Calling the police after an accident in Nevada is obligatory under certain circumstances. Notifying law enforcement after a minor car accident may seem unnecessary, especially in a busy city. In addition, there is no guarantee that an officer will be available if there are other priority calls.
What Accidents Do I Need to Call the Police?
Any accident involving an injured person must be reported to the police immediately. A broken arm or head laceration are obvious injuries requiring medical attention. However, minor injuries can leave motorists in a gray area.
If a fender-bender took place in line at a drive-thru or a car gave a bumper a kiss at a stoplight, chances are no one has a bruise. Rather than calling the police to the scene, simply filing an accident report within 24 hours of the incident is sufficient. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has an online reporting system for non-emergency accidents.
Other minor accidents can cause soft tissue damage, like bruising or sprains. These injuries may seem insignificant, prompting motorists to forgo calling law enforcement to the scene. Unfortunately, soft tissue damage can be much worse than initially thought. Pain and other symptoms can manifest hours, days, or weeks later.
Delayed injuries are deceptively benign. Minor wounds can become serious if left untreated. While a police report from the scene of the accident will not heal injuries any faster, it can aid tremendously when obtaining a settlement to cover medical expenses.
In the event there are genuinely no injured motorists after the accident, a call to the police is only needed if the damage to the vehicles and other property is over $750.
What if the Police Never Arrive?
Drivers can be left in fender-bender limbo if the police never arrive after an accident. Whether it is due to the overwhelming 700,000 calls daily to 911 that take precedence or a lack of resources, law enforcement may never make it to the scene of the accident.
In that case, drivers are responsible for reporting the accident to the local police station within 24 hours. In the meantime, document everything about the accident:
- Take pictures of the scene, damage to cars, license plates, and any other pertinent information
- Exchange contact information with the other driver
- Take down any names of witnesses and a brief statement
Write a detailed account of the accident while it is fresh for an easy reference when making the report. In addition, Nevada’s DMV requires traffic accidents to be reported within ten days.
What Happens if I Do Not Report the Accident in Nevada?
Drivers who fail to report their accident to law enforcement can have their license suspended for up to a year. If someone is injured in the accident and no one calls the police, it can be considered a hit-and-run felony.
Minor accidents that cause delayed injuries are particularly cumbersome circumstances. Suppose one rainy day, a driver hydroplanes into the car in front, causing both to spin before stopping. All drivers and passengers exit their vehicles to assess the damage, finding only a sizable dent in the fender.
The at-fault driver offers to pay for the damage out-of-pocket to avoid an insurance premium increase. The dent in the victim’s car does not meet the $750 minimum. Since no one feels injured, just sore with a superficial bump on the head, both drivers agree not to involve law enforcement and work out the property damage on their own.
Several weeks later, one of the passengers unexpectedly falls into a coma and dies. After an autopsy, it was found that the passenger suffered a perfect storm of injuries, including a rotating neck injury and a head injury that caused swelling. The swelling slowly cuts off the oxygen to the brain.
Had the drivers filed a report with the police within 24 hours, they would have completed their obligation to the law. However, because both parties agreed not to report the incident, the at-fault driver is liable for a fatal hit-and-run and charged with a felony.
What if the other Driver Becomes Hostile?
If the other driver becomes hostile, calling law enforcement may be the best option. Road rage happens all over the world and can turn minor accidents into a WWE special.
Recently, a minor collision led to an all-out brawl in front of a high school in Melbourne, Australia.
Any parent with school-aged children has had to face the dreaded pickup line and all its non-yielding, line-skipping glory. School pickup line etiquette was further violated when a shirtless man attacked a utility truck with a metal pole.
The truck driver shot out of his vehicle. With an audience of high schoolers and parents, the two men traded blow for blow.
Not to be outdone, a Target parking lot in Utah saw a man release some pent-up aggression by running over the other.
The details are still being sorted out as both men have conflicting accounts of the incident. According to news sources, the confrontation actually started in a Walmart parking lot as a road rage incident.
Scratched cars, offensive gestures, and a lonely middle finger led to a Target screaming contest. One of the men decided to park his car and brazenly walked in front of the other’s pickup truck on the way inside the department store.
However, the pickup driver was not satisfied. Fueled by road rage and opportunity, the pickup driver ran the other over and dragged him 72 feet.
Minor incidents can spin out of control if not handled properly, leading to greater damage and consequences. Without a call to law enforcement, a simple dinged car door can escalate into a school-yard brawl or worse.
Studies into road rage indicate:
- 45.4% of altercations are in response to horn honking
- 38.9% of drivers witness angry offensive hand gestures leading to road rage incidents
With 30 murders a year due to road rage, calling the police after an Accident in Nevada may be prudent, if not necessary.
What Should I Do After a Minor Accident in Nevada?
Most motorists are reasonable people willing to exchange information and assess vehicle damage after a minor accident. If the driver or occupant of the other vehicle fails to act reasonably, be sure to stay safely in the vehicle, phone the police, and take note of important information:
- License plate
- Description of driver and occupants
- Description of vehicle
- Make and model of the vehicle
When considering calling the police to an accident, consider Blaise Pascal’s wager about God. Even if police are likely not needed, the potential benefits of calling them outweigh the benefits of not.