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Always Leave a Note if You've Damaged a Car

Even if you follow all the written and unwritten traffic rules, car accidents and injuries can still occur. How you handle these incidents can make a major difference in your ability to get compensation in a claim with the help of a Las Vegas car accident attorney, and failing to follow the proper procedures can result in criminal charges. Even if you are involved in a minor fender bender, it is important to own up to your actions by leaving a note.

How to Handle a Fender Bender

Minor crashes and collisions can happen on the road or in parking lots. If the other driver is at the scene, you can deal with it directly, exchanging information as needed. According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVNV), drivers are required to move their vehicles to the side of the road anytime even a minor car accident or fender bender occurs to avoid blocking traffic. If there are no injuries and the damage to either vehicle is estimated at less than $750, by law it is not required that you report it to the authorities.

If the other driver is not at the scene, such as in the event of a parking lot collision, it is common courtesy to leave a note on the windshield with the time, date, and a brief explanation of what happened. Be sure and leave your name and phone number in the event the other driver needs to contact you for insurance purposes. To protect yourself, you may want to take a few pictures of the damage to your vehicle.

Nevada Car Accident Reporting Laws

If there are injuries as the result of a car accident or minor collision or if there is more extensive damage to either vehicle, you are required by law to stop at the scene and to report the incident to local law enforcement officials. Under the Nevada Revised Statutes, failure to stop could result in criminal hit and run charges, along with fines and penalties for leaving an accident scene.

To protect yourself and your rights in a claim, make sure and follow these procedures any time you sustain injuries or significant damage to your own or another’s vehicle:

  • Stop immediately and notify law enforcement;
  • Exchange personal contact information along with your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance numbers with any other drivers involved;
  • Call an ambulance if there are injured victims;
  • Make note of any witnesses to the car accident and get their contact information as well;
  • If possible, use your cellphone to take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle damage, and your injuries;
  • Seek medical attention right away and follow all of your doctor’s instructions regarding follow-up care and activity restrictions;
  • Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.

While our goal has been to help you be a safer driver by making you aware of written and unwritten traffic rules, protecting yourself when accidents do occur is equally important.