Is it Legal to Pay Out of Pocket for a Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident is an overwhelming experience, and it is understandable that you may want to take care of the damages as quickly as possible. If you are considering paying out of pocket, you need to understand the potential legal implications of doing so before you proceed.

If you were involved in a car accident, you might want to consult with an attorney to discuss your rights when it comes to paying out of pocket. Our traffic accident attorneys at H&P Law represent car accident victims in Las Vegas and surrounding areas in Nevada.

Paying Out of Pocket When a Car Accident Involves Only Your Car

If you are involved in an accident, and there are no other drivers or vehicles involved, then you can legally pay out of pocket for the damages as long as the damage is insignificant (a minor dent or scratch). This is especially true if the estimated property damage does not exceed the premium insurance payment. However, before paying for any repairs, it is essential that you consult with your insurance company and an attorney first to make sure that you are not violating any terms of your insurance policy.

Paying Out of Pocket When a Car Accident Involves Two or More Vehicles

When two or more vehicles are involved in a traffic accident, all parties involved are required to report the incident to their respective insurance companies. Keep in mind that your insurance policy is a contract, and you must abide by it. Failure to do so could lead to unintended consequences.

If you choose to pay out-of-pocket for any repairs, then it is important to keep detailed records of all expenses incurred, as these documents may be requested by either party’s insurance company if they choose to pursue legal action against the other driver or drivers involved in the accident.

Paying Out of Pocket if You or Someone Else Was Injured

If someone was injured in a car accident, then paying out-of-pocket generally is not an option because medical bills can add up quickly and be costly. Depending on who caused the crash and what type of coverage they have (or do not have), it is possible that their insurance company could refuse to cover some or all costs associated with an injury sustained during the accident, especially if the accident was not reported within a reasonable amount of time.

When is Reporting a Traffic Accident Required in Nevada?

Under Nevada law, drivers are legally required to report traffic accidents that involve injury, death, or property damage (Nevada Revised Statutes § 484E.030). Unlike most other states, Nevada law does not set a minimum amount of property damage required to report traffic accidents.

Note: Willful failure to report your traffic accident in Nevada may lead to driver’s license suspension for up to a year.

Get Legal Counsel to Find Out What is Legal and What is Not

When dealing with a car accident, understanding your rights and responsibilities ahead of time can save you both money and headaches down the line. Although paying out-of-pocket might be appealing due to its quick resolution rate, doing so should only ever be considered after consulting with your insurance provider and attorney.

If you are still unsure whether it is legal to pay out of pocket in your particular case, discuss your situation with our attorneys at H&P Law for further guidance. Call (702) 598-4529 to request a case review. 

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