Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Nevada?
Learn what kinds of car accidents need to be reported in Nevada, and what happens if you don't report the crash.
If you get into a car accident in Nevada, what are your legal obligations when it comes to reporting the crash? This article will help you understand what kinds of car accident needs to be reported in Nevada, how the report needs to be made, and much more. Read on for the details.
When Must a Car Accident Be Reported in Nevada?
In Nevada, the driver of a vehicle that was involved in a crash must report it if no police officer came to the car accident scene and the incident resulted in:
- injury to or death of a person, or
- damage to a vehicle or other property .
The driver must report the accident to the nearest office of a law enforcement authority or of the Nevada Highway Patrol.
The driver must report the accident “forthwith” -- immediately, in other words. That means that the driver must report the accident by cell phone or by pay phone, if one is nearby. If no phone is available or close by, the driver should go to the local police department or office of the Nevada Highway Patrol to report the accident in person. Finally, if the driver’s vehicle is not working, then he/she should report the accident by phone when he/she gets home.
Does the Driver Have to File a Written Accident Report?
In Nevada, if the accident was investigated by a police officer, and the report of the investigating officer contains the driver’s automobile insurance information, the driver does not have to file a written accident report.
But if the accident was not investigated by a police officer, or the police report does not contain the driver’s insurance information, the driver of any vehicle that was involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury or death of any person, or total damage to any vehicle or item of property to an apparent extent of $750 or more, must file a written or electronic report of the accident to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days after the accident on an official state form.
If the accident involved damage to a vehicle, the operator must attach to the accident report an estimate of repairs or a statement of the total loss from a garage, an insurance adjuster, or an appraiser. (Learn more about Vehicle Damage Claims.)
What If You Don’t Report a Reportable Accident in Nevada?
Willful failure to report a reportable accident in Nevada may subject the driver to suspension of his or her driver’s license for up to one year.
What If I am Unable to Make a Report?
If the driver is physically incapable of giving the required immediate oral notice, and there was another occupant in the vehicle at the time of the accident who is capable of doing so, the occupant must make the report or have someone else make it.
If the driver is physically incapable of filing the written accident report within 10 days, the driver need not file the report until he/she is physically capable of doing so. However, if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner must file the written report within 10 days after learning of the accident.
More Information on Car Accidents in Nevada
For more information on the rules for reporting a car accident in Nevada, you can refer to Nevada Revised Statutes sections 484E.030, 484E.070, and 484E.080.
Should I Report the Accident to My Insurance Company?
No state requires its drivers to report a car accident to their insurance company. That's an obligation that comes from the car insurance policy itself.
All standard automobile insurance contracts require the insured to report any accident within a reasonable period of time after the accident, otherwise the insurer may deny coverage for the accident.
So, even if your car accident was minor and did not rise to the level of a “reportable accident” under Nevada's laws, you should report the accident to your insurer so that you have coverage for the crash in case you end up needing it.
After Reporting the Accident, What Now?
Reporting a car accident may be just the first step for drivers involved in a car accident, especially if there are serious injuries or the issue of fault is up in the air. For everything else you need to know, check out all the articles in our Steps to Take After a Car Accident section.