Can an Uninsured Driver Sue After a Nevada Car Accident?


According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 10% of Nevada drivers are uninsured. They do not have the bare minimum liability coverage as required by the state. Their reasons for driving without coverage vary. Many drivers are struggling financially due to sky-high inflation, so they stop paying their insurance to spend on other necessities. Other motorists move to Nevada but fail to purchase insurance here.

At Ladah Law Firm, we have helped uninsured motorists seek compensation when they were hurt in an accident. This is a challenging process, as we explain below. As a driver, you could be partially at fault for your wreck, which means you’ll need to come up with some money to pay the driver who injured you. Please reach out to a Las Vegas car accident lawyer today if you have questions about what steps to take.

car rental app








Nevada’s Liability Insurance Requirements

Nevada requires that motorists carry liability coverage. This is insurance that kicks in if the insured is at fault for a crash. For example, imagine that Car A and B collide at an intersection. Car A ran a red light, so they are 100% at fault for the crash. The driver of Car B can make a claim on Driver A’s car insurance. That’s liability coverage.

As of 2023, Nevada requires that motorists carry the following minimums:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person injured or killed, up to $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 per accident

These minimums increased recently, and they might go up again. Always check with the Nevada Department of Insurance to see about the current limits.


Other Insurance in Nevada

Although liability coverage is required, drivers might purchase other types of policies, such as:

  • Medical payments. You can use this insurance to cover the cost of medical care to treat car accident injuries. You can use it regardless of fault.
  • Collision coverage. You can use this insurance to fix damage to your car in an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage. This is insurance you use when someone else is at fault, but they fled the scene or are uninsured.


The Ability of an Uninsured Driver to Sue

The fact that you don’t have car insurance doesn’t prevent you from suing for compensation. You can still seek money damages for economic losses, such as medical bills, lost income, damage to your vehicle, and other expenses. You can also seek compensation for non-economic losses, like physical pain and suffering. The key is whether the other driver is at fault.

Working with your Nevada accident attorney, you can submit a claim to that driver’s insurer. If they won’t settle with you, then you can sue in court.

There is no bar to bringing a personal injury lawsuit because you are not insured. The legislature has flirted in the past with passing a law that would limit the ability of uninsured drivers to sue, but no such bill has become law.

The Law in California is Different

California is one of a dozen states with “no pay, no play” laws. These laws limit the ability of an uninsured driver to seek compensation following an accident, even if the driver was not at fault.

In California, an uninsured driver can sue for economic damages—medical bills, lost income, and car repairs. But the driver cannot receive compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

Other states go even further. In Michigan, an uninsured driver can’t receive any compensation—not even for economic losses. New Jersey has a similar law.

States with “no pay, no play” laws believe that they encourage motorists to purchase liability insurance. We aren’t sure about that. Many of these states have higher uninsured rates than Nevada. According to the Insurance Information Institute, California’s uninsured rate is 16.6%. On the other hand, New Jersey has the lowest rate at 3.2%, so perhaps “no pay, no play” laws work in some states.

The good news for Nevada residents is that we do not have this type of law. You can still sue for compensation even if you do not have insurance.


Comparative Fault & Uninsured Drivers

Nevada uses a comparative fault scheme. The fault of each driver is allocated between them. In some cases, one driver will be 100% fault. That’s the easy case. In other situations, however, both drivers share a little bit of blame.

As an uninsured driver, you can also be sued. That means you might end up having to pay compensation to anyone you injured in the collision. And because you don’t have insurance, you will have to pay this money out of pocket or possibly lose property.

Here is a common situation. You are trying to merge onto the highway but refuse to slow down. The driver in the lane you want to merge into also refuses to move into the left-hand lane, even though there is space. You collide in a sideswipe accident, and a jury decides you are equally to blame, 50/50.

Your claim ends up being worth $25,000. That’s car damage, medical bills, income loss, and pain and suffering. But the other driver’s claim is worth $40,000. Even though you are equally responsible for the crash, that doesn’t mean you are equally injured.

Because you are 50% responsible, you are responsible for 50% of his damages, or $20,000. He is only responsible for 50% of your $25,000, which comes out to $12,500. That means you ultimately will need to pay him $7,500. Because you lack insurance, you will need to come up with a check. If you don’t have the cash, the other driver can use different collection techniques:

  • Garnish your wages—they can tell your employer to deduct a certain percentage each pay period and send it to you.
  • Levy a bank account, like a checking account—they can tell a bank to turn over the money in the account to satisfy a court judgment.
  • Put a lien on your property—this lien gives them a right to payment if you sell the property.

In this same example, if you are 60% to blame, you receive nothing. But you must pay the other driver 60% of his damages, or $24,000. And you have no insurance to pay this amount.

Using Other Insurance

Even if you lack liability coverage, you might still have collision insurance, which you could use following an accident. This is no-fault insurance that can pay to fix car damage. Most car lenders will require that you maintain collision and comprehensive coverage to get a car loan. Even if you let your liability coverage lapse, you might still have collision coverage.

Rental Vehicle Accidents

Some people wrongly assume they are uninsured if they were driving a rental and get into a crash. The rental company might have tried to sell you insurance, which you declined. However, you should still be covered by your liability insurance. So you are not really “uninsured.” Instead, that coverage follows you even when you are driving a rental.

Insurance is confusing. An experienced car accident lawyer at Ladah Law will be happy to look at what policies you have or think you have and then decide whether this insurance applies to your accident.

Uninsured Motorists Should Call Ladah Law

Being uninsured is tricky when you get into a crash. The chances are high you might end up having to pay compensation to the other motorist. Please call Ladah Law Firm today. We can review the facts to better understand whether you can sue. Call our firm today, (702) 252-0055, to schedule a consultation.