Reporting an Auto Accident in Las Vegas, Nevada
When you’re involved in a Las Vegas car accident, your immediate priority should be your health and safety. However, you should take time to report the accident to the proper authorities to ensure your crash is well-documented. Your car accident report may later be used as part of your claim for compensation.
Navigating the car accident claims process on your own can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially if you’re still healing from painful injuries. Insurance adjusters are ruthless, and they will take advantage of people who do not have proper legal representation. Let our experienced team at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys manage the challenging aspects of your Las Vegas car accident claim while you focus on your health.
To learn more about how we can help after a car accident in Nevada, contact us today for a free initial consultation.
How to File an Accident Report in Las Vegas, NV
If you are involved in a Las Vegas car accident, chances are you have a legal obligation to report the crash to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Under Nevada Revised Statutes §484E.070, drivers must file a report for any crash resulting in:
- The bodily injury of any person
- The death of any person
- $750 or more in property damage
Reports may be submitted electronically or in written form, but you must complete and file the report within 10 days of the crash. When you submit your accident report, you must include certain pieces of information, or your report may be considered invalid. The Nevada DMV requires the following attachments:
- A copy of the insurance policy that was in effect for the vehicle involved in the crash when the accident occurred
- A statement of total loss or an estimate of the cost of repairs, if the accident resulted in $750 or more in damage to any one person’s vehicle or property
- A doctor’s statement as proof of injury or death for each person in your vehicle who was injured or killed as a result of the crash
If a police officer is on the scene and investigates the crash, he or she will generate an accident report containing insurance coverage details for each person involved in the crash. In that case, you are not required to file a separate report of your own.
If you fail to file a report as required by law, you could face legal penalties such as suspension of your driver’s license.
Why Is an Accident Report Important?
In addition to being legally required in many cases, filing an accident report is an important part of a Las Vegas car accident claim because:
- Filing an accident report is required by most insurance policies. If you fail to report the accident, the insurance company may deny you coverage.
- Accident reports contain information that could support your claim. If the report is generated by the police, it may even have important details like diagrams of the crash and official determinations regarding who was at fault.
- If another party accuses you of being at fault for the accident, an accident report may contain useful evidence of your innocence.
Understanding Liability After an Accident
To recover compensation in a Nevada car accident claim, you must be able to prove that another party was responsible for the crash and should be held financially liable for your losses. In some cases, the causes of an accident are obvious. However, things can get complicated if multiple parties were involved, or it’s difficult to identify the factors that contributed to the crash.
There are many different ways liability could apply in your Las Vegas car accident claim, including:
- Another driver or vehicle owner is liable. In most cases, a driver or vehicle owner is liable after a car crash. A driver can be held responsible for a car crash if he or she was driving in a negligent or reckless manner. This can include driving while impaired, texting, or otherwise distracted. Vehicle owners can be financially liable for crashes involving their vehicles even if they were not driving at the time of the accident. For example, a parent will likely be on the hook for damages if a teen driver causes a crash in the family car.
- Another driver’s employer is liable. If someone causes a car accident while driving for work-related reasons, their employer may be held liable. This could include a company that employs a rideshare driver or a business owner or manager who asks an employee to run a work errand. If a commercial truck driver is involved in a wreck, the trucking company that hired the driver can be held responsible if they hired an unqualified driver, failed to provide adequate driver training, or failed to conduct adequate maintenance on the truck itself.
- A negligent manufacturer is liable. Car accidents sometimes occur as a result of defective or faulty vehicle components. If a vehicle’s tires, brakes, steering system, or other critical components fail unexpectedly, even the most careful driver can experience dangerous loss of control and cause devastating wrecks. When a vehicle part is defective, the manufacturers or sellers may be liable for accidents caused by component or system failure. This type of claim can be difficult to prove, so you should contact an attorney if you believe you were injured in a crash caused by a defective car part.
- A government entity is liable. Some accidents are caused by the negligence of government agencies or employees. For example, if you drive over a pothole on a public road and collide with another vehicle as a result, you may have grounds for a claim against the agency responsible for maintaining that road. Similarly, if you are involved in an accident caused by an employee of the government, you may be able to file a claim against the government. All claims filed against the state of Nevada must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. The amount of compensation available in a government claim is capped at $150,000 as of July 1, 2020.
- Multiple parties are liable. In some car accident cases, more than one party is at fault. This can occur when multiple drivers were involved, or there were multiple contributing factors in a crash scenario. When more than one party bears responsibility for a crash, Nevada uses a doctrine of comparative negligence to determine the relative liability for the cost of damages. Under comparative negligence rules, at-fault parties are financially liable for injuries or damages based on their proportion of fault for the crash. So, if one driver is considered 25 percent responsible for a crash that caused $10,000 worth of damage, they can be held liable for up to $2,500 as a result.
How to Be Prepared Ahead of Time
Las Vegas roads can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for anything. One of the most important ways you can plan ahead is by ensuring you have the proper insurance coverage to protect you in the event of an accident.
Nevada is an at-fault auto insurance state. This means you are typically expected to seek compensation from the insurance provider of the at-fault party after an accident. As a result, Nevada drivers are required to carry the minimum amounts of liability insurance to cover the costs of damage or injury that they may cause in a crash:
- At least $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- At least $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- At least $20,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
Although this required coverage protects other drivers, one good way to protect yourself is by electing to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. Although this type of insurance is not required by law, it can pay for your accident-related losses if you are hurt by a driver who is uninsured, underinsured, or flees the scene of the crash.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Today
At THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys, our personal injury attorneys will fight aggressively for the compensation you need after a Las Vegas accident. We have the legal experience and the resources needed to help you through this difficult time and pursue the full and fair results you deserve.
Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to talk, listen, and support you in any way we can. We understand that you may be injured and unable to make it to a lawyer’s office, so our team is prepared to meet with you at home, in the hospital, or anywhere else you need us.
We do not charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees to begin work on your case, and our initial consultations are always free. Contact us now to discuss the details of your Las Vegas car accident with our attentive team.