If you are a Nevada driver, it can be a good idea to review what happens in a hit-and-run accident, so that you are prepared if you are ever involved in one. In a Nevada hit-and-run, state laws kick in to protect the victim and penalize the perpetrator. Whether you cause a hit-and-run or are the victim of one, there may be implications for your car insurance premium.

Hit-and-runs in Nevada

A hit-and-run accident is a collision where the at-fault driver leaves the scene rather than stopping to exchange insurance information. Hit-and-run accidents are surprisingly common. In 2021, the nation saw an 11 percent increase in hit-and-runs that resulted in a fatality when compared to 2020.

In the state of Nevada, hit-and-run accidents are prevalent, and many of the crashes involve fatalities. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that Nevada had 32 hit-and-run crashes involving a fatality in 2016, the most recent year with available data. This represents one of the highest per-capita ratios in the nation.

Nevada hit-and-run laws

Hit-and-run Nevada laws are fairly straightforward. According to the Nevada hit-and-run statute, all drivers have a duty to stop at the scene of a crash in which they were involved and render both aid and information. If a driver is involved in an accident where injury or death occurred and did not stop, that driver could be charged with a class B felony. Penalties for this involve a state prison sentence of two to twenty years and a fine between $2,000 and $5,000. Nevada drivers who are involved in vehicle or property damage accidents and who do not stop may be guilty of misdemeanors.

In Nevada, the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating the other driver for their damages and injuries. However, drivers in Nevada are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which could help pay for your damages if you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver. Drivers with full coverage insurance might be able to use their collision coverage to pay for the damages from a hit-and-run, but a deductible may apply.

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How do hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Nevada?

After a Nevada hit-and-run, your car insurance rates may be affected. Anytime you file a claim with your insurance company — even if you aren’t at fault — it could affect your premium. While a not-at-fault loss shouldn’t generate a surcharge against you, it might mean you lose a claims-free discount, if you previously had one on your policy. If you cause a hit-and-run, are found and file an insurance claim, your insurance rates could go up even more.

The actual amount that your premium could increase may vary based on a number of factors, including the severity of the crash and your insurance company. Your prior driving history could also impact a potential surcharge, especially if you are at fault for the crash. If you have incidents on your driving record already, another at-fault loss could cause you to be deemed a high-risk driver.

6 things to do after a hit-and-run in Nevada

Getting into a Nevada hit-and-run can be jarring. If you are hit by another driver and they do not stop, you may want follow these steps for a hit-and-run in Nevada:

  1. Call for medical aid: If you, your passengers or anyone else is injured, call for medical aid immediately.
  2. Note identifying information about the at-fault party: If you are not injured and are able to see the at-fault party, take note of any identifying features, such as the make and model of the vehicle, the color, any standout features, and a full or partial license plate number. This information might help the police find the perpetrator.
  3. Move out of the flow of traffic: If your vehicle is drivable and you’re physically safe to drive, move out of the flow of traffic. This may lessen the risk of further damage happening to your or your vehicle.
  4. Call the police: The police will file a report which you can share with your insurance company. An official report may also prompt the police to look for the at-fault driver.
  5. Document the damage: At the scene, take photos and videos of the damage to your vehicle. If you are injured and need medical attention, keep your treatment records.
  6. Notify your insurance company: The last step is to notify your insurance company of the incident. An agent should be able to help you start the claim process. You may also be asked to share the photo evidence, police report and your medical records to help the adjuster determine how much compensation you should receive.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

As a victim, your car insurance might cover hit-and-runs, but only if you have certain coverage types. Nevada car insurance that includes collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage may be particularly helpful. Collision insurance is part of a full coverage policy, and uninsured motorist coverage is optional.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your medical bills may be covered if the other driver was uninsured. However, because drivers who flee the scene of accidents don’t stick around to show insurance information, your uninsured motorist coverage may not be able to be used. It will depend on your state’s laws and your carrier’s regulations.

If you have full coverage insurance, your collision insurance could cover your vehicle’s repairs. If you use your collision, you may have a hit-and-run deductible, which is the same as the deductible on the collision coverage. Alternatively, your deductible may be waived, depending on the specifics of your policy.

Keep in mind that minimum coverage policies likely do not offer any coverage in the event of a hit-and-run in Nevada. Minimum coverage insurance only provides coverage for the other driver if you cause an accident, which is why it may be beneficial to purchase full coverage. If you aren’t sure what kind or how much car insurance you need, speaking with a licensed agent may be helpful.

Frequently asked questions

    • There is no single company that is always the best option for everyone, all the time. Determining the right company for your needs involves first determining your priorities. You may be looking for the cheapest policy, for example, if you are working with a tight budget, or the best digital tool if you work during the day and wish to handle your policy via a mobile app when it’s convenient rather than through a live agent. Once you know what is most important for you, you may want to review some of the best insurance companies or look at those that are writing the most robust policies in Nevada. It’s generally a good idea to ask for quotes from several possible insurers to see which one gives you the best rate, but you may want to ask for the same levels of coverage for each, so you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.
    • Car insurance in Nevada in 2024 has an average cost of $1,129 for state-mandated minimum coverage, while full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive insurance, costs an average of $3,535. These average rates are higher than the national averages, but your own rate is likely to differ, since it is based on factors that are unique to you, such as your driving record, age and location, as well as details related to your car, such as its make, model and age.
    • In Nevada, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party of a hit-and-run up to two years after the crash. This may be more complex if you don’t know the other driver’s information. Speaking with an attorney may provide more details on your legal options following a hit-and-run.