Being involved in a car accident can be traumatizing and the aftermath can make decision-making difficult. However, there are certain things required of you as a party involved in a motor vehicle collision in Nevada. Knowing the obligations can ensure you take the appropriate steps after being involved in a car accident.
Nevada Car Accident Legal Duties
The five legal duties of anyone who is part of a collision in Nevada include the following:
- Stop immediately or as soon as it is safe to exchange contract and insurance information.
- Move yourself and your vehicle out of the way of any traffic.
- Provide aid to anyone who has been injured in the accident.
- Notify law enforcement officials.
- Seek medical attention if anyone has been hurt.
- Report the accident to the DMV for serious accidents unless the police have already done so.
These duties apply to car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. They also pertain to accidents that involve pedestrians or those associated with commercial vehicles.
Fleeing the motor vehicle collision scene may lead to being charged with a hit and run in Nevada. This article will delve into the most important things to be aware of related to Nevada car accident laws.
What To Do After A Nevada Vehicle Accident
A few steps need to be taken after a motor vehicle collision. First, stop and exchange your information with other motorists. This includes the other driver’s address and phone number and the make, year, model, and license plate number of the other vehicle. Sections 484E.010, 484E.020, and 484E.030 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) requires drivers to stop at the scene of a crash involving injury or death:
NRS 484E.010. Duty to stop at scene of crash involving death or personal injury; penalty.
1. The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash on a highway or on premises to which the public has access resulting in bodily injury to or the death of a person shall immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close thereto as possible, and shall forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the crash until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of NRS 484E.030.
2. Every such stop must be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
3. A person failing to comply with the provisions of subsection 1 is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 20 years and by a fine of not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000. A person failing to comply with the provisions of subsection 1 commits a separate offense under this section for the bodily injury to or the death of each person that results from a crash with regard to which the person failed to comply with the provisions of subsection 1.
4. A sentence imposed pursuant to subsection 3 may not be suspended nor may probation be granted.
NRS 484E.020. Duty to stop at scene of crash involving damage to vehicle or property; duty to move vehicle under certain circumstances. The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only in damage to a vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall:
1. Immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the crash; and
2. If the driver’s vehicle is creating a hazard or obstructing traffic and can be moved safely, move the vehicle or cause the vehicle to be moved out of the traffic lanes of the roadway to a safe location that does not create a hazard or obstruct traffic and, if applicable, safely fulfill the requirements of NRS 484E.030.
NRS 484E.030. Duty to give information and render aid.
1. The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall:
(a) Give his or her name, address and the registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving, and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her license to operate a motor vehicle to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in such crash;
(b) Give such information and upon request manually surrender such license to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash; and
(c) Render to any person injured in such crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.
2. If no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such crash after fulfilling all other requirements of subsection 1 and NRS 484E.010, insofar as possible on his or her part to be performed, shall forthwith report such crash to the nearest office of a police authority or of the Nevada Highway Patrol and submit thereto the information specified in subsection 1.
Next, the cars should be moved out of traffic as soon as it is safe. Finally, if anyone has been injured, they should be assisted. This includes things like calling an ambulance or physician if needed for injuries related to the vehicle collision.
If you have an accident with an unoccupied vehicle, you must leave your name and information or find the owner. Leaving a business card and a written note is an easy way to meet the requirements. A driver who hits an unoccupied vehicle must also notify law enforcement. These requirements are set forth in NRS § 484.040 and NRS § 484E.050:
NRS 484E.040. Duty upon damaging unattended vehicle or other property.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, the driver of any vehicle which is involved in a crash with any vehicle or other property which is unattended, resulting in any damage to such other vehicle or property, shall immediately stop and shall then and there locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or other property or shall attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle or property a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle doing the striking.
2. If the vehicle of a driver involved in a crash pursuant to subsection 1 is creating a hazard or obstructing traffic and can be moved safely, the driver shall, before meeting the requirements of subsection 1, move the vehicle or cause the vehicle to be moved out of the traffic lanes of the roadway to a safe location that does not create a hazard or obstruct traffic and minimizes interference with the free movement of traffic.
NRS 484E.050. Immediate notice to police officer of crash involving unattended vehicle or other property.
1. The driver of a vehicle which is involved in a crash with any vehicle or other property which is unattended, resulting in any damage to such other vehicle or property, shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of such crash to the nearest office of a police authority or of the Nevada Highway Patrol.
2. Whenever the driver of a vehicle is physically incapable of giving an immediate notice of a crash as required in subsection 1 and there was another occupant in the vehicle at the time of the crash capable of doing so, such occupant shall make or cause to be given the notice not given by the driver.
While not required, it’s also a good idea to get the contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. These people can provide testimony about who was at fault. You can also use your phone to take photos documenting the scene or take notes about what occurred.
It’s important not to state that you have no injuries. If you have a soft-tissue injury, this may not be obvious right away. You also should not apologize to anyone or admit the collision was your fault. This is considered an admission of guilt and insurance companies will deny your claims for doing so.
As mentioned above, you must notify the policy if you are in a collision that leads to injuries or death. You can call 911, 311, or *647 will put you in contact with the Nevada Highway Patrol. If you are too injured to call the police or an officer is on the scene, there is no need to call.
A Traffic Accident Report will need to be turned in within 10 days if anyone was injured or killed in the accident or damages of $750 or more are done to a vehicle or other property.
Car Crash Personal Injury Claims
Nevada is an at-fault state so you can file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who was at fault and/or with your insurance company if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. The settlement that is agreed upon will ideally cover all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of benefits and funeral expenses in wrongful death cases
Even if you are partially at fault, you may be entitled to monetary damages. This is because Nevada modified comparative negligence laws allow a defendant to win a case as long as the other party was 50% or more at blame. This law is codified in NRS § 41.141.
Evidence is important to proving a vehicle accident lawsuit. Take photos, go to a doctor for injuries, and document everything that happened during the accident. Nevada’s statute of limitations for car accident claims is typically two years after a collision so it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney quickly to get the money you deserve.
If you or a family member have been injured in a crash in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, Reno and its surrounding areas, the dedicated personal injury lawyers at D.R. Patti & Associates can help. In our combined 50+ years of experience, we have recovered more than $250 million for our clients. You can read about some of our successful cases here. Call us now and see how we can help.