If you are involved in a car accident in Nevada, do not flee the scene. This is one of the worst things a driver can do and could result in severe penalties in the form of both fines and incarceration.
Nevada is one of several states that have adopted specific laws relating to motor vehicle accidents which require those involved to exchange certain information and render aide to others when needed. These laws also mandate severe penalties for those who choose to flee the scene.
What TheLaw Requires
Chapter 484E of the Nevada Revised Statutes requires a person involved in an accident to remain at the scene of the accident, exchange address, insurance, and registration information, and, if necessary, render aide to persons who may require it.
NRS 484E.030 requires a driver involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property to give his or her name, address and vehicle registration information to any person injured or to the driver or occupant of the vehicle damaged by the accident. The driver is also required to provide the same information, along with his or her driver’s license, to any police officer at the scene of the accident or who is investigating the accident.
If a person is injured in the accident and it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary or requested by the injured person, the driver of any vehicle involved is required to render reasonable assistance to the person injured, including the carrying, or making of arrangements for the carrying of the injured person to a hospital for medical or surgical treatment.
If the accident involves only damage to a vehicle or other property the driver must still stop and exchange the information identified above but must, if able, move his or her vehicle out of the traffic lanes of the roadway to a safe location that does not create a hazard or obstruct traffic.
As noted above, vehicle accidents are not all created equal and clearly result in differing levels of severity and responsibility on the part of those involved. The driver, having fled the scene, may not even be aware of which section of the law might apply until he or she is charged by law enforcement. That is why you should never flee the scene of an accident.
If a person flees the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death they can be charged with a category B felony. If found guilty the person MUST be sentenced to a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 20 years and fined not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000. In the event more than one person is injured or killed in the accident, the person guilty of hit and run is charged with a separate count for each person injured or killed. Thus, multiplying the potential prison term and fines imposed. The punishment for hit and run resulting in injury or death is mandatory, as the statute provides that any sentence imposed may not be suspended, nor can the court grant probation.
If the accident only involves property damage and a driver fails to remain at the scene or fails to report the accident to the appropriate authorities (local police or highway patrol) the person operating the vehicle may have their driving privileges suspended for a period of up to one year.
Actual Knowledge Of An Accident Is Not Required
In addition, the law provides no consideration for whether the driver is even aware that he or she has caused an accident or any resulting injuries. The Nevada Supreme Court has held that if the circumstances are such as to induce a reasonable person to believe that a collision has occurred then the obligation to stop exists. So, whether a driver should have known of a collision or accident can be a an issue for the jury to decide.
Nevada’s Hit and Run laws are very strict. The Wright Law Group, P.C. has more than 25 years of experience defending criminal cases and is well equipped to assist you in handling your case. Please call us at 702-405-0001 to schedule a consultation or email us.