As a result of budget cuts, COVID-19 and the “Defund The Police” movement there are many Police Departments who no longer take traffic collision reports. This reality relieves them of considerable amounts of paperwork while creating potentially dire consequences for most accident victims. The bottom line is that in most cases officers will no longer file a report and in some municipalities won’t even report to the scene of the accident. In many cases the only way to have an officer report to the scene is when one or more parties involved needs medical care or ambulance transport.
The end result for the accident victim is a person in a position of authority doesn’t show up and document the facts. Sadly, this means the driver is responsible for being the investigating officer, the person who documents and the photographer of the incident. Since this is becoming more common you need to know what to do. If you were struck by a drunk, drowsy, or distracted driver but you don’t need emergency medical attention, it will be up to you to document the scene. After pulling out of the flow of traffic and parking in a safe area, make sure to photograph the wreckage from all angles and to record the other driver’s name, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
If the other driver flees (sadly this is happening more often as a result of these policies) write down everything you can remember about the vehicle in question, including its make, model, and color. If at all possible, try to take a photo of their license plate, as well. After you have done those thing call the police! Even if you were not seriously injured the police will respond because a crime occurred.
Interview Eyewitnesses – Before leaving the scene, write down the names and phone numbers of those who witnessed the accident. Other motorists, their passengers, passing cyclists, and nearby pedestrians may be able to share important details that you missed when it comes time to assign fault. The negligent party will likely share a different version of events, and without an independent eyewitness to validate your version of the crash it may never be able to assign liability.
If the accident occurred in a busy area there’s a chance it was captured by one or more surveillance systems. Take note of the businesses visible from the scene. It’s worthwhile to reach out to them as soon as possible to ask about any available security footage from the date and time of the accident. Accidents in residential areas are not off limits either. More and more houses are equipped with video doorbells or security cameras so ask them as well. You can also inquire on social media but keep in mind time is of the essence.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. We help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We would be honored to represent you!