage can provide significant benefits to someone who is seriously injured. Additionally, it is always good to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage because many motorists who cause accidents are not adequately insured.
Injury cases can often be complicated by the assertion of subrogation liens by health insurance companies, workmen’s compensation insurers or Medicare. Nearly all such insurance policies provide that the insurance company is entitled to reimbursement from the proceeds of any settlement or verdict against a negligent third party. However, there are various statutes, as well as expressions of public policy in decisions of the Nevada Supreme Court, which place limits on those liens. An experienced attorney can help an injured person navigate through the swamp of legal complexity in these cases.
Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish. The firm has offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas. To contact Bruce, visit www.juwws.com.
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Boulder City, Nevada 89005
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