Our experienced Nevada car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law have a thorough knowledge of Nevada’s traffic safety laws. Our team can help you understand how the laws apply to your car crash and what to expect from the accident claims process.
The process of filing a car accident claim doesn’t have to be overwhelming or filled with anxiety. Let one of our friendly and knowledgeable Las Vegas personal injury attorneys guide you through the insurance claims process. We can help you pursue maximum compensation after a car accident caused by another driver. We believe you deserve What’s Right. Keep reading to learn more about auto accident laws in Nevada.
Contact us today for a free case review.
Important Facts About Car Accident Laws in Nevada
Is Nevada a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Nevada is not a no-fault state. Nevada follows a traditional fault-based system when evaluating motor vehicle accidents. The party at fault for causing a car accident is generally financially responsible for compensating any injured parties for their medical bills and other losses. Typically, an insurance company will investigate the crash to determine who is at fault.
What Information Should Be Exchanged in a Car Accident?
One of the first things you should do following a car accident is to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the collision. You will want to get each drivers:
- Name and address
- Drivers license number
- Insurance information
- Contact information
If there are witnesses at the scene, ask for their contact information as well.
What Should I Do in an Accident in Nevada?
You may feel shaken after a Nevada car accident. However, the actions you take immediately after an accident can affect your car accident claim. Take as many of the following steps as possible:
- Contact law enforcement– Stop at the scene, check to see if anyone is injured, and contact authorities as required by law. Law enforcement can take charge at the accident scene and keep you and other drivers safe while the accident is cleared. Police should also produce an accident report that may be helpful to your insurance claim, depending on the responding officer’s conclusions. If the police do not report to the scene, you must file a crash report on your own within 10 days of the incident.
- Seek medical attention – Seek a medical evaluation immediately after an accident if you’re not transported from the scene by ambulance for emergency treatment.
- Document the scene – Document the accident. Take multiple photographs and videos from as many angles as you can. Be sure to photograph the damage to both cars, scattered debris, and any skid marks.
- Contact an attorney – Those who plan on filing an insurance claim may not think it is necessary to contact an attorney. However, having an attorney on your side can prevent an insurer from taking advantage of you during a vulnerable time and increase your chances of receiving just compensation.
- Get in touch with your insurance company –Even if the accident was caused by another driver, you need to notify your insurer about it. If you have an attorney, the attorney can handle communications with the insurance company.
- Stay on your treatment plan – The days and weeks after an accident can be a very stressful time. However, you should not let this stress prevent you from getting necessary medical attention. Keep all follow-up doctor’s appointments. Take your medication as prescribed. Your medical records can play a vital role in your insurance claim.
- Keep all bills and receipts –Keep a binder with all your medical bills, repair receipts, and out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash. These documents can help your attorney assess the value of your claim.
- Stay off social media –Do not discuss the accident or your injuries on social media. It is better to stay off social media altogether until your claim is resolved. In some cases, an insurer can use your own words or photos you post against you to devalue or deny your claim.
How Long After a Car Accident or Hit-and-Run Can You Sue in Nevada?
Nevada state law requires motorists to stop at the scene of an accident and exchange information. Those who flee the scene are considered hit-and-run drivers. If the driver who hit you and fled is eventually identified, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider demanding compensation for your losses. If the hit-and-run driver is not located, you will need to file a claim with your own uninsured motorist policy, if you have one.
Unfortunately, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit. Whether you are involved in a car accident or a hit-and-run, you will need to file your personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the crash. This time limit is Nevada’s car accident statute of limitations. If you want to seek compensation only for the cost of property damage, Nevada gives you three years to file a lawsuit.
How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Nevada?
In Nevada, insurance companies have 80 business days to settle a claim. Generally, the timeline of an insurance claim will look something like this:
- 20 working days – Within the first 20 working days after an accident, the insurance company will send out instructions and paperwork, including proof-of-loss forms.
- 30 working days – After receiving your paperwork, the next 30 days can be used by the insurer to evaluate your claim and make a decision based on the evidence provided.
- 30 working days – If your claim is approved, your payment will be distributed during these final 30 working days.
Keep in mind all claims are unique. While this is the general framework that insurance companies work within, different factors can affect how long the insurer takes to resolve your claim.
Is Leaving the Scene of an Accident a Felony in Nevada?
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in Nevada and can result in a felony charge of fleeing the scene of an accident. If you are involved in a crash, you must pull over, assist those injured, and exchange information with the other driver. If anyone is injured or killed or if any property is damaged, you must report the incident to the police.
If a hit-and-run accident causes only property damage, a driver may face misdemeanor charges. A conviction can result in $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail. If an individual is injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident, the charges can be upgraded to a category B felony. A conviction for a category B felony can result in two to 20 years in prison and $2,000 to $5,000 in fines.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated in Nevada?
Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are subjective losses a person may suffer after an accident, such as emotional distress or diminishment of quality of life. Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain and mental anguish that the trauma of a car accident can inflict on a victim. Pain and suffering are difficult to calculate because there is no obvious dollar value attached to them.
There are two primary ways to calculate pain and suffering. One is to assign it a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on its severity. This number is then multiplied by the total value of all economic damages to arrive at a final figure. This is called the multiplier method. The second is called the per diem method, in which the daily cost of pain and suffering is assigned a value, which is then multiplied by the number of days the pain and suffering are expected to last.
Nevada Comparative Negligence Law
Nevada motorists may not realize how their actions can play a role in determining the value of their car accident claim. Nevada uses a modified comparative negligence system to evaluate compensation in car accidents. In a modified comparative negligence system, you can receive compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident. But any compensation you receive may be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
For example, if a court determines you are 20 percent responsible for causing a crash that cost you $50,000 in losses, any compensation you receive may be reduced by 20 percent to $40,000. Any party 51 percent or more at fault for causing an accident is barred from receiving compensation. While this rule applies only to court decisions, it also affects how an insurance adjuster will value your claim.
Nevada Car Insurance Laws
All Nevada motorists are required to carry auto insurance. While you can choose your coverage options, by law, you must have at least:
- $25,000 for bodily injury of one person in a crash
- $50,000 for bodily injury for two or more persons in any accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
These minimum car insurance requirements are typically referred to as the 25/50/20 rule. Driving without valid car insurance can result in significant fines and suspension of a driver’s license.
What Is Considered Bodily Injury in a Car Accident?
Bodily injury refers to the injuries a person sustains in a car accident. Bodily injury insurance is a type of liability insurance that covers people injured by the insurance policyholder. It covers the medical care of those injured, their lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses caused specifically by the victim’s injuries.
Contact a Nevada Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, our Las Vegas injury attorney want to help you if recover and get justice after injuries from a car accident that was caused by someone else. You deserve What’s Right. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Nevada car accident lawyer and find out if you could be owed money.