Las Vegas is a large city with a population of approximately 646,000 just within the city limits. This does not account for the countless tourists and travelers who visit Las Vegas year-round. With such a large number of people and a limited police force, there is no way for law enforcement to respond to every traffic accident.
There are benefits to filing an accident report, and in cases of property damage or injuries, you are required to file a report. But if police are not able to respond to the scene of the crash and take your information, you may wonder, “can you file police report after accidents yourself?” The answer is yes.
What Information Do You Need to Complete a Police Report?
Before you file an accident report, you need to determine the appropriate agency to file the report with. Every law enforcement agency has jurisdictional limits on the traffic reports it can receive. More specifically, a police department can take accident reports only for traffic collisions occurring within their geographical limits.
If your accident occurs within the city limits of Las Vegas, you will file your report with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. If you are outside the city limits, though, that jurisdiction’s police department will be the one that takes and investigates your report.
If your crash occurs in North Las Vegas, for example, you should file your report with the North Las Vegas Police Department.
Once you have determined the correct agency, the next step is to assemble the information that the police department will need to take your report. You should be prepared to give the following information:
- Your name and current contact information
- The location, date, and time of the accident
- Identifying information about others involved in the accident, including physical descriptions
- Identifying information about any witnesses who saw the accident, including physical descriptions
- Information about the vehicles involved, including the make and model of the vehicles, their license plate numbers, and their VIN numbers
- A detailed description of the property damage
You must also be prepared to submit or show a copy of the insurance for your vehicle that was in force at the time of the crash. In addition, if there was property damage in excess of $750, a repair estimate should be submitted along with the report.
Finally, if there was any injury or death, a doctor’s statement pertaining to each injured person must be provided.
How to File a Police Report After a Las Vegas Car Accident
The question is not “Can you file police report after accident?” but rather “How can you file a report?” Whether you choose to file a report or are legally obligated to do so, there are several ways you can make your report.
As long as you submit the report with the appropriate information and supporting documentation, your accident report should be accepted no matter which method you choose.
First, you can submit your report in person. This may be an appropriate option if you were not seriously hurt in the crash and you are not comfortable using a telephone or computer to make your report.
You can receive live, in-person help if needed when you file a report in person. However, you must remember to bring all necessary information and supporting documents with you at the time you make your report.
If you are tech-savvy and comfortable navigating the web, you can complete a police report online. This saves you the trouble of having to travel to a physical location and complete a physical report form. You can also complete the form on a smartphone or tablet.
Be certain that you file your online report with the correct jurisdiction — if your crash happened in Henderson or North Las Vegas, for example, you will need to use the Henderson or North Las Vegas online report system.
Lastly, you may file a report by telephone. With this option, you call the appropriate police agency and provide them with the information they need to complete the report. This may be the ideal option for you if you cannot easily make it to a police station in person and are not comfortable with filing a report online.
Even with a telephonic accident report, though, you may still need to appear in person to provide additional information or documentation.
How Do You File a Report in Person?
Can you file police report after accident in person? Yes, you are permitted to make an accident report by appearing in person at the appropriate law enforcement building and submitting the requisite information and documentation.
This may be the easiest option for individuals who are not comfortable completing the accident report form by themselves and would rather have a law enforcement professional assist them.
As with completing an accident report online, where you file your report in person will depend on where the accident occurs. Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson all have separate locations where you can make an accident report in person.
Within the City of Las Vegas itself, you can visit any one of several community police stations and make your report.
Similarly, both Henderson and North Las Vegas have multiple locations where you can make a report in person.
You should be aware that each agency may restrict the days and times during which you can appear and make a report in person. Additionally, staffing issues can limit a state’s ability to take your report if you show up unannounced. Therefore, it is advisable that you call ahead to the station you are planning to visit.
Inform the station that you wish to make a police report and ask if they have the ability to take your report at that time. This can save you a needless trip.
How Long Do You Have to File a Police Report After the Accident?
The time frame within which you must file a police report after a car accident (if you are required to do so) is 10 days. This time period generally begins to run on the day of the accident.
It is not sufficient to start the report within the 10-day period; you must complete the report and submit it along with any additional documentation before the 10 days are up.
There are two exceptions to this requirement. First, if the police arrived on the scene and took a report at the site of the crash, you do not need to complete a separate police report. Additionally, the 10-day period does not run while you are incapacitated and physically unable to make a report.
Laws and Statutes of Las Vegas, Nevada
Relevant laws in the state of Nevada include:
This statute defines hearsay as a statement made outside of a court proceeding but offered in court to prove the matter asserted.
Your accident report may contain the statements of others who were involved in the crash or witnessed it. These statements would constitute hearsay if you tried to offer them in a court proceeding without the person who made the statement being present.
In other words, you cannot prove a car accident lawsuit by relying on a car accident report you file.
Nevada Revised Statute 484E.070 is the law requiring drivers involved in certain accidents to file a police report within 10 days of the accident. An accident report is required whenever there is more than $750 in property damage or when there is any bodily injury or death.
Failing to make a report when required, or making a false report, is a crime.
This statute also lists several exceptions to the reporting requirement. If any of the listed exceptions apply, you do not need to submit an accident report.
You cannot knowingly provide false information to the police about your accident. This includes any information you might be required to report, including the identities of the people involved, how the accident occurred, or the extent of your injuries or property damage.
If you willfully report any false information on your police report, you may be charged with a misdemeanor.
While the law does not criminalize honest mistakes, if you do notice an error, it is advisable to take prompt action to correct the mistake. Allowing false information to remain part of the report may expose you to legal jeopardy.
What if the Accident Report Is Wrong?
Errors can creep into a police report through inadvertence or carelessness. This is why it is important that you review your police accident report for accuracy and take action to correct mistakes you may find.
If the mistake concerns a matter of fact such as the extent or nature of your injuries, oftentimes submitting appropriate documentation to the officer who produced the report can fix the mistake.
If the error relates to the officer’s opinion as to the cause of the crash, you may ask the officer to explain their findings in greater detail if the officer will not amend their conclusions.
Contact Bay Law Accident Attorneys to Speak with a Lawyer Today
Filing a police report is just one of several steps toward protecting yourself and your legal interests after a crash. If another person’s carelessness or reckless driving led to your wreck and injuries, Bay Law Accident Attorneys can help. Reach out to us today and allow us to help you recover compensation.