Between high levels of traffic and drivers unfamiliar with the area, Las Vegas has a high rate of traffic accidents. They’re so frequent, in fact, that the Las Vegas police department has taken on a new policy to mitigate the work-load. What it amounts to is that officers will no longer be required to respond ton non-injury accidents. What this means is that if you’ve been in a minor incident, it will be your responsibility to collect all the necessary information and file a police report. In this article, we’ll take a look at why this new policy was put in place and what you can do to make your eventual accident claim process as smooth as possible.
Las Vegas Car Accident Policy
With the gradually increasing number of traffic fatalities int he Las Vegas valley, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has found the need to shift focus and spend more time and resources on accidents that lead to injuries and death. The LVMPD cites several circumstances in which they will still respond. In addition to injuries and fatalities, police will follow up on your call if the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there’s been a hit and run, the other driver refuses to cooperate, or a disabled vehicle remains in the roadway.
What You Need to Do if You’re Involved in an Accident
You should still call 911 in the case of an accident. The dispatcher will ask you for some general information about the accident to determine whether an officer should respond. If there are no injuries, you should follow these steps:
- Collect photographic evidence of visible damage. Be careful about ongoing traffic.
- Move the vehicle off the roadway if possible.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, including their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and issuing state. You’ll also want all the details associated with their insurance plan, including the company that represents them, their policy number, and the expiration date.
- Gather information about their vehicle such as the make, model, license plate number, and VIN number. If the driver is not the owner, obtain the contact information for the person
- Obtain insurance information from the other driver(s) including the name of the insurance company, policy number and expiration date of the policy;
- Obtain the year, make, model and license plate number, including state of issuance of all vehicle(s) involved. Also obtain the name and address of the registered owner and the (VIN) Vehicle Identification Number.
- Communicate with any witnesses, including vehicle passengers, and get contact information for them in case of an eventual dispute.
- Document everything on the DMV’s SR-1 form, which you can find here.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance companies now have a smartphone app to make it this process as hassle-free as possible.
After an accident, emotions can run high and your sudden responsibilities can seem overwhelming. Take a deep breath and collect every bit of information you can–it will pay off in the end. Always remember to contact a good car accident lawyer immediately!