Las Vegas is a major city with lots of traffic, tourists, and distractions. This combination unfortunately leads to a high number of auto accidents each year. If you’re unlucky enough to get in a wreck in Las Vegas, here is what you need to know.
At the Scene of the Accident
The first thing to do if you get in an accident in Vegas is to make sure everyone involved is physically ok. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If the vehicles are blocking traffic, get out of the roadway and onto the shoulder or a nearby parking lot.
Turn on your hazard lights and place reflectors or flares if you have them available. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles and surroundings. Get contact and insurance information from the other driver. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information as well.
Notify the police, even if the accident seems minor. In Las Vegas, you must contact the police if there is injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more.
Getting Your Vehicle Towed
If your vehicle is damaged and can’t be safely driven, you’ll need to arrange for it to be towed. The police department or 911 operator can provide you with a list of authorized tow companies. Avoid hiring tow truck drivers who show up randomly at the scene; they most likely don’t have proper licensing.
Before the vehicle is towed, be sure to remove any valuables. Ask the tow truck driver where they will be taking your vehicle. They should provide you with a detailed receipt indicating any visible damage.
Expect to pay around $100 or more for a standard tow within 25 miles in Las Vegas. Additional fees may apply for winching, after-hours service, etc. If you have roadside assistance coverage (AAA, car insurance, etc), the tow may be fully or partially covered.
Getting Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel injured at first, it’s wise to get examined by a doctor after an accident. Symptoms of injuries like whiplash or concussions sometimes don’t appear until hours or days later. Nevada law actually requires drivers involved in an accident to seek medical attention if they are able.
Go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility right away to get checked out. Describe to the doctor exactly what happened and what parts of your body were impacted. X-rays, MRI scans, or other tests may be ordered. The other driver’s insurance company may request your medical records later as part of an investigation.
Keep track of all visits related to the accident, along with notes about medications, tests, referrals to specialists, etc. Save receipts for any accident-related medical expenses, as the at-fault driver’s insurer should reimburse you.
Reporting the Accident to Insurance Companies
Notify your own car insurance company about the accident right away. Provide them with a detailed written statement about what happened, along with photos, police report number, and any other documentation. Ask what steps you need to take to file a claim to get your repairs paid for.
You will also need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Get their insurer’s contact information from the accident report or their insurance card. Be as thorough as possible in your statement, since the other insurer will use it to determine fault and liability.
Having a police report to back up your version of what happened will be extremely helpful during the insurance claims processes. An official report lends you more credibility.
Deciding Whether to Hire an Attorney
Should You Hire an Accident Attorney?
After a car accident in Las Vegas, you may wonder if you should hire an attorney to help with your claim. Here are some factors to consider:
- If injuries are severe or impact your ability to work, an attorney can make sure you get full compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. They will deal with negotiations and complex paperwork.
- If the insurance company is disputing fault or offering an unfairly low settlement, a lawyer can stand up for your interests. They know how to address disputes and maximize claim value.
- If your case involves complex factors like multiple vehicles, uninsured drivers, or fatalities, an attorney’s expertise can be crucial. They have experience with complicated cases.
- If you want to avoid stress and hassle, an attorney can be your advocate. They will handle phone calls, documents, demands, and negotiations so you can focus on recovery.
- If police report seems inaccurate or is missing important facts, a lawyer can work to correct it. A clean report can impact your settlement.
On the other hand, a lawyer may not be necessary for minor accidents with no injuries, clear-cut circumstances, cooperative insurers, and property damage only. The added legal costs may not be worth it. Evaluate your specific situation.
Finding the Right Las Vegas Accident Attorney
If you’re wondering why hire a car accident lawyer, it’s crucial to consider their proven experience in handling auto accident cases. Inquire about their track record of successfully recovering damages for clients. A local attorney who understands Nevada laws and court processes can provide valuable insights.
When selecting a lawyer, prioritize finding someone with whom you feel comfortable and who is responsive to your needs. Discuss fee structures, as many lawyers offer free consultations and only collect payment if they win your case. Look for a lawyer who will aggressively pursue the full compensation you deserve. Hiring the right accident attorney can alleviate stress and maximize your payout.
Dealing with a car wreck in Las Vegas can be stressful and confusing. By following the steps mentioned above, you can protect your safety, rights, and finances after an accident. Take the time to make informed decisions, gather evidence, seek medical care, and, if necessary, consider hiring an attorney to help you handle your auto insurance claim smoothly.