You are on your way home from work traveling on the I-15—and it happens. You get rear-ended. You pull off to the side of the road. Shaken up, you get out your car. You notice that the person who hit you, was hit by large truck with a company logo displayed on the door panels. How do you begin to deal with this disaster?
If you’re able, call 311 or 911 and report the accident. If you or anyone is injured, law enforcement will respond. NOTE: After January of 2016 Metro will respond—even if there’s no injury. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/new-metro-area-command-station-set-west-valley
If you’re physically and mentally able, give all the drivers at the scene your insurance information, which is located on your insurance card. Ask each driver for the same insurance information in return. Next, take pictures of all the vehicles. Then, call your insurance company to open a claim. Keep the focus of your discussion with your insurance company on getting your vehicle towed and later fixed.
If you’re hurt too badly to do any of this, don’t worry. Law enforcement will gather most of the information you will need to process your claim when you’re able. So, what does process your claim mean?
The first part of processing requires identifying the insurance companies involved. What follows is a glossary of some helpful insurance terms:
Property Damage/Collision: This is the part of an insurance policy that covers the damage to your vehicle. This may also cover the damage you vehicle causes another.
Bodily Injury Coverage: This part of an insurance policy pays for the personal injuries you cause another person when you are at fault for the accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection: This part of an insurance policy pays for your personal injuries, if the person who hit you has no insurance, or not enough insurance.
Medical Payments Coverage: This part of an insurance policy pays for your personal injuries—regardless of who was at fault.
Commercial Policy: This type of insurance policy pays for damages caused by a person driving a vehicle while working for a business.
Umbrella Policy: This type of insurance policy is insurance that may pay after all other insurances have paid for your damages.
So, back to your accident on the I-15. Which insurance policies apply to you, because the accident was not your fault? Possibly all of them. Your goal is to have one, or possibly both, of the property damage policies covering the two vehicles that rear-ended you pay to fix your car, and pay for your rental car. Then, depending upon your personal injuries, pain and suffering, loss of time from work, and other damages associated with the accident, your goal is that the bodily injury, commercial and umbrella policies covering the two vehicles that hit you adequately compensate you.
Yes, this can all be a confusing and heavy burden to lump upon you—when all you wanted to do was get home from work. If you or someone you care about finds themselves in this position, I’m here to help.
Feel free to contact me at 702-906-2411 or email RTanasi@TanasiLaw.com.