Getting into a car accident in Las Vegas can be stressful and confusing. You may not know how to react properly, such as what to say to the other driver or whether you need to call the police. Making the mistake of failing to file a police report when the law legally requires you to can lead to serious consequences, such as the suspension of your driver’s license or even a hit-and-run charge.
When Must You Report a Car Accident in Nevada?
By law in Nevada, you have to notify the police about any car accident that causes physical injuries, deaths or property damage. This includes minor property damage. If you were only in a minor accident that caused light property damage and no injuries, you will still need to report the accident to the police immediately or as soon as possible. You must report the accident to the nearest law enforcement authority, such as the Nevada Highway Patrol.
The easiest way to get in touch with the nearest law enforcement authority is by dialing 911 from a cellphone at the scene of the car accident. If your phone is not working or you do not have a cellphone with you, have someone else report the crash for you or call 911 as soon as you can after you leave the scene. You can also report a crash online through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s website.
Failing to notify law enforcement of a car accident immediately can lead to driver’s license suspension for one year. If the accident caused injuries, deaths or at least $750 in property damage, you must also notify the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles by no later than 10 days from the date of the collision. In many cases, if you call the police from the scene, the police will submit a report to the Department of Motor Vehicles for you. If not, this will become your responsibility.
Do You Have to Report a Collision With a Parked Car?
If you strike a parked car in Las Vegas, you must treat it the same way as a standard car accident. You must pull over and notify the owner of the vehicle. Try to locate the driver, if you can. If you are unable to do so, leave a note in an obvious place on the vehicle. Put your contact information on the note. Then, notify the police immediately if you caused damage to the unattended vehicle.
When Is a Car Accident a Hit-and-Run?
Reporting a car accident to law enforcement authorities is a legal requirement in Nevada, no matter how minor the crash. You also have other responsibilities as a driver in an accident. You must pull over and stop your vehicle as near to the crash scene as possible. Then, you must check to see if anyone is injured, and if so, whether they require aid.
State law obligates you to render aid to those who need it at the scene of a crash, such as by calling the police or providing a ride to the nearest hospital. You must also exchange information with the other driver before you leave. If you fail to fulfill these responsibilities as a driver in Las Vegas, you may be guilty of a hit-and-run.
A hit-and-run car accident is a serious crime in Nevada. If you are convicted of committing a hit-and-run by fleeing the scene of an accident or failing to render aid, you could face a fine of up to $5,000. You could also spend time in jail or prison. Committing a felony hit-and-run, such as by causing significant bodily injury, could come with 2 to 20 years in prison. It is very important to stop at the scene of a car accident, no matter how minor, to fulfill your driver responsibilities – including filing a police report, if necessary.