Car accidents are more common in densely populated areas like Las Vegas. Sometimes, it's tricky to avoid car accidents despite taking safety measures and even following all traffic rules. If you are involved in a car accident, there are several things you need to do after the accident.
Despite the confusion and distress that accompanies an accident, it is critical to engage the services of a car accident attorney to help and guide you through the entire ordeal. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, our lawyers will answer any question you may have and ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
This article will guide you on what to do after an accident, whether you are a pedestrian, a driver, or a passenger. Despite the severity or lack of injuries after a car accident, you should do the following actions:
Make Safety Your First Priority
After an accident, the first step is to ascertain if you or anyone else is hurt. If you or anyone else is hurt, ensure you receive immediate medical assistance. Do not leave the accident scene once you are sure that no one has been hurt. Under Nevada's Revised Statute (NRS) 484E.020, you should stop once you are involved in an accident and move to the side of the road to avoid blocking the traffic.
If you are not injured after the accident, the law under NRS 484.030 requires you to stop offering reasonable assistance to the other people involved. Failure to do so could lead to two to twenty-year imprisonments. When it comes to your safety, the following tips will help you immensely:
Ensure Your Hazard Lights Are On
You realize that other drivers using the same road may not be expecting to find a stationary vehicle on the road. It is therefore crucial that you ensure that your hazard lights are on. This way, you will alert them to the accident. The best thing is to move your vehicle off the road, and hazard lights will ensure other drivers do not hit you.
Driving your car to the side will ensure that you are not hit by other vehicles and that you are not hindering traffic at the same time. You can also set up emergency triangles and flares to alert other raid users of your accident. However, if you or anyone is hurt, or the accident is severe, leave the vehicle where it is.
Remain in The Car
If your crash takes place on the highway, you should be very careful when leaving your car to avoid being hit by other vehicles. If your accident occurs on the highway or a busy road, you should remain in your care and call for law enforcement officers to help you. While waiting for traffic police to arrive, ensure that you buckle your seat belt. With your seatbelt buckled, you will be protected from a secondary accident if it happens.
Be Extra Careful While Leaving Your Vehicle
Once you have ascertained that you are not injured, you should be extra careful while leaving your car, primarily if the accident occurred on a busy road. Your senses may not be as sharp as usual, which could lead to another accident, which may be fatal since your car's body does not protect you.
Do Not Hesitate To Leave When You Smell Gasoline
Staying inside your car after an accident will help keep you safe. However, you will be safer from your vehicle if you smell gasoline.
Though most accidents don't lead to an explosion, if you suspect that fire is imminent or if you smell anything funny, carefully leave the car and stay at a safe distance.
Move Your Car To The RoadSide
If you realize you or your passengers are unhurt after the accident and the car is operable, you can then move it to the side to safety. Driving your vehicle out of the road will help ensure your safety and traffic moves smoothly.
Call In The Authorities
In most accident sites, the police will arrive shortly after the accident. However, if the police are not on the accident site and you or anyone else is injured, you should call 911 and notify the law enforcement agencies. You will realize that there are some areas where they may not respond, especially if your accident is minor. Do not panic, as most police forces are transitioning to online reporting.
Once the police arrive at the accident scene, kindly note the reporting officer's name and contact information. It is also essential to request an accident report copy from the officer at the accident scene.
Request For Contact Information From The Other Involved Motorists
Once you have ensured your safety, kindly request the contact details of the other people involved in the crash. Obtain their names, addresses, and telephone, and take their vehicle's license number. You can use your phone's camera to take photos of the vehicle's identification and any documents they may have. Also, it's important to note the vehicle's model, color, and make. However, if you note that the other driver is violent, you should wait until a police officer arrives before requesting this information. This information will be helpful, especially if you plan to make an insurance claim.
If you note that the drivers' information doesn't match the cars' insurance or registration details, try to determine the driver's relationship with the car owner. If there are any eyewitnesses, kindly take their contact information, as this will be useful to your car accident attorney when you decide to make a claim.
If the other parties request your contact information, kindly provide them but do not give them:
- Your social security information.
- Insurance policy information.
- Personal information.
- Coverage limits.
