How Soon Should I File a Police Report After an Auto Accident?

Madeleine Jones
March 11, 2019

Nevada law requires you to call the police after auto accidents that cause injuries or fatalities. If the crash caused personal injuries, deaths, or property damage exceeding $750, you legally have to submit a Report of Traffic Accident to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of your accident. The police can submit this report for you, if you call 911 from the scene of your collision. You cannot lawfully leave the scene of a car accident until you have fulfilled certain duties. One of these duties may be filing a police report.

If you’ve been injured, contact a accident lawyer in Las Vegas as soon as possible as you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.

5 Duties You Have After a Car Accident

Filing a police report is just one of a few duties you have following a car accident in Nevada. Leaving the scene without fulfilling these duties classifies as a hit-and-run. This is a crime that could result in criminal charges and serious penalties in Nevada. Remain at the scene and fulfill your duties as a driver to avoid legal trouble.

  1. Stop your vehicle as close to the scene of the accident as possible, in a safe location. Return to the scene of the accident if you did not immediately stop.
  2. Move your disabled vehicle out of the way of traffic, if possible and safe to do so.
  3. Check for injuries and provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the crash. This may include calling 911 and requesting an ambulance.
  4. Exchange contact information with the other driver. Locate the owner or leave your contact information if you hit a parked vehicle.
  5. Notify the police or the highway patrol if the accident caused any injuries or deaths.

Best practice is to call 911 and request police on the scene right away, immediately after the crash. You do not need to call the police if they are already on the scene, or if you are too injured to do so. The responding officer will gather information such as you and the other driver’s contact numbers and file a police report on your behalf. Get your police report number from the officer, so you can request a copy later.

When to Submit an Accident Report

If you called the police at the scene of the crash, they will typically take care of the DMV report on your behalf. If you did not call 911 from the scene, you may be responsible for submitting this report to the DMV on your own. You have 10 days from the date of your accident to fill out and submit the report form. Failure to report your accident to the DMV within the time limit could result in the suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year. Remember, you may not have to file this report if your accident did not cause injuries or serious property damage.

You do not need to call the police or submit a police report if your crash was minor. If you barely caused any property damage and no one suffered any injuries, exchanging contact numbers and insurance information will be enough. If your crash involved injuries, property damage in excess of $750, a commercial vehicle, a drunk driver, a hit-and-run, or other complications, however, you should call the police from the scene. Otherwise, you will need to file a police report online or in person to the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.

Your official police report will need to contain information such as when and where the crash occurred, how many people it involved, contact numbers for all drivers and eyewitnesses, and both parties’ insurance information. Failing to file a police report (if you did not call the police to visit the scene) is a criminal traffic violation, punishable with mandatory community service hours. It may be in your best interests to file a police report after an accident even if you do not think you have to. While technically no time limit exists on a police report, most jurisdictions ask that drivers do so as soon as possible.