Should I call the police for a fender bender?
UPDATED: March 30, 2020
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
A fender bender will cause enough stress to ruin your day. It might not involve something as stressful as a wrongful death lawsuit, but it’s sure to make you late for an important appointment. It’ll probably make you worry about your finances as well.
So what do you do about a fender bender? Should you always call the police, even over something minor? How do you handle a minor fender bender? The car accident attorneys at Adam S. Kutner, Attorney at Law explain whether you should call the police for a fender bender.
Should I call the police for a fender bender in Nevada?
Yes, you should call the police for a fender bender in Nevada. Nevada law requires all drivers to call the police for any type of accident. The police will provide valuable service by gathering evidence and documenting the accident.
It’s up to the police whether to respond to the scene to investigate the accident. In some cases, the police may not respond to a minor fender bender. Still, in all circumstances, you should call the police for a fender bender in Nevada.
Why do the police need to be involved in a minor fender bender?
A minor fender bender still warrants a call to the police. Nevada has a series of laws outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes 484E. They dictate when drivers need to call the police for a minor fender bender.
In all cases, the law requires the driver to call the police when any kind of accident occurs:
- Injuries - Nevada law 484E.030 requires drivers to call the police no matter how large or small the injury.
- Property damage - All accidents involving property damage must be reported under Nevada Revised Statutes 484E.020.
- Unattended vehicles - If you strike an unattended vehicle, Nevada law 484E.040 requires you to call the police.
Some states require you to call the police only if there is apparent damage to a certain amount or higher. Other states may give you the option to file the police report yourself. Nevada doesn’t have laws like that. Whenever you’re in an accident, you should report it to the police.
The police can decide what action they’re going to take. If it’s just a minor fender bender, they may choose not to respond to the scene. However, you’ll have done your part by reporting the minor accident to the police.
What are the steps I should follow after a minor fender bender?
Here are the steps that you should take after a minor fender bender:
#1 – Call the police. Nevada law requires drivers to call the police in all circumstances.
#2 – Double-check for injuries. All traffic accidents are serious matters. A serious injury can occur even when accidents happen at low speeds and even when property damage appears minor. If an accident is caused by brake failure, no matter how slow you’re going, there is always the possibility of whiplash. If there’s any chance that someone has an injury from the accident, you should call emergency services.
#3 – Take photographs. Pictures are an easy way to gather evidence after a minor fender bender. Nevada is an at-fault state. That means you still need to know how the accident occurred and what the damages are to process the case and make the necessary claims. You don’t have to wait for the other driver to agree to take photos. Snap a bunch of pictures with your phone camera. Include a photo of the other driver’s license plate.
#4 – Get the other driver’s information. Nevada law requires you to exchange information with the other driver after an accident. You should get the other driver’s name, address, and insurance provider. You must provide your information to them, and they must provide their information to you. You need this information to make your insurance claim.
#5 – Notify the insurance companies as soon as possible. If the other driver is at fault for your damages, their insurance company needs to know to pay you fairly. It doesn’t matter if it’s an accident involving a company car or a personal car. Make the insurance company aware of the accident right away. Don’t wait. They will tell you the next steps, including valuing your damages and confirming your losses.
#6 – Write down what you remember. Memories fade quickly in the wake of an accident. Sit down and jot some notes in your phone as soon as you can to record the details of the accident. Writing down or typing out your recollection of even a minor fender bender can help you if there are disputes as you process your claim later on.
Do I need to look into the Nevada DMV traffic reports?
If the police respond to the scene of a minor fender bender, they will, in all likelihood, prepare their own police report. If they don’t, you may need to report the accident to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Making your own report of the accident to the DMV requires filling out a form. According to Nevada Revised Statutes 484E.070, you need to make the report if there are any injuries or if there is apparent damage of $750 or more because of the accident.
To make the report, you will fill out a DMV Report of Traffic Crash form, often called an SR-1. The form asks for the personal contact information of those involved. You may need to submit documentation, including a doctor’s statement if there are injuries, and you may need to submit insurance information. You’ll also need to give a brief description of what happened in the crash.
Even a seemingly minor accident can have $750 in damages. When it comes to vehicle repairs, costs can add up quickly. You need to complete Form SR-1 within 10 days if you have a qualifying accident. Be sure to look into whether you need to make the report based on the circumstances of your fender bender.
How can an injury accident attorney help after a minor fender bender?
Nevada is an at-fault state. That means that even a seemingly minor fender bender can be the subject of litigation. In addition, you need to make sure that any insurance companies that are involved, whether they are your own or the other drivers, are treating the claim fairly.
You owe it to yourself to speak to a qualified car accident attorney about your case. They can make sure that you have covered all of your bases and that you’re handling your fender bender in the right way.
A fender bender can also lead to traffic tickets and criminal charges. You normally only have a limited amount of time to challenge these allegations. An experienced attorney can help you address all aspects of the fender bender, and make sure you’re getting the treatment you deserve!
Adam has spent more than 28 years fighting for fair compensation for victims of personal injury in Nevada. With more than 22,000 personal injury cases behind him, Mr. Kutner knows his way around the court system and knows how to get clients their settlements promptly and trouble-free.