Gather Important Details On The Accident
It is also essential to take pictures of the accident site, your vehicle's position, the condition of the road, and the angle of the other cars. Document any property damage to your car, and you can do this by taking pictures of the entire vehicle. Take close-up photos of the damaged sides as this will clearly show the damages.
Using your phone or a notebook, record the time and date of the accident. You can also take note of the skid marks on the road. Note the position of your car concerning the road, the color of the traffic lights, your car’s speed, the direction which the vehicles involved were taking, estimated speed of the other cars involved in the crash, as this will help your insurance provider or car accident lawyer to understand better how the accident occurred.
You can also use your phone to record events when they are fresh in your mind. You can achieve this by using your phone's voice recorder. Mention as many details as possible, including the visibility, weather, and road conditions when the accident occurred.
Never Admit Fault
When it comes to car accidents, you should never admit being responsible. Even if you think you are responsible for the accident, it's crucial to hire the services of a car accident lawyer and let them handle the legal aspect of the case. Sometimes you may think your actions led to the accident, but the accident was actually due to some other cause. Your lawyer and insurance providers will view all the facts about the accident and then advise you on what to do.
Avoid Apologizing and Other Roadside Discussions With The Other Parties
After an accident, though, it may be natural for you to apologize if you feel or think the other person is hurt. Apologizing may make you look like you are at fault for the accident. It is essential to stay in your car or stay at a safe distance.
You should only discuss it with your attorney, insurance providers, and the police regarding an accident. You should avoid discussing your accident with other parties. Avoid discussing the accident with the other parties involved or the eyewitnesses. You may mention something that the insurance company may use against you and ensure you do not receive your compensation.
You should avoid answering questions at the accident scene until you become calm and clear-minded. Sometimes people may misinterpret something you say, which may jeopardize your chances of obtaining total compensation in your claim.
Seek Medical Assistance
After an accident, you should seek medical assistance even when you feel fine. Sometimes, you may feel fine after an accident but develop complications later. When you do not seek medical aid on time, it may lead to unnecessary complications and negatively affect your compensation.
If after your accident you experience some unusual symptoms or pain. In that case, it's essential to visit your doctor as you can sustain spinal or head injuries from a minor impact crash.
When you seek medical assistance, keep a record of all your injuries, prescription, appointments, and medical bills. Additionally, note down if your injuries will lead to a lifestyle change for you and your loved ones. Noting down or keeping a record of all your medical records help keep the details fresh as they fade with time. These records will assist you when you make your claim.
Notify The Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance provider about the accident, especially involving another driver. Sometimes you may be tempted to make cash settlements to avoid involving insurance companies. Though it may seem like a great deal, it may make you liable for any damages that result from the accident.
Do not hesitate to call your insurance company even if you are at fault for the accident, and by doing this, you give them a better chance to defend you. Notifying your insurance provider will not increase your rate if you are not at fault. When reporting your insurance provider or the other party's provider, it is necessary to:
After a car accident, the events may overwhelm you. You must take your time to calm down before contacting either your insurance provider or the other driver's insurance company. Calmness ensures that you answer their questions and, at the same time, provide them with relevant details.
After an accident, you may not know if you are at fault, which may weigh heavily on your mind. It is essential to deliver facts and not your opinion. Let their adjuster view the police report and the accident scene and come up with their opinion.
Calmness and politeness will also help you forge a good relationship with the insurance adjuster, which will work in your favor. You want the insurance adjuster to view some of the facts of the case as you do, and you won't achieve this if you antagonize them or by being rude.
Take The Details Of The Person You Speak With At The Insurance Company
When you call the insurance company, whether yours or the other drivers, you should note down the identification details of the person you speak to. These details include their names, job title, and phone number.
Do not Overshare Information
When you call the instance company and speak with their adjuster, give them only the relevant information on the accident. Some of the details which you should share include:
- Full names
- Your address
- The address of the accident site
It is essential to have a car accident lawyer representing you, as they can answer any question that the insurance company adjuster may ask. Additionally, ensure that you do not give the insurance company information regarding your work or your source of income.
Do Not Offer Extra Details Of The Accident To The Insurance Adjuster
You should be very careful of the information you share with the insurance company representatives, as they may use this information against you later on. Also, keep any theories on how the accident occurred to yourself. When you call the insurance company, give them basic information regarding the accident like the vehicles involved, the model of the car, and the identity of any eyewitnesses, if there are any. Let the insurance adjuster know from the word go that your call is to notify them of the accident only.
