Being in a hit-and-run accident can be a traumatic situation. After suddenly experiencing a collision, you are left to deal with injuries, vehicle damage, and financial stress while the at-fault motorist flees the scene to avoid liability. Far too many drivers fail to stop when they cause accidents, leaving innocent people picking up the pieces.
Pursuing fair compensation after one of these incidents is something you may benefit from. Doing so also holds hit-and-run offenders accountable when found. But with strict deadlines and complex laws, it is beneficial to call H&P Law to work with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to remain calm and take the proper steps to protect yourself. First, seek any necessary medical attention immediately, as your health and safety should be the top priority. You should contact the police so an official report can be filed documenting the incident.
Document the scene of the accident as thoroughly as possible, including taking photos of the damage to vehicles and surroundings, recording street names and landmarks, and making note of any witnesses present with contact information if available. Writing down all the details quickly can be invaluable for ensuring important facts are captured accurately.
Contact an experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer in Las Vegas at H&P Law for advice on steps to take regarding insurance claims, potential investigations, and understanding your legal rights and options. An attorney well-versed in these types of cases can provide guidance tailored to the specifics of the incident.
How Common Hit-and-Run Accidents Are
Unfortunately, hit-and-run collisions occur more often than you may think. Large metropolitan areas tend to have high rates of these incidents, including Las Vegas. With so many vehicles on the roads, collisions happen often, but not stopping after one is against the law.
Recently released statistics from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reveal the immense scale of these incidents across the city. In 2022 alone, law enforcement recorded nearly 20,000 total traffic collisions within city limits. Of that substantial figure, over 4,300 accidents were classified as hit-and-run crashes where a driver fled the scene without exchanging insurance or reporting the incident.
Beyond hit-and-runs, the thousands of documented accidents in Las Vegas last year led to extensive vehicle damage and injuries. Police reports show over 11,000 people suffered harm across the nearly 20,000 collisions. About 814 pedestrians were involved in crashes in 2022, representing a 15.5% increase over the prior year.
How Severity of Injuries Can Impact Claims
The severity of injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident directly correlates to the compensation one may receive. Minor damages and injuries typically lead to smaller settlement offers. Major, long-term, or permanent injuries can warrant higher rewards.
More severe collisions that lead to extended hospitalization, surgery, disability, or loss of wages can significantly strengthen a case. Precise documentation and medical records help verify these consequences for insurance claims or lawsuits. A hit-and-run accident attorney in Las Vegas can get expert witnesses to attest to health setbacks like pain and suffering.
In the worst cases, hit-and-run wrecks lead to fatalities of drivers, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians. While no amount of money replaces a life, damages in a wrongful death suit can be substantial, including funeral costs and loss of income over time. Justice is also often sought for surviving family members in these traumatic situations.
Nevada Laws for Hit-and-Run Accidents
Nevada statutes clearly define hit-and-run incidents and outline associated penalties. Fleeing could also face imprisonment of no less than two years.
Possible punishments for those convicted depend on factors like alcohol impairment, prior offenses, and actual harm caused. Terms can range from fines and license revocation up to years in prison and sizable civil penalties. Law enforcement leverages resources like cameras the scene of fatal or severe injury crashes can elevate charges to a Category B felony. You and chemical tests to catch and prosecute offenders.
It is important to know that you have legal rights to recover damages even if the responsible party is unknown. Nevada is an at-fault insurance state, meaning injury claims are based on the fault of the parties involved. Uninsured motorist coverage can also help compensate if the at-fault driver remains unidentified after the crash.
Types of Potential Damages to Recover
There are a variety of potential financial damages you can attempt to pursue after hit-and-run accidents. Compensation may be available for immediate costs like vehicle repair or replacement and medical bills from any treatment needed. Lost income from missing work can also be recouped if sufficiently documented.
Insurance settlements may further account for expected future expenses tied to an incident. Long-term healthcare, physical therapy, and even things like wheelchair ramps or mobility devices can add up. Projected wage losses or diminished earning capacity also qualify if supported by evidence.
Additional damages that can be sought include compensation for emotional distress, pain, and suffering. The mental and psychological impacts of collisions and injuries carry real consequences as well. Legal guidance helps assemble the strongest possible case.
Statute of Limitations for Hit-and-Run Accidents
Pursuing a hit-and-run claim in Nevada comes with strict deadlines that limit delays in taking legal action. For injury or wrongful death incidents, according to the statutes linked above, you have two years after the crash to file a lawsuit. Other factors like discovery of harm or defendant identity can extend the window longer.
Related damages, such as property loss or hospital liens, also fall under a three-year statute from the accident date. These deadlines start the day of the incident. Sufficient evidence must definitively prove crimes occurred for these terms to apply.
With so many complexities around Nevada state laws, having legal representation is key to ensuring timeliness on claims. A Las Vegas hit-and-run accident lawyer can map out optimal strategies based on case circumstances and court precedent around accident response deadlines. Moving promptly is critical to get the most potential out of your case.
Get the Most Potential Out of Your Case with a Las Vegas Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
Going through a complex case like a hit-and-run situation can be challenging by yourself. Contact H&P Law to see how we can help you. Schedule your consultation with our team, who has 60+ years of combined experience, to see the next step you should take.