What Should I Do Immediately After Being Involved in a Car Accident?

Exchange…..

Nevada law requires anybody involved in a car accident to exchange contact information and insurance information.  If you can, take a photo of the other driver’s license and insurance card.  Ask the other driver for their updated contact information.

Document…..

On March 3, 2014, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”) announced it would no longer respond to less serious car accidents (accidents with no injuries and no impairment).  In January of 2016, after receiving additional funding, LVMPD announced that it would return to responding to noninjury car crashes.  However, there are still many minor car accidents that LVMPD chooses not to respond to.  Whether LVMPD responds or not, take as many photos as you can (damage to all involved vehicles, position of vehicles (“zoomed out” photos), license plates, deployed air bags, speed limit signs, emergency/construction signs, other property damage, skid marks, etc.)  You should also obtain the name(s) and contact information of any witness(es).  Finally, look around and see if any security cameras are in the vicinity.  If so, ask the owner to safeguard the video and immediately inform your lawyer.

Report……

Nevada law requires you to report any car accident with injuries or property damage to LVMPD as soon as practicable.  If LVMPD responds to your accident scene and takes a report your reporting obligations have been satisfied.  However, if LVMPD does not report to your accident scene, make sure you visit a LVMPD substation as soon as you can to report the accident.

Next, report the accident to your insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver(s).  Even if you are 100% sure the accident was the other driver’s fault, you still need to report the accident to your insurance company.  Your insurance policy will certainly contain a clause mandating that you report any and all accidents, regardless of fault.  The other driver may have no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover your claim.  In such cases, you may need your uninsured/underinsured coverage (“UM/UIM”) to kick in.  If you breach your insurance agreement by failing to timely report the accident, you may provide your insurance company with grounds to deny your UM/UIM claim.

Retain…..

Just like the Casinos in Las Vegas “were not built by winners,” insurance companies in this country “were not built by claimants.”  There is a reason State Farm can hire Aaron Rogers, Nationwide can hire Peyton Manning and even Esurance can hire Dennis Quaid for TV commercials.  Celebrities aside, Progressive pays Stephanie Courtney (“Flo”) $500,000 annually and Allstate pays Dean Winters (“Mayhem”) $1,000,000 annually (on top of the Ghostbuster’s annual salary for his commercials).  If your insurance companies have a marketing budget to employ celebrities, professional athletes and even turn obnoxious nobody’s like Flo and Mayhem into millionaires, what do you think they pay their claims managers (the individuals charged with negotiating and settling claims) on an annual basis?  Insurance companies do not have your interests in mind.  It is imperative that you hire a law firm with personal injury attorneys that are experienced with negotiating claims with claims managers.

Here at The Hayes Law Firm, our attorneys have nearly 50-years-experience negotiating personal injury claims with aggressive and stingy claims managers.  Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at The Hayes Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation.

By |March 2nd, 2019|