Many police departments have changed how they respond to car accidents because of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what to do if they don’t show up.
You might live in a big city with a busy police force already known to not show up for minor car accidents.
Surprised? It happens.
And with coronavirus wreaking its havoc, this problem now happens more frequently. In fact, CNN wrote an article about it.
And, it may even happen in communities where it’s never happened before.
So, let’s say you get in a car wreck. You call the police and wait quite some time. No one shows. It appears as though they’ll never come.
What do you do if it looks as though the police won’t come at all?
Relax…You’re Not in Uncharted Territory
If the police won’t come to the scene of your auto accident, don’t get anxious. All is not lost. You can still take steps to protect yourself legally if you get into an accident.
Instead, you can go to the police. Depending on your jurisdiction, you can file a report online, or go to the nearest department and file a report in person.
The other driver will more than likely be honest enough to come along with you. And if they don’t, well then they just basically allowed you to win your claim.
Information You Need
You don’t need a ton of information. The main thing you need to get from the accident scene is as many pictures as you can and contact information.
Walk all the way around the scent and shoot as many images as possible. Smartphones today have plenty of storage space so shoot a video too.
In addition to that, you want the name and insurance info of the other driver and the name and contact information of any witnesses.
Make sure to get a clear shot of the other driver’s license plate just in case they give you false contact information. That doesn’t happen often, but it can.
You may also want to record your own statement of what happened and a statement from the other driver. That’s not an absolute must. But every little bit helps.
The Bottom Line: You Don’t Need to Worry
Yes. It’s concerning when the police can’t or won’t show up to document your accident.
But, it’s far from the end of the world.
Just remember to be extremely thorough in your documentation of the accident scene.
Do that, and everything will be okay.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years (since 1983). Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.