I was at fault in a minor rear ender accident. My insurance is the Nevada minimum amount of $15,000.00, which my insurance company is willing to pay in full to the injured person (other driver). this other driver has accumulated medical bills of over $40,000.00 (since May of last year), and has had major medical problems/history for over 20 years. Can this persons lawyer come after my assets for future medical bill payments beyond the $15,000.00 my insurance company is giving her?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Yes, quite possible (assuming no underinsurance policy is available to
cover what remains of the provable damage claims of this "other driver".
There is always the risk, when one has only the statutory minimum coverage, that a claim is going to exceed the total your insurance company is willing and able to pay. You have identified that the limit of your coverage is that for which you paid, and they will not, under normal circumstances, ever pay more than you bought on your policy. That said, you must hope the other driver had "underinsured motorist" coverage on his/her policy. That is optional coverage in Nevada that provides for additional coverage in just such an instance. If the other driver can be made whole from his/her own policy, you may be off the hook. If they do not have that optional coverage, or it still is insufficient to properly compensate the injured person, you are exposed to personal liability. In other words, they may, indeed, come after your assets and income to be made whole. You must continue to communicate with your insurance adjuster and rely on their advice and counsel. You policy provides for your insurance company to defend you, but if they have already exhausted your coverage limits, their responsibility may have ended. Let us hope the other driver had good insurance coverage.
Now, perhaps you will consider paying the few extra bucks each month for more adequate coverage on your policy! It is a hard lesson learned by many Nevada motorists.