Nevada Auto Accident Laws and Lawsuit Process

If you were injured or lost a relative in a car crash, you need to learn more about Nevada car accident laws. Numerous statutes, regulations, and previous court decisions impact who is liable for a collision and the resulting injuries. They dictate whether you can pursue compensation through a lawsuit or insurance claim, how long you have to file a lawsuit, and whether you claim is likely to succeed.

Without a thorough understanding of Nevada’s car accident laws and regulations, you risk wasting your time, effort, and money on an invalid claim. You also risk accepting a low settlement offer on a meritorious claim.

By working with our car accident attorneys at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers, you have all of the legal information and experience you need to address your injuries. Contact us through our online form or call (702) 878-2889 to schedule your free consultation.

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Is Nevada a No-Fault State?

No, Nevada is not a no-fault state. When it comes to car accident liability and insurance coverage, fault matters.

When a car crash occurs in a no-fault state, each driver turns to their own car insurance to handle vehicle repairs or replacement and medical bills. The insurance coverage does not depend on who was at-fault for the collision. The car accident victim may only be able to sue the at-fault driver in certain extreme circumstances.

In a fault-based state, like Nevada, insurance coverage for a collision depends predominantly on fault. The person at fault for the crash is the person responsible for paying for the vehicle repairs or replacement and the medical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance, more specifically, will cover the damages.

In summary, Nevada car accident laws dictate that who caused the crash is relevant to insurance coverage. If you are a car accident victim, talk with an experienced lawyer about pursuing compensation from the at-fault party.

Nevada Car Insurance Laws

Every state requires drivers to carry a certain amount of auto insurance. This is to ensure that if a driver causes a crash, they can take financial responsibility. In other words, they have insurance that can pay for the property damage and bodily injuries.

Nevada auto insurance requirements include a minimum of:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injuries or death;
  • $50,000 for two or more person’s bodily injuries or deaths; and
  • $20,000 per accident for property damage.

You may see this listed as 25/50/20 coverage. This minimum coverage went into effect on July 1, 2018.

Duty to Stop After a Car Accident

If you are involved in an accident, Nevada laws NRS 484E.010, 484E.020, and 484E.030 require you and the other parties to stop at the scene. NRS 484E.010 requires you to stop at the scene of a crash that appears to involve personal injuries or death. NRS 484E.020 requires you stop at a scene of a crash involving damage to the vehicle or other property. NRS 484E.030 requires you to render aid and exchange information.

All of this is common sense. But if you fail to stop, provide assistance, and exchange information after a crash, you could face criminal penalties. You also would have a difficult time claiming the other person was at fault and seeking compensation.

Car Accident Reporting in Nevada

Another legal duty imposed by Nevada law is reporting serious accidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

If you are involved in a crash that caused property damage valued at more than $750, serious bodily injuries, or death, then you must file an accident report with the DMV.

The exception to this is if you call the police. If you called 911 after the accident and a police officer came to the and drew up a report, then you do not need to file a separate report with the DMV. The police will inform the DMV of the crash on your behalf.

If you or another person is seriously harmed in a crash, the law requires you to call the police right away. However, you can be involved in all types of collisions that are minor enough to not warrant a 911 call. You may be in a fender bender where no one is hurt, but your vehicle is badly damaged. Or, you may have been in a collision in which you were not immediately aware that you sustained whiplash and concussion.

If you and the other party decided to handle the accident scene yourselves without calling the police, determine whether you need to send in a Form SR-1 within 10 days of the collision.

Pursuing a Car Accident Insurance Claim

After you sustain property damage and physical injuries in a car crash, your first thought is to deal with the insurance process. You should notify your insurer of your claim. Notification is particularly important if you have insurance that could help you get your vehicle repaired or replaced or pay for medical bills.

You then need to notify the other driver’s insurance carrier of your claim. Some insurance companies enable you to do this online. Others require that you call.

The insurance claim process will take some time. You will need to prove the insurer with documentation of your vehicle’s damages. Proof may include pictures and a report from a mechanic. Getting your car repaired or replaced can be a tough process. You should be prepared to fight to establish the cost of the repairs or the market value of your vehicle.

You will need to establish the type and severity of your injuries. Proof of your injuries may include photos, videos, and your medical records. However, do not sign a medical history wavier with the insurer. You should not give the insurer access to your full medical history. Nevada car accident laws do not require you to give it to them. Talk with a lawyer about protecting your privacy while proving your injuries during a car crash insurance claim.

The auto insurer may ask you to make a formal written or oral statement. We highly recommend you talk with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer first. Many car accident victims are unsure of what to say or how to say it in a statement. An insurer can use small mistakes against you.

If the insurance company approves your claim, the final step is to negotiate a settlement. You do not have to accept the first offer an insurer sends you. By working with Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers, you have an attorney who understands the value of your claim and has the negotiation skills to demand you receive more.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Nevada?

Once you have provided proof of your damages, including property damage and physical injuries, the insurance company has 30 days to accept or deny your claim. This rule is found in NAC 686A.675 regarding standards applicable to all insurers.

The insurer must notify you in writing regarding the approval or denial. If the insurer denies your claim, it must provide a specific reason why.

The insurer may be able to extend these 30 days if it needs more time to investigate the crash.

If the insurer accepts your claim, it has 30 days to pay out on the claim. If it fails to pay out within 30 days, the insurer is charged interest. Because of this deadline, insurers are aware they need to take negotiations seriously and not cause unnecessary delay.

Are You Having Problems With the Insurance Company?

If you believe the insurer has lied to you, wrongfully denied your claim, or treated you unfairly, you can file a complaint with the Nevada Division of Insurance. This Division often handles complaints regarding improperly delayed or denied settlements or other misconduct by insurance company employees.

We also recommend talking with a lawyer who knows Nevada car accident laws well and can deal with the insurer on your behalf.

The Car Accident Lawsuit Process

There are several reasons why you may need to file a lawsuit after a car crash. Instead of trying to figure out and handle litigation on your own, talk with an attorney about the car accident court process.

You may need to file if you were part of a complex, multivehicle crash and there are questions regarding fault and liability. You may need to file suit if your damages are worth a great deal more than the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limit. You also may need to file if the insurer wrongfully denies your claim.

When an insurance settlement is not forthcoming within a few months of your crash, filing a lawsuit is the only other way to pursue compensation.

The court process includes:

  • Determining jurisdiction
  • Filing the complaint
  • Serving the defendant(s)
  • Receiving the defendant(s) answer or counterclaim(s)
  • Filing a response (optional)
  • Filing an amended complaint (optional)
  • Discovery (depositions, requests for documents, interrogatories, etc.)
  • Pre-trial motions
  • Pre-trial conferences
  • Pre-trial settlement negotiations
  • Trial

Many of these initial steps have court deadlines you must strictly adhere to. If you fail to file certain legal documents on time, you may lose certain rights and legal options. Ultimately, it can harm your case.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations

Nevada’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years. Therefore, you have two years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit based on your car accident injuries.

Contact Us About Nevada Car Accident Laws & the Claims Process Today

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a car crash in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada, and you wish to pursue compensation, reach out to Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers at (702) 878-2889 to schedule a free consultation.