Thousands of car crashes happen in Nevada every year with the majority occurring in the Reno and Las Vegas area according to traffic data by NDOT. Nevada car accident laws apply themselves depending on who’s at-fault, negligence, and other factors we’ll cover in this article.
If you want guidance specific to your Nevada car accident, LegalASAP cannot stress enough the importance of an auto accident attorney to represent your case. Most auto attorneys work for free until your settlement arrives, and you often get more than what your insurance company bargains for, even if you’re insured.
LegalASAP has a network of 500+ law firms around the United States ready to assist you in your Nevada car accident case. This article covers a general overview of Nevada car accident laws. For more pointed legal advice, an auto accident attorney is the way to go.
How to Report a Car Accident in Nevada
Nevada law requires you to immediately report car accidents involving personal injury or death to the nearest police officer or Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) officer according to Nev. Rev. Stat. 484E.
For crashes with no injuries or property damage less than $750, no officer needs to be present on the scene.
If property damage more than $750 or personal injury occurred in a car accident, you are required to also send a SR-1 report to the Nevada DMV within 10 days of the accident, unless the police sent a report of the accident already.
If you are unsure whether the police sent a report with the correct insurance and contact information, cover yourself by filing a Nevada SR-1 form yourself.
Failure to send a car accident report when necessary will result in a one-year license suspension until the report is made or there is proof that failure to report “was not willful” according to NRS 484E.080.
Willfully giving false information in a Nevada car accident report will result in a gross misdemeanor that may result in 364 days of jail time or a fine up to $2,000.
What to Do During a Car Accident in Nevada
The first few traumatic moments after a car accident are the most important when it comes to establishing fault and ensuring your settlement. It is difficult to keep a level head after suffering physical and emotional injuries from a crash. If you collect enough evidence at the scene, however, it will bolster your car accident claim.
The first thing to do at the scene of an auto accident is to ensure everyone’s safety. Call 911 if anyone needs immediate medical assistance. If certified, give CPR to car accident victims who need assistance. Otherwise, wait until medical professionals arrive to take victims to the nearest medical facility.
After ensuring everyone’s safety, drivers are legally required under NRS 484E.030 to exchange each other’s information after a crash. This includes:
- Name, address, and registration number of their vehicle
- Vehicle make and model
- License, if asked
Willfully failing to give this information will result in a misdemeanor, resulting in six months jail time or a fine up to $1,000.
Albeit optional, it is highly recommended to gather contact information of eye-witnesses to further determine fault. Take pictures of the damages so insurance companies can assess the severity of the crash.
Write notes as much as you can, because the more info you can give to your attorney, the more they can wager for a higher settlement.
Avoid saying anything that remotely implies you were at-fault for the crash. Any type of admission of fault can be used against you to lower your settlement amount. You cannot be sure that further damages will occur in the future.
Is Nevada a No-Fault State?
Nevada is an at-fault state, meaning whoever is liable for damages is responsible to pay for those damages. That does not mean you are barred from compensation if you are partially at-fault for the car accident.
If you’re 25% liable for damages but the other party was 75% at-fault, the other party will pay 75% of the total damages. You then pay 25% of the damages through a reduced settlement.
Nevada Car Insurance Laws
Every Nevada driver must carry 25/50/20 minimum liability insurance to cover the other party’s damages if the carrier was found at-fault. Minimum liability insurance covers:
- $25,000 bodily injury damages per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 in property damage
Note that minimum liability insurance does not cover your own damages and injuries after an accident. It is highly recommended to purchase additional coverage options to protect yourself in the advent of a car crash.
If you were found less than 50% at-fault for the car accident, your insurance premiums will not rise as a result of the crash. Your insurance premiums may rise if you were found more than 50% at-fault.
Additional Insurance Coverage Options
Nevada has additional insurance coverage options to protect yourself from a variety of scenarios minimum liability insurance cannot. From hitting uninsured drivers, paying for damages involving theft, or even fixing your vehicle after hitting a parked car, these options make sure whatever life throws at you will be paid for, not at your own dime.
- Collision insurance – This type of insurance covers damages to your vehicle after a collision, no matter who was at-fault for the accident. Collision insurance will pay for all monetary repairs after a deductible is paid.
- Comprehensive insurance – For any other source of damage caused to your vehicle that is not a collision, comprehensive insurance will cover your vehicle’s damages. These sources could be falling objects, fires, floods, anything that is not a collision.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage – UM/UIM insurance covers crashes where the other driver carries insufficient or no auto insurance for their vehicle. UM/UIM insurance covers your damages that the other driver couldn’t pay for. This type of coverage only applies when the other driver is found at-fault.
- Med Pay – Nevada allows Med Pay insurance to cover your medical expenses caused by a car accident.
Nevada Comparative Negligence Laws
Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning you can get compensation for damages even if you were partially at-fault for the accident. Modified comparative negligence, however, prevents you from getting damages if you were more than 50% at-fault for the car accident.
Determining fault after a car accident is subjective, and insurance companies will try to spin the story so you seem more at-fault for the crash than you actually were. Record as much information at the scene of the crash so your attorney can accurately represent your story.
Types of Damages in Nevada After a Car Accident
Nevada car accident laws allow for three types of damages you may be compensated for after a car accident: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
These types of damages are measured in separate parameters. One type of damages may be more severe than the other depending on the crash.
Economic damages, defined by NRS 41A.007, are the monetary, measurable losses you sustained after a car accident. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost present and future wages
- Repair bills
- Lost belongings
There are no caps to economic damages in Nevada, so whatever monetary losses were involved may be replaced with sufficient insurance under Nevada car accident law.
Non-economic damages, defined by NRS 41A.011, are the non-monetary, “non pecuniary damages” after a car accident. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment
- Emotional distress
Economic and non-economic damages compose the compensatory damages you are awarded after a car accident in Nevada. Non-economic damages only have a cap in Nevada if you were involved in a medical malpractice claim, and that limit is $350,000 under NRS 41A.035.
Punitive damages involve special cases of gross negligence where the behavior of the guilty party was deemed willfully reckless and needlessly endangered those around them. Victims are awarded additional damages to penalize the guilty party’s actions.
Nevada Statute of Limitations After a Car Accident
In Nevada car accident law, the statute of limitations to file your claim is two years after the date of the accident. If the crash resulted in wrongful death, the statute of limitations is moved to two years after the date of the death according to NRS 41A.097.
Because Nevada has a time limit to sue for damages, keep contact with an auto accident attorney. If you pass the statute of limitations without filing a claim, you are no longer able to sue for damages.
LegalASAP Can Connect You to a Nevada Auto Accident Attorney
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Jan Reburiano is a content writer and SEO specialist for law firms focusing on personal injury, disability, employment law, among other practices. He has written and edited numerous articles and created commercial spots for broadcasters that you can find in his LinkedIn. Jan currently lives in Los Angeles, California while writing for clients from around the United States.