Unfortunately, car accidents in Las Vegas are a common occurrence. Due to its population and the concentration of bars and casinos, DUI-related collisions are more common than in most of the country. As many Las Vegas law firm partners know, excessive speeding is common. This is likely because Nevada has high-speed limits in general, with many two-lane roads posted at 70 mph and freeway-grade roads posted at 80 mph; drivers unfamiliar with Las Vegas are likely used to traveling very quickly.
Regardless of the cause, a Las Vegas injury lawyer would likely advise you to take the following simple ten steps after a car wreck. Most of these tips apply to “fender-benders” as well.
Never Admit Fault
This one is so common that it’s even printed on many auto insurance cards. While it’s fine to express concern for all parties involved, be careful not to make statements like “I’m sorry” or “I just wasn’t looking” since these can and will be used against you in civil court later on.
Regardless of how severe the wreck is, not following this step can end up being quite costly.
Call the Police
Remember, if the accident is major or there are injuries involved, you need to wait for the police to arrive before moving the vehicles involved off the road.
Take Your Own Pictures
Insurance companies use dashboard camera footage and post-accident videos and pictures as evidence in court. If you had a dashboard camera running, ensure that you back up the video. If not, use a phone to take pictures at the scene. Make sure you capture every bit of damage to vehicles involved, as well as the scene of the crash.
Doing this will ensure you aren’t subjected to insurance fraud. Another driver will not be able to claim that later damage stemmed from this accident. Second, you’re creating a record that could potentially be used to sue for damages later.
This step is likely recommended by every Las Vegas law firm but is rarely discussed. It seems easy enough: talk to others involved, get phone numbers, insurance cards, and more. However, it can get complicated and even dangerous quickly.
Since there’s an inevitable adrenaline surge during and after car accidents, people can behave unpredictably. If anyone involved has an angry disposition, wait to exchange information until after the police arrive. Do not ever engage in confrontational behavior, even if you’re not at fault.
Finally, never take a cash payment from an uninsured driver. Many will offer cash on the spot as a police alternative, since driving without insurance in Nevada is a misdemeanor with a ticket between $500 to $1200 and an SR-22 filing requirement; on a third offense, uninsured drivers can see up to 30 days in jail!
Any Las Vegas injury lawyer would urge you to find witnesses to your crash. If it occurred within the city itself, there’s almost no chance there aren’t witnesses. However, if the accident occurred in a rural area of Nevada, there may not be any. Be sure to also ask first responders if any traffic cameras recorded the incident.
Get Police Information
Even if the police deem the damage minor enough to be civil, this step is still vital. Ask every officer with whom you come into contact for his or her name, badge number, agency, and phone number. The police of Nevada are required to give you this information. It can help if something is misfiled later on.
Accept EMS Offered
Even if you have any pain, do not ever refuse ambulance or other Emergency Medical Services if offered to you. This is the first line of documentation for a potential Personal Injury Lawsuit. It will catch medical issues caused by the accident early on and create a body of evidence for court if needed.
Discuss Every Minor Ache
Once you’re in the care of medical providers, ensure that you discuss every detail of your physical pain. Many people feel uncomfortable doing this, but it’s critical to be able to claim damages later on. Even if that pain in your neck feels very mild, be sure to mention it so it’s documented in the event the pain gets worse or does not go away.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once the on-the-scene and medical portions are over, you’ll need to make that dreaded call to your insurance company. Be sure to all collected information ready in case your company needs it. You could also have your lawyer contact the insurance company on your behalf.
Remember that your insurance company is not necessarily your friend! Don’t go off-guard while talking to an agent.
Consult a Lawyer
Nevada’s auto accident damage recovery process is complex, and you should have the best personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas has to offer at your disposal! Contact a highly-rated and trusted lawyer to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Need a Las Vegas Injury Lawyer?
Did you experience a car wreck? If so, you’re most likely overwhelmed, but there’s no need to be! Let the Personal Injury specialists at The Schnitzer Law Firm help you manage the legal aspect. Whether you end up being the plaintiff, the defendant, or both, The Schnitzer Law Firm is here for you! Call at (702) 960-4050, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the secure, online form located here today to schedule your zero-obligation consultation!