Say you’re driving to an appointment. The car in front of you slows down and stops for a red light. You do the same thing. You’re waiting patiently for the light to change. Then, smack! You’re jolted forward by a vehicle hitting you from behind.

As an accident victim, you may be wondering what you can legally do after being rear-ended by another driver. The Nevada rear-end collision law covers situations where one car hits another from behind. Our Las Vegas car accident lawyers are breaking down everything you need to know here.

What Is the Nevada Rear-End Collision Law?

The Nevada rear-end collision law is Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 484B.127. The law says that a driver must leave a reasonable and prudent space between them and the vehicle in front of them. In other words, a driver must leave enough room to come to a sudden stop. The Nevada rear-end collision law makes it a misdemeanor moving violation if a driver fails to leave reasonable following distance between vehicles. It is also negligence per se and grounds for fault in a civil car accident claim.

To cars in a rear-end collision in Las Vegas

Following too closely means traveling without sufficient distance between you and the traffic in front of you. What counts as sufficient distance depends on the circumstances. The amount of traffic on the road, the speed of the vehicle in front of you, weather conditions, the capabilities of your car and the design or condition of the road itself can all make a difference when it comes to whether a vehicle is following too closely. A violation of the following too closely law may arise in a tailgating situation, or when a driver cannot come to a stop before hitting the vehicle in front of them.

Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.127 – Following Too Closely

Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.127 is the Nevada law for following too closely, tailgating and rear-ending another vehicle. The law says that a driver shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent. The driver must account for speed and traffic conditions. Nevada law 484B.127 also says that trucks must leave 500 feet of space when overtaking a vehicle.

Nevada’s following too closely law creates an exception for driver-assistive platooning technology. Nevada law 482A.032 defines platooning technology as a technology that allows vehicles to travel in a uniform manner more closely than is safe without the technology. However, the law clarifies that automated driving systems do not meet the definition of driver-assistive platooning technology.

What Happens When You Get Hit From Behind?

If you get hit from behind, there are certain things you need to do after a car accident. First, you should attend to any physical injuries and call the police. You must also remain at the scene until you fulfill state requirements to report the accident and exchange information with the other driver. However, for cases of minor accidents, you may need to move your vehicle out of the roadway.

If you get hit from behind, the other driver may receive a ticket. You may have the right to claim financial compensation through the other driver’s insurance or your own insurance. Also, it may be necessary to file a legal claim to receive fair compensation for your damages.

Are You at Fault for Being Rear-Ended?

You are almost never at fault after being rear-ended. Usually, it’s the car behind you that’s at fault for allowing their vehicle too close to yours. Of course, there may be some exceptions, like when a driver stops in a lane of travel backs up into a stopped vehicle behind them. However, the law generally puts the burden on the driver who is behind to take the conditions into account, pay attention to changing situations and be able to stop. Unless there are unusual circumstances, you are not at fault for being rear-ended.

What Are the Penalties for Hitting Someone From Behind in Nevada?

The penalties for hitting someone from behind in Nevada are:

  • A misdemeanor conviction on your record
  • 4 points on your driver’s license
  • Fines of approximately $305
  • A moving violation on your record
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Double penalties if the offense occurs in a work zone

Hitting someone from behind in Nevada is a misdemeanor. That means up to six months in jail is a possibility. In reality, the courts rarely impose jail time for hitting someone from behind. However, if you’re convicted of hitting someone from behind, there’s still a misdemeanor on your record. Plus, you receive license points. With the help of an attorney, you can address the charges against you in the best possible way.

Nevada Rear-End Collision Law and Negligence

Following too closely is an example of negligence. Drivers are required to be reasonable on the roads. That means leaving sufficient distance in front of them to handle unforeseen circumstances. A driver who follows too closely and causes a rear-end collision is almost always responsible for negligence. They may owe victims financial compensation for physical injuries, property damage and pain and suffering.

Two Las Vegas driver's talking after a rear-end collision

If another driver rear-ends you, the driver may receive a ticket from law enforcement. However, that ticket does not automatically mean that you’re going to get the financial compensation you deserve. The police don’t handle civil negligence and the monetary payment part of a rear-end collision. As a victim, you have to take steps to report the accident to the insurance company or companies involved. If they don’t pay you fairly, formal action may be needed.

Negligence Per Se and Following Too Closely

Because Nevada law 484B.127 prohibits following too closely, a driver who causes a rear-end crash by tailgating is typically liable for negligence per se. That means the victim only needs to prove that the driver violated the law and that it caused an accident. The victim doesn’t have to show how it’s unreasonable to follow too closely. All the victim has to prove is that the driver violated the law. The victim must also verify the amount of their damages.

Nevada Attorneys for Rear-End Collisions

If you’re the victim of a rear-end collision, work with an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our Las Vegas auto accident attorneys can give you a free consultation, an informed evaluation of your case and skilled representation from start to finish. Contact the legal team at Adam S. Kutner, Injury Attorneys to learn more.