If you are involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is important to know what steps to take. Injuries, liability disputes, and car repairs are common concerns for parties involved. Here is a simple check-list answering your question: What to Do After a Car Accident in Las Vegas?
Step 1: Stop your Car
Step 2: Check for Injuries
Step 3: Contact the Police
Step 4: Do Not Admit Fault
Step 5: Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company (Don’t Admit Fault)
Step 6: Take Pictures
Step 7: Gather Information from All Parties Involved
Step 8: Contact a Lawyer
It is important to understand each step. As a result, a deeper analysis of each step is set forth below:
Step 1: Stop Your Car
After a car accident in Las Vegas, the first step is simple: Stop Your Car! Safety is your top concern after being involved in a car accident. As a result, remain in your vehicle until you complete Step 2 (Check for Injuries) and Step 3 (Contact the Police), unless it’s unsafe to remain in the vehicle. Also, do not move your vehicle until you at least complete step 6 (Take Pictures).
Step 2: Check for Injuries
Check for injuries, even if the accident seems minor. Take a few deep breaths and check for blood. Feel different areas of your body for sensitivity or wounds. If medical assistance is required, proceed to Step 3 (Contact the Police) and request an ambulance.
Even if you do not feel the symptoms of an injury immediately after the collision, symptoms most often show up within 24 hours after the collision, and sometimes much longer.
Step 3: Contact the Police
After your car accident in Las Vegas, contact the police and be patient. The police may take several hours to report to the scene after car accidents in Las Vegas. However, once the police arrive, they will create a written report of the accident. This report will detail all parties’ contact information and will determine who was at fault. The police officer’s decision on who was at fault will almost always determine who the insurance companies’ decide is at fault. Remember, you want the police officer on your side.
It is important to give an accurate record of what happened to the police officer. In fact, under NRS 197.190 it is a misdemeanor to lie to the police. However, don’t forget Step 4 (Do Not Admit Fault)!
Do not speculate or guess when speaking to the police officer. If you don’t know if you are injured, say so. As stated in Step 2 (Check for Injuries), the symptoms from car accident injuries don’t show up until hours or even days after the accident.
After the police officer completes her investigation, she will provide you with an Accident Information Exchange sheet. Keep the Accident Information Exchange sheet and provide it to the attorney you hire.
Step 4: Do Not Admit Fault After Your Car Accident in Las Vegas
Shortly after the car accident, you will speak to the other driver involved in the accident. While speaking to the other driver, you should be courteous. You should not, however, admit fault. To be clear, while speaking to the other driver, DO NOT ADMIT FAULT!
Some people believe an apology is an admission of fault. As a result, do not apologize to the other driver after your car accident in Las Vegas. Refusing to apologize is not rude, it is the safest way to protect yourself.
If the other driver is willing to admit they were at fault for the accident, let them.
If the other driver is cooperating with you, ask them for their driver’s license and their insurance card. Once received, take pictures of the other driver’s license and insurance card.
However, if the other driver becomes confrontational, do not engage in the conversation. Go back to your car and wait for the police. The police officer will obtain the other driver’s information.
Step 5: REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY (DO NOT ADMIT FAULT)
Call your car insurance company after the car accident and tell them you need to report an accident. The number for reporting claims to your car insurance company is usually located on the back of your car insurance card. Be cooperative and honest with your car insurance company and provide them with the information they request.
However, when speaking to your car insurance company, remember Step 4 (Do Not Admit Fault)!
At the conclusion of your call with your car insurance company, the insurance adjuster will provide you with a claim number. Write the claim number down and do not lose it. Before ending the call with the insurance adjuster, ask her if you have (1) medical payments coverage and (2) uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM/UIM”) coverage. Both medical payments coverage and UM/UIM coverage provide you with options to pay for your medical bills and recover money for your claim.
Step 6: TAKE PICTURES AFTER YOUR CAR ACCIDENT IN LAS VEGAS
After your car accident in Las Vegas, take pictures. Take pictures of:
- Your entire vehicle.
- Other driver’s entire vehicle.
- Other driver’s license plate.
- Entire scene of the car accident.
- Intersection/street names where the car accident occurred.
Pictures of the scene will help the insurance companies, attorneys, and potentially jurors determine who was at fault for the accident. Save the pictures and do not delete them. These pictures may be the winning factor for your claim.
Step 7: GATHER INFORMATION FROM ALL PARTIES INVOLVED
Gathering information from all parties was generally discussed in Step 3 (Contact the Police) and Step 4 (Do Not Admit Fault). As noted above, the police officer will usually gather the information for you. However, if the police do not show up to the car accident scene, it is important for you to know what information to gather. Such information includes:
• Name and address of the other driver involved (and any of her passengers). This can be accomplished by taking a picture of their identification card.
• Phone numbers of the other driver (and any of her passengers).
• License plate number and make and model of the other car involved. This can be accomplished by taking a picture.
• Other driver’s car insurance company and policy number. This can be accomplished by taking a picture.
The other driver will likely ask for your contact information. If you feel comfortable, you may provide the other driver with the information. However, limit the information as much as possible.
After the car accident, you should also document the location of the accident, the directions and approximate speeds of the vehicles that were involved, and the name, address, and telephone number of any witnesses.
Obtaining the name of any witnesses after the car accident is vital. Often car accidents end with two people blaming each other. When this happens, the police officer, insurance companies, and jurors don’t know who to believe. However, if there is a witness to provide their point of view, your case now becomes winnable.
Step 8: CONTACT A LAWYER AFTER YOUR CAR ACCIDENT IN LAS VEGAS
After your car accident, you should contact a lawyer. Insurance companies will often try to contact you after a car accident to obtain a recorded statement. Do not give an insurance company a recorded statement. Insurance companies’ use recorded statements to trick you into admissions that they will use against you later.
Further, insurance companies will often try to settle with you for $500-$2,000 shortly after a car accident. This is not the insurance companies’ way to be generous. Rather, this is the insurance companies’ way to settle your claim quickly when they know it is worth potentially tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars more.
A personal injury lawyer will explain to you your legal rights following your car accident in Las Vegas.
The experienced team at Valiente Mott Injury Attorneys is a top rated personal injury attorney Las Vegas and has had great success in representing victims of car accidents. For a free consultation, contact our team today at 702-623-2323.
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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