You would be hard pressed to even drive around Nevada for a day or two without seeing a car crash holding up traffic. While at the time it seems like just a minor annoyance, injuries and even death due to car accidents is a serious problem in our state. In fact, the number of deaths due to auto accidents on Nevada roads has increased dramatically over the past decade.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police report that there are approximately 55 car accidents a day in Las Vegas alone. Even if only a portion of those accidents end up having to file a Nevada car accident claim with insurance, then you can imagine how busy us personal injury lawyers are around here.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in one of the many daily Nevada car accidents, then it is important to know just what you need to do at the time of the accident, as well as how to file a claim with insurance so that you can get the maximum compensation for the damages and injuries.
Your Legal Obligations After an Accident
Directly after an accident, remembering what your legal obligations are per Nevada law will be difficult to say the least. The first and foremost thing on your mind will be making sure that you and your family are ok and not seriously injured. Its too bad that the law doesn’t care about any of that. If you do not meet certain obligations after an accident, you could not only jeopardize your chances of compensation, but could also face criminal charges.
If you have been involved in a Nevada car accident, regardless of the severity, you must do the following:
- Give reasonable assistance to anyone that has been injured at the scene. Reasonable assistance means that you must help, in one way or another, such as arranging for the injured to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. See NRS 484E 010 and 020.
- Try to move the cars involved in the crash out of traffic, but only if it is safe to do so. See NRS 484E 020.
- Make sure that you and all other drivers involved have exchanged information such as name, phone number and insurance policy information.
Contact Your Auto insurance Agency
After you have fulfilled your legal obligations after the crash, the next step in filing a Nevada car accident claim is to contact your insurer and inform them of the crash. You will need to have your insurance information ready, which is located on your insurance card.
If someone else was at fault, or partially at fault, then you can file a claim for compensation for damages. At this point you can file a claim with your own auto insurance, file a claim with the at fault party’s insurance or even file a personal injury lawsuit.
While you are on the phone with your insurance, be careful not to say anything that me be construed to mean that you had anything to do with what caused the car accident. Just ask questions about the insurance companies’ procedure regarding auto accidents and how they process claims for damages.
Make sure that you keep precise records of all phone conversations with the insurance, as well as anyone who was involved in the accident. These records must include the date and time of the phone call or conversation.
Hiring an Experienced Injury Lawyer for your Nevada Car Accident Claim
Even if filing a lawsuit may be unnecessary to get your compensation, it is nearly always a good idea to have a good personal injury lawyer handling your Nevada car accident claim. The reason for this is that the insurance agencies will do everything in their power to pay out as little as possible in car accident claims. They will try to get you to admit that you were at fault, or even kind of at fault for the crash so they can use that against you when it comes time to pay.
A good personal injury attorney will be able to compile all of the evidence surrounding the incident and leverage that evidence in the form of what’s called a “demand letter.” In most instances, this demand letter sent by a lawyer, along with sufficient evidence, will convince the legal department of the insurance agency that they would never win if the case went to court, and that they should begin to negotiate a fair compensation package.
Josh Nay is a writer and paralegal with over 10 years of experience in personal injury cases, family law and criminal defense.