You should always call the police after a car accident in Las Vegas. The police will generate a report when responding to your request for assistance following an accident. This report will contain the details of the accident based on witness statements and examination of the scene by the investigating officer.
If the police do not respond to the scene, you can still file a report. However, it is always better to have an officer investigate the scene of an accident so that the person at fault does not change his or her story at a later time.
Using the police report in settlement negotiations and at trial
If you are seeking compensation from an insurance company or the other driver to cover medical expenses and damage to your vehicle following a car accident in Las Vegas, the police report will give you leverage to negotiate with. Police reports will include a description of how the accident occurred based on witness statements and accident reconstruction by the investigating officer. That information will be particularly useful if you are attempting to prove that the accident was the fault of the other driver. The report may also include a description of injuries, medical attention received right after the accident as well as the property damage sustained.
Under the hearsay rule in Nevada, police reports are generally inadmissible at trial or arbitration unless the parties agree to admit it into evidence. Similarly, a police officer’s conclusions regarding fault or citations issued are not allowed in court because it is the function of the jury to decide who and what caused an accident. See Frias v. Valle, 698 P.2d 875, 876, 101 Nev. 219, 221 (1985).
However, the facts surrounding the accident, such as witness statements, measurements, damages and road conditions may all be admitted into evidence so long as independently testified to at trial by someone with personal knowledge of those facts or by a qualified custodian as an exception to the hearsay rule. See NRS 51.135; Miranda v. State, 707 P.2d 1121, 101 Nev. 562 (1985).
For example, even though a police officer’s conclusions as to fault in a police report are not allowed at trial, tire mark measurements taken immediately after the accident and recorded in a report may be allowed. Given their usefulness, police reports help in settling most Las Vegas car accident injury cases before litigation in court.
How to get a copy of a police report in Las Vegas
The investigating officer will give all parties involved in an accident in Las Vegas a police strip with an event number, location, date and time of the accident, as well as the names, license plates, types of vehicles, and insurance of the parties involved. The strip will also include a contact number and Las Vegas Police Department station to pick up the report upon completion. You will typically need to allow at least 10 business days for the report to be available.
Do you need a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer if you have a police report?
Even if the police report shows the other party was at fault, insurance companies will attempt to settle the case for a minimal amount and take advantage of you if you are not represented by an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney. If you were involved in a car accident in Las Vegas and have a police report with the details of the incident, contact Behzadi Law Offices to help use it in your settlement negotiations and maximize the amount of money you are entitled to. Attorney Qumars Behzadi has recovered millions for Las Vegas car accident victims and has the experience to fight for you and help you get the compensation you deserve. There are no fees unless you win so call today to schedule a free legal consultation today.