The first thing you should do at the scene of a car accident is to pull out of traffic (if possible) to ensure you do not get into another accident. You should then check yourself, the passengers in your vehicle, and the passengers in the other vehicle(s) for injuries.
After that, you can call 9-1-1 to file a police report and summon an ambulance (if needed). If you can talk to the police, tell them what you can about the accident, but do not admit in any way that it was your fault. If you can do so, you should gather as much information as possible regarding the accident if you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit later on.
Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
After getting to safety, take an inventory of the injuries you and your passengers suffered. If you can, you should check on the passengers of the other vehicle as well. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident if you feel any discomfort or pain.
Symptoms can be vague, and if you delay in getting medical help, you could have chronic consequences. It is best to see a doctor as soon as you can after the collision. The information they give you could also be useful later on.
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Call the Police
You should also call the police and file an accident report. If anyone needs emergency medical care, the dispatcher will also send an ambulance. An accident report is crucial in a car accident claim. It often illustrates how the accident happened, who was at fault, and the sanctions the officer issued (if any).
In Nevada, you are required to notify law enforcement if a collision results in any injuries or fatalities, per NRS §484E.030. If you did not file a police report at the crash site, then you may need to notify the Nevada Department of Public Safety of the collision’s occurrence.
Gathering evidence at the accident scene is important because you might not have the opportunity to collect certain pieces of information later on.
Evidence that could help your case includes:
- Photos and videos of the vehicles’ damage, skid marks, and your injuries
- Statements from passengers, the other driver, and eyewitnesses
- Witnesses’ contact information
- The police officers’ names and badge numbers
If you cannot gather evidence due to your injuries, ask someone you trust to do this for you. This will help immensely if you need to file a claim for compensation.
Do Not Admit Fault
You might be asked to give a statement to law enforcement at the scene of the crash. You may also need to talk to the other party when exchanging contact information. Even if you know you did not cause the accident, anything that you say could be misconstrued into an admission of fault.
If you need to file an insurance claim to recover compensation, the insurance adjuster might use the statements you made at the accident scene against you. They may use this information to downplay your injuries or devalue your damages.
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Work with a Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a car accident lawyer might help if you need to negotiate with the insurance company following the collision. They can negotiate on your behalf and protect you against any bad faith insurance practices that impede your right to financial recovery.
A car accident lawyer can also build your case by asserting:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- The other driver breached their duty of care.
- This breach caused your injuries.
- You suffered financial losses.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may have a two-year period to file a car accident lawsuit, as explained by NRS §11.190(4)(e). With this information in mind, you should explore your financial recovery options sooner rather than later.
Call Bernstein & Poisson for Help
If a negligent driver injured you or a loved one in a car accident, you might be entitled to damages for your expenses and injuries. What you do at the scene of a car accident might be integral to the success of your car accident claim or lawsuit. A car accident lawyer might be able to help you gather evidence, build your personal injury claim, negotiate with the liable party and their insurance company, and take your case to court if needed.
Call our attorneys today for a free consultation at (702) 633-3333. Our founders, Jack Bernstein and Scott Poisson, have over 60 years of combined experience winning settlements for their clients. They want to help you get the compensation for which you may be entitled.