Nevada Hit and Run Laws: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Nevada?
- Nevada Hit and Run Laws: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Nevada?
- What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Nevada?
You are guilty of a misdemeanor if you leave the scene of an accident involving property damage and a felony if anyone suffers death or injury. That is according to NRS 484E.010 and NRS 484.020, Nevada hit and run laws.
Quick take: leaving the scene of an accident in Nevada
- An accident involving property damage is a misdemeanor.
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving death or injury is a felony.
- If the accident results in death, injury, or property damage above $750, you must file a report within 10 days.
- Nevada is an at fault state, you pay if you are responsible for causing the accident.
What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Nevada?
Under state law, if you are involved in a traffic collision on the highway or at any location with public access, you have a legal duty to stop your vehicle and fulfill the NRS section 484E.030.
Note: If an accident occurs on private property, the police will only respond if there is substantial damage or someone dies or suffers injury. Also, if you suffer an injury on private property and were not trespassing at the time of the incident, you may file a claim against the property owner.
What are your legal obligations at the scene of an accident in Nevada?
Section 494E.030 “duty to give information and render aid,” says you must do the following immediately after an accident. If you do not fulfill these requirements, you are guilty of a hit and run, and there is a high probability the court will impose punitive damages during sentencing:
- Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene or close to the scene without creating a traffic hazard or interfering with traffic more than is necessary.
- Give your name, vehicle registration number, and address to the struck individual, law enforcement officer, or person in the struck vehicle/property owner.
- Exhibit your license to the struck person or peace officer upon request.
- Render reasonable assistance, including arranging to transport the struck person to a care facility.
If you fulfill the requirements above and no officer is at the scene, the statute requires you to report the accident at the nearest police station or Nevada Highway Patrol.
Is leaving the scene of an accident a misdemeanor in Nevada?
Yes. If you are involved in a traffic collision that results in property damage, leaving the scene is a misdemeanor in Nevada. The punishment for said violation is up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000. On top of that, Nevada’s Department of Motor vehicles will add six demerit points to your driver’s license. That means that upon conviction for a second misdemeanor hit and run offense, you will have twelve demerit points.
Twelve demerit points will earn you a license suspension for up to one year.
What happens if you hit a parked or unattended vehicle?
Section 484E.040 says that if you damage a parked vehicle or unattended property, you should immediately stop your vehicle and make a reasonable effort to locate the property owner. If you cannot find the owner, the statute says that you should, quote:
“Attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle or property a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle doing the striking.”
What is a reportable accident in Nevada?
Under section 484E.050, you must report any accident that results in property damage, injury, or death using the “quickest means of communication” to the nearest police authority or Nevada Highway Patrol. If the vehicle driver is unable to fulfill that requirement, a passenger in the vehicle must do it.
If you do not file a report immediately, section 484E.080 says that the state will revoke your driving privileges for up to one year or until you provide evidence that your failure to report the crash was not willful.
Note: state law requires garage owners to maintain records of repairs made on any vehicle involved in a crash for up to two years.
Is vehicular manslaughter a misdemeanor in Nevada?
If the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was not driving recklessly, vehicular manslaughter is a misdemeanor. That means a DUI hit and run or reckless driving resulting in death or serious injuries are felonies. Some behaviours that may lead to vehicular manslaughter charges include:
- Driving while distracted or eating.
- Low-level speeding.
- Driving with no tail lights.
- Breaking too fast.
The punishment for vehicular manslaughter is up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000.
What to remember:
- If property damage surpasses $750, you must report the accident.
- Failure to report an accident is punishable by license suspension for up to one year.
- You have ten days to file a report.
- Submitting a false report is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2000.
Is leaving the scene of an accident a felony in Nevada?
If an accident results in death or injury and the driver knowingly leaves the scene, that individual is guilty of a category B felony. Note that in Nevada. If you hit more than one person. Each death or injury is a separate offense. On top of that, a felony hit and run is not a probational crime, meaning the court cannot grant you probation.
A category B felony in Nevada is punishable by a minimum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum of twenty years plus a maximum fine of $5000. The section reads, quote:
“A person failing to comply with the provisions of subsection 1 is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 20 years and by a fine of not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000. A person failing to comply with the provisions of subsection 1 commits a separate offense under this section for the bodily injury to or the death of each person that results from a crash with regard to which the person failed to comply with the provisions of subsection 1. 4. A sentence imposed under subsection 3 may not be suspended nor may probation be granted.”
DUI hit and run in Nevada
As mentioned, if the driver was driving recklessly or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol – the individual is guilty of a felony. Note that if you have at least three prior DUI convictions and the accident results in death, you may face category A felony charges, the penalty for which is life in state prison.
Also, reckless driving is a category B felony.
Failure to stop for peace officer
Under state law, willful failure to stop when instructed by a police officer is a misdemeanor if the accident only results in property damage. However, suppose the accident result in death and the driver fails to obey the law. In that case, the individual is guilty of a class B felony, a crime punishable by up to twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $50000.
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Nevada?
- Hit and run involving property damage/ unattended vehicle: misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000. Six demerits’ points on your license.
- Vehicular manslaughter, no aggravating circumstances (intoxication/reckless driving): misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000.
- Hit and run involving death or serious injury: category B Felony, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, $5000 fine and driver’s license revocation.
- DUI hit and run/aggressive driving: category B felony.
- Failure to report an accident: punishable by license suspension for up to one year.
- Evading the police: category B felony.
- Vehicular homicide/ three prior DUI Convictions: category A felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of life in state prison.
Leaving the scene of an accident in Nevada: Administrative and civil penalties
After an accident, the victim may file a claim with his insurer or file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Remember that what you do at the scene of an accident will impact the outcome of your claim if you choose to file one. Because of that. You should:
- Never admit fault at the scene of an accident.
- Do not leave the scene without collecting evidence that may help both you and the police determine fault.
- Do not comment about your health until you consult with a professional (some symptoms may take days to manifest).
- Never threaten or harm the other party.
- Collect witness testimonies or dashcam footage if capable.
- Call law enforcement.
- Remain at the scene until you exchange information
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone who needs it.
- File a police report within the set time (your insurer may use your failure to file a report to deny you settlement).
- If the accident results in death, serious injury, or expensive property damage. Contact your attorney before you contact your insurer and watch what you say.
What is the statute of limitations on personal injury in Nevada?
You have two years to file a personal injury claim and three years for property damage. If the victim dies, survivors have two years to file a wrongful death claim starting from the date of death.
Can you settle out of court?
Yes. Lawsuits take time, and the costs will add up – to avoid legal battles, the parties involved may negotiate a settlement. We recommend consulting with a claims attorney to determine if settlement is the way to go.
How is fault determined in Nevada?
Nevada follows a “modified comparative fault rule” that allows the claimant to recover compensation if his level of responsibility is lower than the other party’s. If you are 51% responsible for the accident, you do not qualify for compensation.
Investigators and the jury decide the at-fault party.
Leaving the scene of an accident in Nevada: defenses
Remember that state law works under the assumption that you knew or should have known of your involvement in an accident. Therefore, if you were unaware of your involvement in an accident, you have no duty to stop.
You may also argue that:
- You were incapacitated at the scene and were thus unable to exchange information or render aid.
- Leaving the scene was involuntary.
- You fulfilled all the statutory obligations.
- The victim refused to accept your information or acted aggressively.
Other Nevada Laws