If the insurance company representative asks for your statement regarding the accident, it's important to decline. You can offer to give them a statement once the accidents investigations are over. You should consult your car accident attorney, who will guide you and attach a copy of your report to your insurance claim. You will have covered any loophole that the insurance company may try to use to ensure you receive a minor compensation.
Also, use a formal tone to show the insurance representative that it is a business call. Doing this will discourage their rampant calls trying to make you settle. Let them know that any more calls should be directed to your car accident lawyer, and you will have peace of mind to concentrate on rebuilding your life after the accident.
Avoid Giving The Insurance Company Representative Detailed Information Regarding Your Injuries
If the insurance adjuster asks about your injuries, give them an overview of the injuries but do not give them a detailed description. Doing this ensures that if you develop some other complications, your claim will include them. For example, if you tell the insurance adjuster that you only broke your leg during the accident and later on develop spine injuries. In that case, the insurance company may deny your spinal injuries claim. If the adjuster asks about your injuries, it's prudent to tell them you are undergoing treatment and will update them later on.
Do Not Follow Their Advice To Settle Immediately
You will note that some insurance adjusters will try to make you settle immediately. Though this may look like a good deal because you will need money to pay your medical bills, it's not advisable. Some of the amounts the insurance company will try to have you settle for is, in most cases, smaller than the compensation you could be entitled to.
The insurance adjuster aims to ensure you settle for less, as they are out to cover their back. Therefore, the adjuster will try to convince you to settle during your first call and ensure you settle for less. You may think you are saving your time by avoiding the whole claim process, but you may lose money.
You may settle for an amount thinking that the accident left you with minor injuries but later develop complications. These complications may eat into your savings as the compensation you agreed to doesn't cater to it. It's essential to have a personal injury attorney advising you and avoid settling until you are through with your treatment. When making insurance claims, patience plays a crucial role in ensuring you receive maximum compensation on your claim.
When you Make Your Call, Do Not Agree To have It Recorded
When you call the insurance provider, they may request to record your conversation. You should not agree to this as they may later use the information against you, especially when you make your claim. You will realize that you may say something that will negatively affect your claim during that first call. It's important to know that the insurance provider can not record your conversation without your permission.
If the representative tells you that they will need to record your statement, kindly tell them that you will submit a written report later. It's important to note that recorded statements carry much weight, and you can record them only when you have had time to think about the accident and under the assistance of your car accident attorney.
Record Everything You Say During The Call
It is essential to note everything you say to the insurance adjuster during your call. Take note of the questions they ask and the answers you give them. This way, you will remember the details later on.
Notify The Department of Motor Vehicles
You should notify the Nevada DMV of the accident within ten days, especially if the crash led to damages worth $750 or more and if it involves bodily injuries or even death. If you fail to notify the DMV of the accident, they may suspend your driving license for a period that doesn't exceed one year.
Avoid Signing Any Document
After the accident, many things happen, which can overwhelm you. It's important to avoid signing any documents without your lawyer's permission, especially if those documents are from the other party's insurance provider.
Call A Tow Truck Service
You should call for the services of a tow truck if your car sustained too much damage for repair. You should also ensure that the tow truck you call for is reputable.
Call Someone Close To Pick You Up
After the accident, it's crucial to call someone to come pick you up after the police release you. With the help of your friend, you will avoid driving until you have calmed down and have them drive you to the emergency room(ER) if there was no ambulance at the accident site.
Contact A Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Suffering an accident can be a traumatizing experience that could alter your lifestyle. You will need to undergo specialized care if you suffer significant bodily injury, and at the same time, you may end up losing your car. After an accident, it's essential to contact a car accident lawyer, who will guide you and ensure that you receive your compensation on time. Having to worry about your injuries, loss of income, and dealing with insurance companies can take a toll on you mentally and physically. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, our lawyers understand what you and your family are going through and would like to help in any way we can.
We will ensure that we investigate the accident before helping you file your claim with the insurance company. Additionally, if obtaining medical attention is difficult due to financial constraints, you do not have to worry. We can guide you to doctors who will treat you as they wait for your compensation to come through. For this and any more information, do not hesitate to call us at 702-576-0010 and schedule your first appointment.