When you’re in Las Vegas, the last thing on your mind is practicing defensive driving or avoiding getting into an accident. But Vegas is a hotspot for many different types of auto accidents, given its reputation as a city where people come to party. But those accidents don’t just stay in Vegas–they can have an impact on your driving record throughout the state of Nevada and lead to serious legal consequences after the fact.
If you’ve caused an accident in Vegas, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to ensure that your insurance rates do not skyrocket and that you can avoid serious legal repercussions from your accident. Whether it’s a DUI or even something as serious as vehicular manslaughter, you’ll do a lot better with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney on your side.
After An Accident
If an accident has occurred, whether you’ve caused it or not, the very first step is to pull over to the side of the road. Doing so helps you to avoid any type of legal ramification for a hit-and-run, which makes this crime more severe. Ensure that the other driver is not in need of emergency assistance, as you are required to give basic aid in the event that the other driver is gravely injured, like giving 911 a call.
With a simple fender bender, there is no need to call the police to file an accident report. Simply exchange information with the other driver and snap a few pictures to gather evidence for your insurance. When an accident is more severe, however, you may need the assistance of the police to help move your cars from the road, or you may need to call 911 to make sure that you and the other driver are not seriously injured.
When to Hire An Attorney
When an accident results in damage over $750, the process becomes a bit more complicated. You are required to submit a copy of a Report of Traffic Accident, which is a long and detailed form that can be complex to fill out. At this stage, it’s wise to hire an attorney to take care of your future legal needs.
Since car insurance is mandatory in the state of Nevada, you should be covered up to a certain amount under your own insurance carrier. However, if you are found to be “at fault” for the accident, you will be required to compensate the other driver for their damages.
If the accident has resulted in serious injuries or loss of life for the other party and you are found to be at fault, you’ll be in need of a criminal defense attorney, especially in cases as dire as vehicular manslaughter or injuries caused due to intoxicated driving. The penalties for these charges are very serious in the state of Nevada, so it’s important to hire an attorney before you get to this stage. Be proactive after an accident and ensure that you and your rights are protected if an accident victim’s injuries worsen.
The Next Steps
After an accident, it’s important to listen to the advice of your attorney. For instance, apologizing to the victim of the accident can be construed as admitting to fault, so listen to the guidance of your lawyer. Even if the accident victim has said they will not sue, in Nevada there is a three-year statute of limitations on property damage and two years when it comes to personal injuries, so keeping an attorney on retainer can help to mitigate this issue.
The best types of lawyers are those who guide you through every step of the process and help you to figure out the next steps for you. Don’t let an accident ruin your finances and your criminal record–it’s important to listen closely to advice of your attorney to take the next steps forward.
Moving Forward After An Accident
The easiest way to avoid the legal ramifications of an auto accident in Las Vegas to avoid getting into one altogether. Practice defensive driving, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area or are renting a vehicle, and never drive while intoxicated. There are plenty of other options that will get you home in a safe and less risky way.
Always be aware when you’re on the road. It could mean life or death for you and the people around you, and it pays to pay attention.