Nevada car accident law imposes five legal duties on drivers involved in a motor vehicle collision within the state:
- Stop and exchange contact and insurance information;
- Move out of traffic;
- Help anyone who has been injured;
- Notify the police if someone was injured; and
- For serious accidents, report the accident to the DMV (unless the police already reported it).
These obligations apply to all types of automobile crashes, including:
- Car accidents in Nevada,
- Truck accidents in Nevada,
- Motorcycle accidents in Nevada,
- Accidents involving commercial vehicles in Nevada, and
- Accidents involving pedestrians in Nevada
People who flee the scene of a crash risk getting charged with the Nevada crime of hit and run (NRS 484E.010).
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers will discuss 7 key things everyone should know about Nevada car accident laws:
- 1. What must I legally do right after a Nevada car accident?
- 2. Do I need to notify the police after an accident?
- 3. When must I report a car accident to the DMV?
- 4. Do I need to report accidents to my auto insurer?
- 5. When can I be charged with a hit and run?
- 6. If the other driver was at fault, can I sue?
- 7. What insurance are drivers required to carry in Nevada?
Getting into a car crash is incredibly traumatic, and it is difficult to think straight. Even still, the drivers involved are required to take the following steps immediately following the collision:
- Stop and give the other motorist contact (name and phone number) and insurance information;1
- Move the cars out of traffic if it is safe to do so;2 and
- Give reasonable assistance to anyone injured at the crash scene (such as arranging for the person to be taken to a doctor or hospital if it appears that treatment is necessary for bodily injury).3
If you hit an unoccupied vehicle, you must either locate the owner or leave your name and contact information securely in a conspicuous place. Many people in this situation leave their business card with a written note on the windshield.4
Nevada law requires you to notify the police or the Nevada Highway Patrol if you are involved in a crash in which anyone is killed or injured. The best way to contact the police is to call 911.5
You do not need to call a police or highway patrol officer if an officer is already on the scene or you are too injured to do so.
You must submit a Nevada DMV Report of Traffic Accident Report (SR-1) within 10 days of a collision if:
- Anyone was injured or killed, or
- There appears to be $750 or more in damage to any vehicle or property.6
However, you do not need to report the accident to the DMV if a Nevada Highway Patrol or police officer submitted an accident report that included the driver’s contact and insurance information (including policy number and coverage dates).7
If you are not sure whether a police report contained this information, it is best to submit a DMV report yourself out of an abundance of caution.
People who willfully fail to report an accident as legally required will face having their driver’s license suspended for one (1) year. The suspension period can end early if either:
- The driver finally files the crash report, or
- The driver produces evidence that his/her failure to report was not willful
Note that people who knowingly give false information in a crash report face prosecution for a gross misdemeanor in Nevada. It makes no difference if the false information is given verbally, electronically, or in written form. The penalties carry:
- Up to 364 days in jail, and/or
- Up to $2,000 in fines8
Most car insurance policies require that you notify them and file an auto insurance claim whenever you are involved in an accident. However, many people choose not to notify their insurer when:
- They hit a stationary object (other than a motor vehicle), and they are willing to pay for car repairs themselves, or
- No one else is injured in the crash, and the responsible party is willing to pay for any property damage to the vehicle(s).
But if a police officer arrives at the scene and makes a report — or if anyone was slightly injured — you should consider reporting the accident and letting the insurance adjuster take it from there. Not reporting the accident could impact your insurer’s obligations and insurance coverage under your policy.
When accidents result from the Nevada crime of drunk driving, the driver charged with DUI will need to get an “SR-22” from his/her insurance company to get the driver’s license reinstated. An SR-22 in Nevada is the driver’s “proof of financial responsibility” that verifies that the driver carries the minimum liability coverage required to keep a driver’s license in Nevada.
Willfully fleeing the scene of an accident in Nevada can result in criminal charges for hit and run.
Hit and run is a misdemeanor in Nevada when the accident results only in property damage. The penalties include:
- Up to six (6) months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000; and
- Six (6) Nevada demerit points to your license
However, failure to stop at a crash scene in which someone gets injured or dies is a category B felony. It can be punished by:
- Two to twenty (2 – 20) years in Nevada State Prison, and
- A fine of $2,000 to $5,000.9
Note that felony hit and run is not eligible for a probationary sentence. In addition, the defendant’s driver’s license may be revoked.
Also note that if someone dies, the at-fault driver may face a wrongful death lawsuit.
Yes, though most car crash cases can resolve without a personal injury lawsuit ever being filed. Your personal injury attorney would first contact the other driver’s insurance company, and they may be able to hash out a settlement that covers all of your:
- Medical bills (the amount of compensation also includes rehab and future medical expenses),
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity, and/or
- Pain and suffering
Note that you still may be entitled to money damages from the at-fault driver even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Under Nevada’s modified comparative negligence laws, the defendant in a car crash case is liable as long as the defendant was at least 50% to blame.10
Also, note that evidence is crucial to prevailing in a car accident lawsuit. Be sure to take pictures of any property damage and your injuries. Go to a doctor for your injuries as soon as possible, and never skip an appointment. Also, document everything that happened during the accident — your memory may fade over time, and you do not want to forget any important details.
There is a statute of limitations (time limit) to bring auto accident lawsuits. It is usually only two years after the wreck. So accident victims should consult with an attorney right away to start working on a personal injury claim.
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in a collision; and
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in a collision; and
- $20,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in a collision
The shorthand for this insurance minimum is 25/50/20.
Also see our related article on Nevada rear-end collisions.
- NRS 484E.010; NRS 484E.020; Clancy v. State, 129 Nev. 840, 313 P.3d 226 (2013) (Actual physical contact between two vehicles is not required for a person to be involved in an accident under the statute).
- NRS 484E.020.
- NRS 484E.030.
- NRS 484E.040.
- NRS 484E.030 (2).
- NRS 484E.070 (2).
- NRS 484E.010.
- NRS 484E.070 (3).
- NRS 484E.070.
- NRS 41.141.