Nevada Car Accident Laws & Resources
From the lights of the Las Vegas Strip to the lonely roads cutting through the vast desert, Nevada is a great place for drivers. You can drive down the Strip and see one of the most famous parts of America, or you can drive an hour away and drive empty, dusty roads with no one around. Wherever you drive in Nevada, it is still possible to have a car accident, so it is wise to learn about the laws and resources of the Silver State if you are going to spend time here.
Statistics and Notable Settlements
Nevada state statistics reveal that 321 traffic deaths occurred on state roads in 2015. This was an increase of 31 deaths from 2014. Still, Nevada is making progress related to the number of traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2013, that number was 1.06 and dropped to 1.02 in 2014.
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Other state data show that 1,300 people were killed in car accidents in Nevada from 2010 to 2014. This is an average of 260 people each year. Of course, most of the accidents and fatalities occur in Las Vegas. Statistics show that 200 people in Las Vegas died in traffic accidents from 2010 to 2014. Other data show that Clark County, the home of Las Vegas, had the highest number of traffic fatalities on a county basis in 2016 with 198 deaths. Apart from the lost lives, the accidents cost residents of the state $2.4 billion in 2014.
The biggest cause of accidents in Las Vegas by far is driver distraction. It is very common for people to take their eyes off the road on the Strip and take photos. But be aware that using a handheld cell phone while driving is illegal throughout the state and can get you a fine of $250.
One of the most notable Nevada car accident settlements recently was a 2009 crash involving a motorcyclist and a speeding Pizza Hut driver in Las Vegas. The crash paralyzed the motorcyclist and led to many other injuries. The company offered the severely injured man just $250,000 to settle. He sued and won a $9 million personal injury settlement.
Nevada Accident Settlement Taxes
After you receive a personal injury settlement, there are many things to manage and consider. One of the most important things is to determine how much tax liability you have for the settlement. While there is no state income tax in Nevada and you should not have to pay taxes on the settlement at the state level, it is worth talking to a tax advisor about the matter.
However, there are aspects of your settlement that may be taxable at the federal level. For example, compensation for your medical bills are not taxable at the federal level. But pay attention to medical expenses in previous years. If you have medical bills in previous years, you are allowed to take an itemized deduction to reduce your taxes. But once you receive a settlement, any part that you deducted in a previous year needs to be included as part of your taxable income.
Regarding emotional anguish and pain and suffering, this is not taxable if they are due to a personal injury. For example, if you broke your arm in a car accident that someone else caused and you have emotional anguish from the pain and loss of use, this is not taxable at the federal level.
But if you only get a settlement for emotional damages, this would be taxable.
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Nevada Negligence Laws
The Nevada legislature has adopted a modified comparative negligence approach to auto accident liability. This means that the amount of damages you can recover in an auto accident claim is based upon the percentage of fault for the accident you have. The Nevada statute states that each party in the accident is assigned a degree of fault. Your recovery will be reduced in a proportion to your fault for the accident. For example, if your car needs $1000 in repair because of the crash and you were 10% at fault, you could recover $900 or 90%. But note that this ‘modified’ aspect of the statute means if the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, you may not make any financial recovery for your injuries and damages.
Reporting a Car Accident in Nevada
Whether the auto accident causes injuries or just damage to property, you are required by state law to stop at the crash scene and aid injured parties. After all parties in the accident are made safe, you are required to exchange personal and contact information with other drivers. If no police officer comes to the scene, you must go to the nearest police station to report the crash, or visit the Nevada Highway Patrol. If the crash is not investigated by the police, and there is property damage over $750 and/or injuries and death, the accident must be reported within 10 days.
Car Accident Compensation Laws in Nevada
Nevada is a ‘fault state’ as far as car accident liability. This means that the person who caused the accident is the same one who must pay for all losses. This includes vehicle damages and bodily injuries. Because Nevada is a fault state, the car accident victim can seek financial compensation for medical expenses and vehicle repair. This can be done through filing a claim with one’s own auto insurance policy, with the policy of a third party, or through a personal injury lawsuit.
In a lawsuit, there are no damage caps for pain and suffering in Nevada. There are no restrictions on the parties who can and cannot sue for any personal injuries suffered in a car accident.
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Nevada Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Plaintiffs in Nevada have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Or, the judge will dismiss the claim regardless. While this law may seem unjust in some instances, the purpose behind it is to prevent frivolous lawsuits where a defendant must defend himself against a lawsuit for an alleged event that occurred many years ago.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Nevada
Auto insurance must be carried by all drivers in Nevada. You are required to carry the following minimum amounts of insurance:
- $15,000 for injuries suffered by a single person in one accident
- $30,000 per accident where more than one party is injured
- $10,000 per accident for damage to property of any party
It is advisable to carry higher liability coverage, as well as more collision and comprehensive coverage. It has been reported that the average cost of a car accident these days is $15,443 for bodily injury and $3231 for property damage in the city of Las Vegas.
New ‘No Injury – No Response’ Accident Policy in Las Vegas
Since March 3, 2014, there is a ‘no injury – no response’ policy by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. This means that in a car accident with no injuries, there will be no responding police officer and no LVMPD accident report filed by the police. It is the responsibility of the driver to both investigate and document the accident. The policy is in effect because the police department says it spends 250 hours per week handling routine fender benders without injuries.
Without a police report filed, insurance companies we be more reliant upon firsthand accounts and evidence gathered by motorists to determine liability and fault. So, if you are in an accident without injuries in Las Vegas, make certain that you fully document the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, skids on the roadway and everything else you can think of. The more pictures you take of the vehicles and the accident scene, the better. In this situation, the person with the stronger evidence is probably going to prevail.
Nevada Car Accident Resources
After a car accident, you will probably feel a lot of stress and anxiety. It can be overwhelming to handle everything that you need to do in this situation. Below are some accident resources and tips to keep in mind after an accident in Nevada.
- Remember to file a Report of Traffic Accident within 10 days if the accident was not handled by law enforcement and the amount of damages was more than $750. It also is required if the accident had injuries or death, but it would be rare for the police to not investigate such an accident.
- Determining what your personal injury case could be worth is very important in the decision to file or not. Get a complimentary case evaluation today with Lawsuit Info Center today to decide if you want to file a claim or lawsuit.
- If you have whiplash from your Nevada car accident, it is very important for it to be documented as completely as possible from the day of injury. Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash are very painful but more difficult to see than ‘hard’ injuries such as broken bones. Having the injuries fully documented by a medical professional from the start will help your claim. Here are some more tips about making a whiplash personal injury claim.
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