Handling Traffic Accidents in Las Vegas
**Update** Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is again responding to traffic accidents
As you may have heard, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) no longer responds to automobile accidents where no one was injured, with few exceptions. According to LVMPD, traffic fatalities have increased dramatically and they need to focus their efforts on traffic enforcement (writing tickets to traffic violators) which, in turn, reduces the amount of traffic accidents and traffic fatalities. NHP, North Las Vegas and Henderson police departments still respond to all automobile accidents that occur on the roadways of their respective jurisdictions. They do not, however, respond to accidents that occur on private property such as shopping centers, restaurants, etc.
Now, if you are involved in an accident in LVMPD’s jurisdiction but no one is injured, LVMPD may still respond if one of these things happen:
1. one or more of the vehicles is in the roadway, cannot be moved and is causing a traffic problem
2. one of the parties involved is being uncooperative and won’t exchange insurance/driver information, which is required by law.
Now that we know who will respond to your traffic accident in Las Vegas and surrounding jurisdictions, let’s take a look at what you should do should you become involved in an automobile accident.
What to Do if You are Involved in a Traffic Accident in Las Vegas
1. Attend to any injuries involved. Call 9-1-1 if someone is injured, making sure that you can give them the location of the emergency. Sometime people call 9-1-1 but don’t have a clue as to where they actually need help. Remember, if emergency personnel can’t get to you, they can’t be of any help.
2. As soon as possible, try to take photos of the scene. This could be beneficial later on should the at-fault driver change their story about who is really at fault in the accident.
3. Move all vehicles out of the roadway as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.
4. Get the names of the driver and passengers as well. Make note of how many people are in the vehicle. There have been many cases where there was only one driver actually in the other vehicle but later, several people filed a claim saying that they were injured in the automobile accident – even when they weren’t involved!
5. By law, you are required to exchange information (insurance and Nevada driver’s license) with anyone that you are involved in a vehicle accident, regardless as to who is at fault. Just because you think you are at fault, you are still entitled to the other driver’s information. To help you gather this information, we have included a handy Nevada Driver Info Exchange sheet (click the link and you can downloaded it instantly). We recommend you print out several of these and place a couple inside each vehicle in your home. These will help you get all the information you will need in the event the police do not respond to your accident.
6. Contact your insurance company as soon as you can to let them know the details of the accident. Remember, you are paying them to act as your agent in the case of an automobile accident. Let them know the details regardless as to whether or not you were at fault.
7. If the other driver was at fault in the accident, be sure to initiate a claim with their insurance company, providing them all the details from your Driver Exchange sheet.
Hopefully, you will never be involved in an automobile accident. However, should that time come, it is important to know as much as you can so as to protect yourself. Be sure to prepare yourself by printing out the Nevada driver exchange sheet, compliments of NV Drivers Ed, and keep it in your glove compartment just in case.