Injured in a car accident in Las Vegas? What you need to know
If you are involved in a car accident in Nevada, what you do next can make all the difference.
You are legally entitled to seek compensation if the other driver was at fault. But unless you take the right steps, you may not get everything you deserve.
To help get you your money as quickly as possible, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers recommended you take the following 10 steps following an accident in Clark County:
1. Was someone hurt? Remain at the scene
If anyone was killed or injured, remain at the scene of the accident unless you need immediate emergency medical assistance. Failure to do so (Nevada hit-and-run) is a felony that can be punished by up to 20 years in prison.
2. Seek medical assistance, if needed
If you need immediate medical assistance, call 9-1-1 or ask someone to do it for you. Be sure, assuming you are able, to ask any medical provider to take detailed notes.
3. Move to a safe area
Cars that are blocking traffic can result in further injury.
If someone was seriously injured, it is best to leave the cars where they are until law enforcement arrives. Otherwise, if you are able to do so safely, move your car to the side of the road.
4. Record information about the other vehicle
As soon as you have made sure no one is seriously injured, write down or photograph the license plate number, and the make, model and color of all other vehicles involved in the accident.
If it is safe and you are able, take photos of the scene and of any damage to the vehicles.
5. Get contact info from other drivers and witnesses
The most important information you can get is the name of the other driver's insurance company and policy number as well as the number of the other person's Nevada driver's license.
If possible, get current contact information from everyone who was involved in, or who witnessed, the accident. If a law enforcement officer came to the scene, get the officer's name and write it down.
Another useful piece of information to have is the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the other car(s). The VIN number should be listed on the other driver's insurance card.
If the other driver is uninsured or doesn't have his/her insurance card, you may be able to find it on driver's side dashboard or inside the driver's door. Do not attempt to get the VIN number from the other driver's car if the driver won't cooperate. Simply write down or photograph the license plate number.
Be sure to provide your info to the other driver, regardless of who was at fault.
6. DO NOT ADMIT FAULT!
We cannot stress this point enough. Do not admit to any wrongdoing on your part even if you think you were at fault.
You may be wrong about the cause of the accident or the other driver may be partially to blame.
Admitting wrongdoing or even apologizing can cost you money you don't need to pay or keep you from getting the car accident recovery you deserve.
It is okay to ask whether the other driver is injured or needs medical assistance. If the other driver pressures you to admit fault, politely ask the other person to call your insurance company.
7. Do not tell the other driver you're not hurt
Even if you don't think you were injured, do not admit that to the other driver.
Soft-tissue injuries can take days to develop. Saying you are fine gives the other driver's insurance company or lawyer ammunition to deny or reduce your claim.
Do not, however, lie and say you are injured if you aren't or if you don't know. Simply keep your options open until you have had a few days to see how you feel and to seek medical attention if you need to.
8. Record your impressions right away
As soon as is practical, write down everything you remember about the accident, including:
- The time and date of the accident,
- The cross streets and direction of travel of each vehicle,
- Your best estimate of each driver's speed, and
- Any adverse road conditions.
If you have cuts, bruises or other visible injuries, take a selfie of them or, better yet, have a friend take pictures. The more evidence of your injuries there is, the better your chance of getting the maximum compensation you deserve.
9. Report the accident, if required
If the crash resulted in bodily injury or death or total damage of $750 or more to any vehicle(s) or property, you must notify the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident.
Failure to do so could result in suspension of your Nevada's driver's license for up to one year.
You should also notify your insurance carrier if another driver was involved in the accident. Most insurers require you to report accidents. If you were not at fault, an accident will not raise your rates. And if you are at fault, early reporting can result in the insurer having a better chance of defending your claim.
If no other driver was involved, it is more of a judgment call. Consumer Reports recommends reporting an accident in all cases except for a low-speed, single-car mishap (such as backing into a fence or garage) where there is no injury and the damage is close to your collision deductible amount.
10. Consider retaining a lawyer
An experienced Clark County personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation.
For more information about liability and damages in Nevada car accident cases, please see our page on liability for a Clark County car accident.
Injured in a car accident in Las Vegas? Call us for help…
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident in Clark County, our Las Vegas car accident lawyers may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
You may be entitled to payment for medical bills, lost wages, court costs and more.
For a free consultation with one of our experienced Nevada personal injury lawyers, complete the form below or call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).