Dealing with a Vegas Car Accident
There’s a moment after impact when you’re happy to be alive.
The sounds of breaking glass and colliding metal fade. Your adrenaline is through the roof. It’s hard to stay calm. That’s why it’s important to learn how to deal with a car accident in Las Vegas before it happens.
Don’t Hit and Run
Not everyone involved in an accident stays at the scene. Per capita Nevada has one of the highest rates of fatal hit and run accidents in the United States. In the U.S, there are over 600,000 hit and run crashes every year. Don’t be one of them. If no one is injured, it’s a misdemeanor to leave the scene of an accident you were involved in. Penalties can include six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. If someone is hurt or killed, it’s a felony that can put you behind bars for 20 years if you flee.
If you’re the victim of a hit and run driver, write down everything you remember. Although you might think you will easily recall these details, jotting them down will help you retain the information. Contact the police and get information from witnesses. You will also have an insurance claim.
Check for Injuries
While inside your vehicle, ask your passengers if they are hurt. As you exit, pay attention to any twinges or pain. During the crash, your brain sent a distress signal unleashing a torrent of epinephrine, or adrenaline. Besides spiking your blood pressure and increasing your heart rate, it releases natural painkillers called endorphins. So you may not realize what has happened until days later. Always err on the side of caution and seek medical attention if you feel unwell.
Some auto accident victims have died from internal injuries despite being able to help others after the crash. If someone is injured, do not move them unless they are at immediate risk. Bandage the wounds or apply a tourniquet if they are bleeding. If you sustain injuries in a crash, you may be entitled not only to compensation, but in some cases can also get a lawsuit loan in Nevada while you await a settlement.
Move Your Car
If your car is impeding traffic or otherwise creating a hazard, the law requires you to move it if you can safely do so. If it’s inoperable, set out flares or triangles to warn other drivers. You and your passengers should get away from the road.
It’s normal to be stressed and agitated. Don’t scream at the other driver. If the other driver is screaming at you, disengage. Even if it’s a minor collision, if you feel unsafe call 911. Don’t accuse the other driver, but don’t apologize either. Remember, apologies can be seen as admissions of liability.
Exchange information with the other driver. If you or the other driver lack insurance, you are required by law to exchange contact information. Remember if the other driver is both at fault and uninsured, you may still be able to collect from your own insurance company.
If the collision is minor and law enforcement isn’t at the scene, it’s even more important that you document the crash. Take photos of your car and the other vehicles involved. Don’t focus only on the damage, take wider angles of the cars revealing where they wound up after the accident. If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well.
Make a Claim
Contact your insurance provider. You are legally required in the state of Nevada to file an accident report if there is a death, injury, or at least $750 in damage. If the police are at the scene, they will do it. Otherwise you have ten days to file.
Before an accident happens, check your coverage. Ensuring you’re insured against uninsured drivers will bring peace of mind today and a possible settlement tomorrow.