Important Steps You Can Take
Do you know what to do in the event of a car accident? Sadly, the number of car accidents in Nevada has gone up in recent years, making it increasingly important to know what to do if you are involved in an accident. Regardless of who is at fault, there are certain things that you must do to comply with the law and protect your rights.
While we’d all love to believe that we will never be in a collision, car accidents are unpredictable, with thousands of Americans involved in them every day. That’s why you must know your rights and responsibilities in Nevada before you are involved in an accident. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you hit the road. To learn more about Nevada law, speak with a trusted auto incident attorney today.
Move Over, It’s the Law
It may seem like common sense, but many drivers fail to move their vehicles off the road after an accident. Nevada law requires that any driver involved in an accident move his or her vehicle out of the path of traffic if possible to do so safely. Not only is moving your car the law, but doing so will help keep you and other drivers safe. After you have moved to a safe location, check with the other driver to make sure that everyone is okay. If you suspect that anyone has been seriously injured, you should call 911.
Gather the Necessary Information
After you have ensured that there are no injuries, one of the most important things you can do is exchange information with the other party. If there are damages to your vehicle or you have suffered a personal injury, you will need the other party’s information to pursue recovery. There are several pieces of information you need to obtain before you leave the scene of an accident, including:
- Driver information. The other driver’s name and contact information are some of the most valuable information you can get following an accident. Do not count on the name listed on the insurance as being the name of the driver, as the name of the policyholder can be someone other than the driver. You don’t need to get a copy of the person’s driver’s license, a name and phone number should be sufficient. If there are other adults in the car, it may be helpful to get their contact information as well.
- Insurance information. The easiest way to make sure you get all of the information that you need regarding the other driver’s insurance is to take a picture of the front and back of the insurance card. If you are unable to take a picture, be sure to write down the name of the insurance company, the policy number, the policy holder’s name, and the phone number to the insurance company.
- Witness information. In addition to other passengers, other motorists may have stopped to help after the accident. If this is the case, be sure to get their contact information, as well. A witness’ account of the accident can be critical in proving fault in a matter of he-said, she-said claims.
Document Relevant Evidence
It’s surprising how many times drivers claim to remember events differently than what actually happened. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for drivers to try to place blame on the other driver or claim that they were not responsible for your car’s damage. This is why taking pictures immediately after the accident is extremely important. Be sure to take pictures of all cars involved in the accident (including your own) and pay careful attention to the damaged areas. Try to include pictures from various angles and distances, as this can help show the true extent of the damage. It’s also helpful to take a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate. You’d be surprised how many people try to claim that they weren’t even involved in the accident. Finally, keep an eye out for skid marks or property damage, and take pictures if you can safely do so.
Contact the Appropriate Agencies
If the accident resulted in the death or injury of a party, you must report the accident to the police. If there are no injuries, you still may need to file a police report. Nevada requires drivers to report any accident that involves estimated damages of $750 or more. Make sure that the information you provide is as accurate as possible, as this document will become a part of any personal injury case. Officers can file their police reports online or through their local police departments, and they must submit their reports within ten days of the accident.
Don’t forget to notify your insurance agent. Even if the accident is not your fault, your insurance will need to coordinate with the other party’s provider. The insurance company will try to get as much information as possible. Stick to the relevant facts and do elaborate beyond the basic information. Anything you say can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim.
Don’t Ignore Your Injuries
It’s easy to shrug off pain after an accident as normal and temporary. While this may be the case, sometimes pain is an indicator of a more serious injury. If you have pain, headaches, dizziness, or any abnormal symptoms after an accident, it’s always best to stay on the safe side. Oftentimes, a trip to your local urgent care office can help determine whether you need further treatment. If you have elected PIP or medical coverage through your auto insurance, your auto insurance policy will cover these costs. If you do not have medical coverage through your auto policy, you will need to use your private medical insurance to cover these costs. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek reimbursement for medical costs associated with your accident.
Consider a Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is never fun. If you have been injured in an auto accident that was not your fault, you should recover compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and help you get started pursuing a personal injury case. If you or a loved one were in a car accident, call a car accident lawyer to learn more about your rights.