If you or someone you know has been hit by a vehicle and that driver fled the scene of the accident, a hit-and-run has occurred. When a driver hits another car, pedestrian, or property and drives away from the crash scene without stopping and exchanging information, checking on the well-being of any others involved in the accident, or waiting for the authorities to arrive, they have committed a hit-and-run. Fleeing the scene of an accident is against the law. In Nevada, and virtually every state in the nation, leaving an accident scene is a criminal offense.
Hit-and-Run Accidents in Nevada
No matter what circumstances lead up to the accident, a hit-and-run is a criminal act. If the driver causes property damage and flees, they can be charged with a misdemeanor in Nevada. Consequences include up to six months in jail or a maximum of $1,000 in monetary fines.
If the hit-and-run results in the injury to a person or the death of another, the crime is a Class B felony. Punishment can include up to 20 years in prison and thousands of dollars in monetary fines.
Steps to Take if You are a Hit-and-Run Victim
Victims of a Nevada hit-and-run accident should do the following to protect their legal right to pursue monetary compensation:
- Stay at the scene: As discussed above, leaving an accident scene is a criminal offense. Even if the other driver fled, it is critical that you call local law enforcement or immediately dial 9-1-1 if any serious injuries or property damage has occurred. Take photos and video footage of the scene, after first seeking appropriate medical care, as this will help you in any personal injury lawsuit that may later arise.
- Assess any damage: If you can, try to assess the damage done to your vehicle and any other property and file a police report. Try to get your car to a safe place (if it is moveable) and take photos of any damage left by the other driver. Be sure to get a copy of the police report. This is not only critical for any potential lawsuit, but insurance carriers require one, even for minor accidents, in order to process a claim for the vehicle’s repairs or replacement. Your car insurance may pay for some damages even if the other driver cannot be identified.
- Provide Police Information: If you have any identifiable information on the driver who fled, share this with law enforcement. This can include the make, model, and color of the vehicle and license plate details, if you caught them. Other specific details including which direction the driver fled, bumper stickers, or the physical characteristics of the driver can all be valuable information in helping law enforcement catch the hit-and-run driver.
- Get Witness Information: This includes any statements regarding what witnesses to the accident saw as well as their contact information. If the accident occurred near a business area or in a neighborhood, find out if business or home security cameras caught any footage of the accident or the hit-and-run vehicle.
Choose H&P Law Accident Attorneys
The skilled personal injury attorneys at H&P Law are well-known for frequent and successful representation of car accident victims, both in and out of the courtroom. We will fight for the best compensation available, based on the facts and applicable Nevada law. Contact us today for your initial case evaluation.