What to Do After a Car Accident in Las Vegas: 9 Critical Steps
Being in a car accident can be a shocking and stressful experience. Your mind is racing, your emotions are high, and you’re worried about injuries, paperwork, and what happens next. It’s easy to make mistakes in the aftermath of a collision that can negatively impact any potential injury claim and settlement down the road.
Car accidents are an unfortunate daily occurrence in Las Vegas. In fact, statistics show that Nevadans are 27% more likely to die in a vehicle crash than the average American.
That’s why it’s so important to know the crucial steps to take after a car accident to protect yourself, document the incident, get needed care, and preserve evidence for any potential injury claim.
We’ve handled hundreds of auto injury cases in Las Vegas, so trust us when we say that how you respond in the first hours and days after an accident is vital.
Follow these nine critical steps if you are involved in a collision in Las Vegas:
1. Call 911 and Get Medical Help
The very first thing to do is call 911 so emergency services can dispatch police and medical aid right away. Describing injuries and the situation accurately will help the operator determine if ambulance transport is needed.
Don’t downplay or ignore signs of potential injury because of shock or adrenaline after the crash. Head to the emergency room to get thoroughly evaluated, even for pain that only seems minor initially. We can’t tell you how many times a client assumed they were fine after an accident, only to learn days later from their doctor that they actually suffered a concussion, whiplash, or other hidden injuries.
Having that official police report from the responding officer is also key when it comes to filing insurance claims and establishing fault later on.
2. Secure the Accident Scene
As soon as it’s safe to do so, turn on your hazard lights and try to move vehicles involved off the roadway onto the shoulder. If the vehicles are drivable, look for the closest safe place to pull over, such as a parking lot or side street.
Don’t leave the scene of an accident; it can potentially result in criminal charges.
3. Exchange Information
When speaking to the other parties involved in the crash, stick to just the core facts about what happened. Admitting fault or placing blame could weaken your case later.
Ensure to exchange names, contact information, driver’s license details, insurance information, policy numbers, and vehicle plate numbers. Also, get any witnesses’ names and phone numbers, especially if they are impartial bystanders versus passengers in one of the vehicles.
4. Document the Scene
Take lots of photos showing the position of the vehicles, any skid marks on the pavement, the location along the roadway, street signs or signals, weather and lighting conditions, and the overall scope of the accident scene. The more visual evidence, the better when it comes to accident claims.
5. Seek Prompt Medical Treatment
Schedule a visit with your primary care doctor or visit an urgent care clinic after leaving the emergency room. Explain to all medical providers every symptom, ache, and pain you’re experiencing, even ones that seem trivial. Fully describe the mechanics of the accident and specifics of where and how you were impacted in the collision.
Keep all records related to your diagnosis, treatment plans, imaging, prescriptions, medical devices, therapy, mileage for visits, and expenses. Small injuries can develop into more serious conditions if not properly treated right away.
6. File a Police Report
Contact the police department to obtain the official copy of the responding officer’s accident report, which contains all the essential details like involved parties, citations issued, a diagram of how the crash occurred, and statements from witnesses. Having the police report, along with your medical records, makes a tremendous difference for insurance claims and injury lawsuits.
7. Notify Your Auto Insurer of your Car Crash
Call your insurance company or agent right away to alert them that you’ve been in an accident. Provide the basic facts, and if you’re unsure about your coverage, ask about the claims process as well as options for getting your vehicle repaired or qualifying for rental car reimbursement.
Avoid agreeing to give any formal or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without first consulting an attorney. What you say can be used against you later to minimize or fully deny your rightful claim.
8. Consult a Car Accident Attorney
Speaking with an experienced auto accident lawyer immediately after a crash provides invaluable advice on the steps to take to protect your rights and get the full compensation you’re owed. We know exactly how to gather supporting evidence, handle communication with insurers, prove damages like lost income and pain/suffering, and determine if filing a lawsuit may be needed.
9. Keep Detailed Records
After a motor vehicle accident, it’s crucial to keep thorough documentation related to all accident-related expenses, losses, and damage. Create an organized file with the following:
- Itemized medical bills, including dates of treatment, names of providers seen, procedures performed, medications prescribed, medical devices needed, mileage/transportation for appointments, and any other accident-related healthcare costs.
- Auto repair invoices, appraisals for replacement parts, and estimates for any repairs not yet made. Do not make any repairs until speaking with both insurance companies first.
- Lost income documentation, including pay stubs to verify wages, employer letters about missed work due to the accident, and calculations of earnings lost due to inability to work.
- Receipts for costs like public transportation used if your vehicle was not drivable after the crash, car rentals, expenses for hiring household help if injuries prevented you from caring for the home, etc.
- The police report, accident scene photos, and any other evidence of how the accident happened. Keep originals safe and make copies to share.
- Records of all communication with insurance adjusters involved, including letters, claim reports, and personal notes from any conversations.
Additionally, do not discard, alter, or repair the damaged vehicle or any other property without consent from insurers. Preserving evidence in its post-accident condition strengthens a claim if disputes arise. Making changes too soon could negatively impact your case.
Thorough documentation shows the full scope of economic and non-economic losses incurred due to the car accident. This evidence ensures you receive fair compensation you’re owed. Consult with a personal injury attorney to know exactly what records to keep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Yes, Nevada follows comparative negligence rules, meaning you can still file an injury claim even if you had some fault in causing the collision. Don’t automatically assume you are prohibited from seeking compensation.
Can I claim damages if my repaired car loses value?
Yes, diminished value claims allow recovery for a reduction in the market value of your vehicle, even after repairs are made. Most are unaware this is an option.
Which Las Vegas intersection sees the most car accidents?
Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Rd intersect at the most dangerous crash hotspot in the city. Drive with extreme care and caution in this area.
Take Action Right Away for Your Las Vegas Car Accident
The hours and days following an auto accident set the course for the outcome of your personal injury claim. At Durham Law Firm, our experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys have spent decades helping injury victims recover millions in compensation after collisions. We know first-hand how devastating crashes can be for victims and families – lost wages, piles of medical bills, auto repair costs, and emotional trauma. Let us guide you with compassion through the claims process every step of the way.
Our bilingual staff will protect your rights, deal assertively with insurers, thoroughly investigate the fault, and build a rock-solid case proving the damages owed. We offer free consultations and never collect fees unless we win your case. Don’t leave your financial recovery to chance – contact Durham Law Firm right away so you can have total peace of mind knowing your case is in the most capable hands.