When you’re in a car accident, the experience can often be totally overwhelming. There’s hardly any time to cope with the shock and trauma of an accident before you have important matters to deal with regarding the accident. Between doctors, insurance, repairs, and everything else that goes with a car accident, it sometimes can be confusing to keep track of what needs to be taken care of when.
Under Nevada law, you’ll be required to make a report of an accident in which someone is injured. If the police arrive on the scene, typically they’ll handle this responsibility, but otherwise, it will be your responsibility to report it within 10 days. This report is critical, particularly if another party was at fault, and you choose to exercise your right to file a claim within two years to seek compensation.
Your Responsibilities After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a confusing experience, and many people understandably feel like they are in over their heads with everything that needs to be sorted out. First and foremost after an accident, you need to see to your safety and health. Injuries after a car accident aren’t always apparent, and you should always get checked out by your physician to ensure that you haven’t sustained internal injuries that could present problems later.
While you are taking care of everything after an accident, be sure to save records of any expenses that you incur as a direct result of the accident. This could include costs for medical treatment or vehicle repairs but also expenses like lost wages and temporary transportation costs. These will be important should you choose to seek compensation for the accident or make a claim to your insurance.
Reporting the Accident to the DMV
In any accident, you should contact the police or the Nevada Highway Patrol as soon as possible. In most cases, an officer will arrive on the scene and help build a report, but in some cases where there is an estimated less than $750 of property damage and no injuries, an officer may not actually come out to the site of the accident. If for some reason an officer didn’t come to the scene of your accident, but people were injured or there was substantial vehicle or property damage, then you’ll be responsible for filing an accident report yourself within 10 days of the accident.
You can file Form SR-1 (Report of Traffic Crash) with the Nevada DMV online. Even if you don’t have access to all the information requested on the form, it’s incredibly important to fill it out to the best of your ability within the 10-day window. Failure to submit this report could interfere with your ability to seek compensation for injuries you sustained in an accident, and willfully not reporting an accident could result in the suspension of your license for a year.
Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will likely have unique policies about reporting any accident, but it’s usually a good idea to notify them of any accident in which a report was filed. While some people may choose to not involve their insurance if they hit a stationary object or are otherwise the only person involved in an accident, usually accidents involving another person are best reported to your insurance so that they hear your side of the story. Failure to report accidents to them could potentially limit their obligations to cover any claims you may make for those accidents.
Nevada’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
If another party’s negligence or recklessness caused your accident, you may be able to seek compensation through a claim against them. Car accident claims under Nevada State law are limited to two years from the time the accident occurred, which gives you a lot to do in a small amount of time. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to help you build a case fairly quickly, but it’s important to leave yourself plenty of time on this two-year deadline in case you run into any snags along the way.
Exceeding the Time Allowed
If you file a claim after the two-year statute of limitations for a car accident is expired, the case will likely be dismissed at the request of the defense. Unless there are incredibly extenuating circumstances, two years is viewed as a hard rule that isn’t often bent.
This is why if you have been in a car accident in which you were injured, you should always speak to both a doctor and a personal injury lawyer about the long-term ramifications of the accident. You don’t want to realize after it’s too late that your injuries will continue to cause you financial hardships for years into the future.
Accidents Involving Minors
If someone under 18 is a victim of a car accident, the statute of limitations works a little differently. In this case, they would have two years from the moment they turn 18-years-old to file a claim against the at-fault party. If their parents or legal guardians wish to file a claim on their behalf before they turn 18, a court may occasionally allow that as well.
Compensation for Your Car Accident
The costs of a car accident can escalate quickly. Medical bills, repairs, and lost wages can all accumulate rapidly and that doesn’t even take into the pain and suffering the accident has caused or any financial hardships that your injuries may cause in the future. If someone else was at fault in your accident, you shouldn’t shoulder the weight of their negligent choices.
While a claim may not be able to undo the trauma you experienced in your accident, it can ensure that you aren’t unjustly penalized for an accident another person was at fault in. You have every right to seek compensation for any damage that may have been caused to you during the crash.
Our Attorneys Will Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Here at Pacific West Injury, we’re committed to ensuring that no one in our community here in the Las Vegas area gets left holding the bill for an accident caused by another. Contact us today, and our experienced car accident lawyers can look over your case and help make a plan to seek the compensation that you deserve.