Oftentimes, auto insurance policies will contain Uninsured (“UM”) and Underinsured Motorist [“UIM”] Coverage provisions. UM coverage protects you if you’re 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 contractually honor personal injury claims, just as if the company was insuring the uninsured motorist who was at fault. On the other hand, if a policy holder is injured by another driver who has insurance, but not in a sufficient amount to fairly compensate you for your injuries, then a UIM claim can be made against your own insurance carrier.
Here’s an example. If the other driver had a $15,000 policy and your injury claim was worth $50,000, you could seek the additional $35,000 from your own UIM policy, as long as you had this coverage available. If your own insurance company does not treat you fairly, then you may be able to pursue an insurance bad faith claim against the company, especially if the carrier violated one or more of the provisions set forth in NRS 686A.310, such as failing to promptly evaluate your claim and pay you the coverage limits when liability was reasonably clear and the likely damage award justified it.
In one case Mr. Achrem took to trial, where the Defendant’s insurance company had refused to protect its insureds and pay the $500,000.00 insurance policy to the family of a child who had nearly drowned and suffered permanent brain damage, the jury later came back with a unanimous $21,000,000.00 verdict. Because the Defendant’s insurance carrier had acted in bad faith, the company ultimately became responsible for the judgment.
You should always read your insurance policy and make sure it contains the coverages you need. Edward J. Achrem & Associates has been litigating serious injury cases for more than 43 years and we have the skills and resources necessary to help our clients in even the most complicated cases.
Call (702) 734-3936 today for a free consultation. We can usually tell you over the phone if you have a good case. If you’re outside Nevada, call us at (888) 734-6789.