Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Ambiguous State Farm UM Coverage Allows Wife To Recover For Separate Emotional Distress Caused By Witnessing Husband’s Death

Mrs. Brewington rode her motorcycle a little behind Mr. Brewington on State Highway 49 in California. An oncoming rider crossed the center line striking Mr. Brewington and ejecting him from his bike. Mrs. Brewington witnessed the collision, stopped and called for assistance. Mr. Brewington died on the way to the hospital with Mrs. Brewington by his side. The negligent rider had no liability insurance. However, the Brewingtons had UM coverage with their motorcycle carrier State Farm in the … [Read more...]

Investigating Death During A Life Policy’s Contestability Period Is Not Bad Faith

The story goes that back in the 19th century, some life insurance companies were not fond of paying claims.  Apparently, after the insured died, life insurance companies would regularly investigate and if a misstatement was found in the application, would then deny the claims.  According to Steven Rothschild of the LIFE Foundation, the various states responded by passing incontestability statutes.  Absent outright fraud, or failure to pay premiums, these incontestability statutes limited the … [Read more...]

An Heir Cannot Recover Wrongful Death Damages From His Or Her Own Personal Underinsured Motorist Policy If That Heir Suffered No Bodily Injury In The Fatal Accident

Deborah Fackett’s mother died from injuries she received in a car crash.  Deborah was not involved in the crash.  She suffered no physical trauma.  Deborah’s car was in no way involved in the accident.  Nevertheless, as her mother’s legal heir, Deborah qualified to pursue a claim against the tortfeasor under Nevada’s Wrongful Death Statute (N.R.S. 41.085).  For a brief overview of Wrongful Death in Nevada see HERE. Deborah filed a claim with the tortfeasor’s carrier and it paid its policy … [Read more...]

Got Questions?

These posts on the Mills & Associates Nevada Coverage & Bad Faith Law blog are published to provide useful insights on Nevada insurance law to our clients and other subscribers. Many times the topics are suggested by recent case law, or issues raised by litigation. As part of our ongoing effort to provide both timely and helpful information, we invite all our readers to submit issues which they would like to see addressed in future blog posts. Likewise, please submit questions … [Read more...]

Nevada Supreme Court Reaffirms Limits On Emotional Distress Claims

A common motivator of many bad faith plaintiffs is anger.  The insured's feelings are hurt because he or she feels that the claim was improperly handled.  Usually that anger translates into a cause of action for emotional distress. The Nevada Supreme Court reaffirmed its position regarding the level of proof necessary to successfully prosecute an emotional distress claim in the recent case of Betsinger v. D.R. Horton, 126 Nev. Adv. Op. 17, 232 P.3d 433, (May 27, 2010).  In that case, the … [Read more...]