Oftentimes, auto insurance policies will contain Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage provisions (“UM” and “UIM”) . Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects you if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident or as a pedestrian, by an uninsured or unidentified motor vehicle. In that case, your insurance company agrees to step in and honor personal injury claims as though they were the ones that insured the uninsured motorist. On the other hand, if a policy holder is injured by another driver who has insurance, but not in an amount sufficient to adequately compensate you for your injuries, then a underinsured motorist (UIM) claim can be made against your own insurance carrier. As an example, if the other driver had a $15,000 policy and your injuries were worth $50,000, you could seek the additional $35,000 from your own Underinsured Motorist policy, as long as you had this coverage available. Additionally, if your own insurance company does not treat you fairly, then you might have an additional claim for insurance bad faith against the carrier, since they are obligated, under NRS 686A.310 in Nevada, to promptly evaluate your claim and to tender the coverage limits when liability is reasonably clear and the likely damage award justifies it.
In a case some years ago, in which the Defendant’s insurance company refused to protect its insureds and tender a $500,000 insurance policy to the family of a child who had been seriously injured, Mr. Achrem took the case to trial and later obtained a unanimous jury verdict of $21,000,000.00.
You should always read your insurance policy and make sure it contains the coverage you need. If you have questions about that coverage, don’t hestitate to contact us.