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Dealing With the Aftermath of a Car Accident in Nevada

Determining Fault in a Car Accident: Benson & Bingham

Getting in a car accident can be scary and overwhelming, especially if you have never been in one before. If the accident you were involved in was not your fault, you may feel a mix of emotions. Being prepared and knowing how to deal with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can ensure your rights are protected and you get the care you need.

The following are some steps to take at different times during the accident and aftermath process:

The Accident Scene

Immediately after an accident, emotions run high, and it is easy to forget the proper steps to follow. Keeping a clear mind is the most important step, as showing frustration or anger can muddle communication with the others involved. It can also make taking legal action in the future more difficult. Here is a list of things you should do: [1]

  • Move To the Side of the Road Safely: It is important to move your vehicle out of traffic’s way. Failing to do so may cause further collisions and put yourself and other drivers at risk. If you are on a busy street, try moving to a nearby side street or parking lot. Always turn on your hazard light and contact law enforcement/911 immediately.
  • Exchange Information: Exchanging insurances with the other driver is the law, no matter who was at fault. You must also provide your personal information; Nevada Law States that a person has the right to request the name, address, and vehicle registration number after an accident. The law also allows someone to request to see a driver’s license. Additional Useful Information to Request: Drivers insurance information, including the company name and policy number, driver’s phone number, the names of all passengers and any witnesses contact information. Witness phone numbers can be helpful to your injury claim when your attorneys build their case.
  • Gather Evidence: Gathering evidence immediately after the incident is important since evidence tends to disappear as time passes. Try taking pictures on your phone – important pictures to take include tire tracks (skid marks, grooves in the grass or dirt), property damage, and the other drivers license plate. It is also important to take pictures of both vehicles including up-close damage and broader images of the car. This can help show what damage was caused by the crash and what damage did not exist at the time of the crash.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it is best to notify your insurance company. Make sure to give them the other driver’s information you collected on the scene. It Is better for both parties to communicate through each other’s insurance company to prevent any unfairness; however, never communicate with the other driver’s insurance company as their interests are in their client, not yours. Report the incident to your insurance company which gives your insurer enough time to prepare in case the other side approaches them with demands for money.  Failing to contact your insurance company can also be considered a breach of your contract and the insurer may penalize you with raised premiums, declining of policy renewal, or even worse, policy cancelation.

DO NOT leave the accident scene unless you need immediate medical care. Nevada law requires that all drivers stay at the scene of the accident and leaving the scene may result in fines or jail time. If someone is severely injured or dies, you may face a felony even if the accident was not your fault. In addition, do not confront the other driver. Taking out your anger on them could put you in physical danger and can escalate the situation. Lastly, do not admit blame, as this can cause the other driver to hide any facts involving their own culpability. Avoid statements like “I am Sorry” or “I didn’t see you” as these can be misinterpreted. Remember, any statement or action can easily become a part of an injury case.

After an Accident

The steps you take after the accident are equally important. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms of an injury, seek medical treatment immediately. This is the only way to ensure you aren’t injured as your body may be compensating for an injury with the additional adrenaline your body produces during traumatic times like these.  In addition, seek medical treatment will   document any injuries that may have resulted from the crash. If you were involved in an accident where there was an injury, death, or damage over $750, Nevada Law requires you to file a police report. This report must also be done within ten days of the accident. If police were called to the scene, you do not have to take this step. Otherwise, submit the report to the local DMV. [2]

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

You may be able to get compensation if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. Contacting an experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer can help you understand this often overwhelming process; the attorney can help you organize evidence, recommend treatment options, communicate with the insurance parties, contact witnesses, and ultimately help you earn a settlement that ensures your recovery, both financially and physically.

[1]  https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/

[2]  https://www.injuryclaimcoach.com/nevada-car-accident-guide.html

 

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