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What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Nevada?

Being in a car accident can leave anyone feeling shaken and unsure of what to do next. Even minor collisions result in confusion and stress in the aftermath. More serious crashes often involve injuries and vehicle damage that require immediate attention and ongoing care. Knowing the proper steps to take after an accident in Nevada can help protect you physically, financially, and legally. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on what to do after car accident in Nevada.

Check for Injuries and Call for Help

The very first thing you should do after a collision is make sure you and your passengers are uninjured. If anyone complains of pain or you notice bleeding, call 911 immediately to get medical assistance on the scene. Even if injuries don’t seem evident right away, it’s wise to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible since symptoms like whiplash can take time to manifest.

If both vehicles are movable and there are no injuries requiring ambulance transport, you should move your cars off the road and onto the shoulder or a nearby parking lot. This prevents further accidents and allows traffic to continue flowing. Turn on your hazard lights and set up road flares or triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers.

Next, call the police, especially if there are any injuries or major vehicle damage. In Nevada, you are required by law to report accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage over $750. Having a police report filed creates an official record of what happened that may be useful for insurance claims.

Exchange Information

After ensuring everyone gets medical assistance, the next step is to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved. You’ll want to obtain:

  • Their name, address, and phone number
  • Their driver’s license number
  • Their auto insurance company name and policy number
  • The make, model, year, color, and license plate number of their vehicle

Similarly, provide the other driver with your personal and insurance details. Getting this information at the scene is crucial in case they later deny being involved or try to blame you.

If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, and the other driver’s insurance card or driver’s license. Having photographic evidence can help protect you later. Make sure to get contact information for any passengers or witnesses as well.

File a Police Report

As mentioned above, you are legally required to alert the police after a Nevada accident that involves death, injury, or over $750 worth of property damage. But even for minor collisions, having an official accident report is highly recommended. The investigating officer will take statements, observe skid marks or debris, and ultimately determine fault. This provides objective evidence for insurance and legal proceedings.

For accidents on private property like parking lots, you may need to call local law enforcement instead of 911. Provide the dispatcher with your exact location and a brief description of what transpired so they can send the appropriate personnel. Cooperate fully with the responding officer by providing your license, registration, and insurance papers, along with your recollection of how the crash occurred.

Document Everything

In addition to getting a police report, make sure to document the accident scene yourself for additional records. Take plenty of photos showing damage to both cars, skid marks, weather conditions, street signs, traffic lights, and anything else relevant. Write down a thorough description of how the crash happened while the details are still fresh in your mind. If you have a dashboard camera, preserve the video footage. Obtain contact info for witnesses and ask them for written statements if they are willing. Thorough documentation strengthens your insurance claim and can help establish fault.

Seek Medical Attention After Leaving the Scene

Even if you feel fine immediately after a crash, it’s important to get examined by a doctor as soon as you can. This documents any injuries caused by the accident and begins your treatment plan. Certain conditions like whiplash or concussions have delayed onset, so don’t assume you’re fine just because nothing hurts right away. A prompt medical evaluation protects both your health and your legal rights.

Keep records of all medical expenses, missed wages from work, prescription costs, physical therapy, and any other accident-related costs. Your car insurance or the other driver’s liability coverage should reimburse you for these, but only if properly documented. Don’t settle with an insurer until you know the full extent of crash-related costs.

Contact an Attorney for Assistance

An experienced Nevada car accident lawyer can provide invaluable help following a crash. They assist with the insurance claim process, determine the best strategy to establish fault, send preservation letters to involved parties, and represent your interests if a lawsuit is necessary. Having skilled legal counsel in your corner evens the playing field and maximizes your recovery amount.

Be Wary of Early Settlement Offers

Insurance adjusters often try to get accident victims to accept a quick, low-ball settlement in order to close the claim fast. Don’t fall for this trap. The full extent of injuries and vehicle damage may not yet be known, so settling immediately likely shortchanges you. Politely reject any early settlement offers and let your car accident attorneys Nevada negotiate once they’ve assessed the value of your claim. Patience leads to better compensation in the long run.

Preserve Evidence from the Scene

In addition to documentation, physical evidence preservation is also crucial. Avoid cleaning up damage or making repairs to your vehicle until insurance adjusters and attorneys give you the go-ahead. Damaged parts, glass fragments, car fluids, and other debris could yield clues about accident causes and should be preserved. Take your car to a repair shop you trust and instruct them not to discard or alter anything related to the crash. Evidence disappearing or being altered can severely undermine your claim.

Following a car accident in Nevada, staying calm but taking the right steps is key. Prioritize safety, document everything thoroughly, and consult an attorney to protect your rights. With smart actions after a crash, you can avoid compromising your claim and work towards maximum recovery.

For more help after an auto accident, contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled lawyers. We’ll review your case details and help you craft a personalized legal strategy. Don’t go it alone – have our experienced Nevada car accident lawyers on your side for the best outcome.