After a car accident, you may realize that you need to report the accident – but where do you report it? What steps do you need to take to protect yourself and ensure that you get the compensation you may deserve for damage sustained in the accident?
There are several things to keep in mind after a car accident – and you may need to make more than one report.
File Your Report with the Las Vegas Police Department
Ideally, after a car accident, you should call the police to report the accident. NRS 484E.050 requires individuals involved in an accident to give “immediate notice” to the nearest police officer or highway patrol unit. You should, therefore, immediately get out your phone and report the accident. You can call 911 to wait for help to arrive.
The only time you should leave the scene of an accident without reporting it is if you have severe injuries that require immediate medical attention, and you cannot wait at the scene. You should still report the accident to the police, who may meet you at the hospital to take a statement. Calling 911 to request an ambulance will also notify the police about the accident, and in some cases, the police may arrive at the scene first.
Sometimes, the Las Vegas police will choose not to investigate the scene of an accident directly. If you call and report the accident, dispatch will let you know if you do not need to wait for the police to arrive for any reason. However, you may still need to put together a report regarding the cause of the accident. You may need to fill out and submit the Nevada DMV report of traffic crash form within 10 days of the accident. Failure to fill out the form within 10 days could result in significant legal consequences.
File Your Report with the Insurance Company
Most of the time, after a car accident, you will use insurance to receive compensation for any damage to your property, particularly your vehicle. You may also want to file a claim for compensation for any injuries sustained in the accident. In order to receive compensation, you will need to report the accident to the insurance company.
Check your insurance policy to determine whether you have to report accidents to your insurance company, even if you are not at fault. Sometimes, you may need to talk to your insurance company and let them know that the accident happened, even if it will not impact your rates and you did not suffer any serious injury. You can assume that you will need to talk to your insurance company if:
You Caused the Accident
If you are liable for a car accident, you will need to report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company may need to talk to you before it can move forward with payment for the accident, which means that the other driver may be waiting on you to take care of that report. You may also need to talk to your insurance company if you need to pursue compensation through your own policy for an accident that you caused. If you carry collision insurance, the insurance company will help with the cost of repairing your vehicle even if you caused the accident.
You Need to Use Your Medpay Insurance
Many drivers in Nevada offer medical payment coverage that drivers can use when they suffer injuries in a car accident. MedPay insurance kicks in regardless of which driver caused the accident, which means that you will have vital coverage for your medical costs following a car accident regardless of whether you or another driver caused the accident.
In order to use your MedPay coverage and streamline payment, you may need to notify your insurance company about the accident and answer any vital questions.
The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance (or Does Not Have Adequate Insurance)
Nevada minimum auto insurance provides $20,000 in compensation for property damage in an accident. In some cases, that might not be adequate compensation for repair or replacement for a newer or more expensive vehicle. You may need to use your underinsured motorist coverage to help cover the cost of an accident when the other driver does not have adequate insurance, especially if you have an expensive vehicle. Furthermore, if the driver does not carry insurance at all, using your uninsured motorist coverage can help you take care of expensive medical bills.
You Have Questions About Your Coverage
Does your policy include rental car coverage? Do you carry underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage? Not all policies include those types of coverage, so you may need to talk to your insurance provider about your needs following the accident–and change your coverage, if needed, based on your experience and the coverage you want to have in the future.
You Need to Use Your Own Policy to Cover Damages
Sometimes, you may need to use your own policy to cover damages to your vehicle and let your insurance company take care of seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. Often, you will receive compensation faster if you use your own insurance to take care of repairs to your vehicle.
When Should You Call the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
You will need to talk to the other driver’s insurance company in order to receive the compensation you deserve for damage to your vehicle or injuries you may have suffered. Ideally, you should get in touch with the other driver’s insurance company soon after the accident so that you can start the ball rolling on your claim.
Talk to a Lawyer First
If you have questions about your rights after an accident, you may want to talk to an attorney about your next steps. An attorney can review your auto insurance coverage, let you know what compensation you may deserve, and give you a better idea of how to deal with the other driver’s insurance company in a way that can maximize the compensation you can recover.
Contact Pacific West Injury Law today to learn more about your next steps after a car accident, including how to deal with the insurance company following the accident.