After a motor vehicle accident, while reporting your accident may not be the first thing on your mind, it is essential to deal with it as soon as possible after ensuring that all parties are safe and necessary emergency services have been contacted. The Las Vegas Police Department and the Nevada DMV have numerous resources to help people file reports conveniently and simply, many people don’t know about these resources until they need them.
Though many Nevada motorists are unfamiliar with these reporting methods, we here at Pacific West Injury Law have broken down how to report your accident. Reporting promptly can help to ensure that you are protected against any damages or liabilities that may be incorrectly assigned to you and that your rights are protected, and evidence from the accident is preserved.
What You Need for a Motor Vehicle Crash Report
Before you go to file your report, there are a few necessary items to have on hand. While any additional information you can supply will be helpful, at the very least you will need the following.
- Your driver’s license information
- Your insurance policy information
- A description of what happened during and leading to the accident
- An Estimate of vehicle damage or other property damage
- Any doctors’ statements of injuries for any person in your vehicle
- The vehicle owner information if the driver is not the owner
- Any third party accident victims identifying information
This is information is absolutely required to fill out an accident, and should all be readily available to you. Once you ensure your health and safety, reflect on what you remember from the accident and prepare a description for the report. It’s absolutely essential to describe the circumstances of any collision as accurately as possible.
Other items that may assist you with filling out your report will help guarantee accuracy and validate your claims. While it’s not always possible to have all of this information, any you can supply will be helpful to authorities.
- Any other drivers’ names and insurance information
- Pictures of the scene before any vehicles have moved
- Directions both cars came from and were headed
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How to File a Motorist Accident Report
Filing a motorist accident report can be fairly straightforward if you know what resources to look for. First, if you’ve had a serious accident and the police have responded to a call on your accident, they will investigate and get details from you and other parties and file an accident report for you.
No one in a destructive, serious accident should worry about filing paperwork. Emergency services know this and in cases of injury and serious trauma, the police are experts at gathering facts and submitting these reports.
If the police do not respond to your accident, you can file a report online through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. This is easily accessible online and will be addressed by authorities and followed up on by police and insurance companies as necessary.
Nevada Form SR-1 on the DMV’s website is a fillable PDF that can be conveniently filled out right on a mobile device by many. In the case of a minor accident, it can be advantageous to take advantage of this form to fill out this report while all other parties are present.
This form contains all necessary instructions and can be rather simple to fill out in minor accidents. In the case of injury though, you will want to wait to file this form until you have received medical care and documentation of injuries.
Still, logging information in this form can be a great way to take contemporaneous notes on the accident to file later after receiving a medical examination. Don’t delay too long though, as Nevada carries a strict 10-day limit on reporting a traffic accident through online reporting.
Getting a Copy of Your Car Crash Report
Having your crash report for your records is wise in case any issues regarding the crash arise in the future before the statute of limitations expires. If you filed your accident report with a police officer at the scene, you’ll need to retrieve your request through that specific department.
An officer should’ve given you a case number when logging the report. Many officers will write this on the back of a business card so that you also know who handled the case. If you don’t have a case number, any information you can get will be helpful. People involved, vehicles, date and time, and location are great places to start.
You don’t need a reason to request a report and authorities are obliged to give it to you based on Nevada’s public records statutes. According to these statutes, law enforcement is required to provide you with the requested report within 5 business days.
When requesting a report, it is best to do so with a time-stamped email, that way you can be sure that they return you the requested document within this 5-day timeline.
Online Police Reports
Alternatively, you can request reports online through the Nevada Highway Patrol. Though these requests may take longer to receive, it can be an expedited way to acquire your crash report if you were in an accident far from where you live, or you are unable to contact or remember which department handled the case.
Regardless of how you choose to receive your police report, it’s essential to have a copy of this ready to reference when dealing with insurance or that you go over it with your lawyer before discussing any settlement.
Reporting Minor Accidents
Even reporting minor accidents promptly and honestly is essential. While what you say in an accident report will be considered hearsay in court and often can’t be used against you, not filing a report on an accident can certainly prove negligence on your part should another party claim damages against you.
Documenting even the smallest fender bender can protect you against unforeseen damages and injuries that resulted from the accident.
Should your accident prove to be so minor that you never make an insurance claim or claim damages against another party, you won’t be obliged to simply because you filed a report. Reporting timely and accurately keeps your options open and ensures that your rights stay protected.
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How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Here at Pacific West Injury Law, we are very familiar with accident reporting and navigating police report requests in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. If you encounter any trouble with the process or think that your rights may be in jeopardy, an ally who’s experienced in the matter can be of vital assistance to making sure that you’ve protected yourself from unforeseen trouble.
Don’t fail to report. If injuries, claims of damages from other parties, or vehicle problems arise down the road, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done due diligence in reporting the accident to the best of your ability.
Let Pacific West Injury Help You Today
If you’ve been in a car accident and could use assistance from a trusted expert with reporting and evaluating what your next steps should be, don’t hesitate to call us at Pacific West. Contact us online or call (702) 602-4878 about how we can help you ensure that you are shielded from more damage than your accident has already caused.