The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced starting Monday, March 3, they will no longer respond to non-injury auto accidents. The announcement created quite a buzz on social media sites and in the news. Many consumers do not look forward to this change, since they will be required to deal with a potential adversary, without law enforcement present. Who decides who is injured – those involved in the accident, or the police? A broken bone, or skin laceration are serious injuries, but some injuries from a car accident are not immediately apparent. Soft-tissue damage to the neck and back muscles, ligaments and discs may not be felt at the accident scene. Symptoms often develop over a few hours as muscle spam and pain sets in. Neck and back injuries often require physical therapy, pain management and sometimes surgery.
With the LVMPD accident report no longer available following many car accidents, it will be the drivers’ responsibility to investigate and document the wreck.
I’VE BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT! NOW WHAT?
- Try to remain calm. Stay in your vehicle until you are able to feel calm.
- Call police and follow their instructions. If the other party is obviously intoxicated or high, report that to the police.
- Leave your vehicle and calmly introduce yourself to the other driver.
- Carry a camera with you while driving. Your camera phone is fine, or carry a disposable camera in your glove box.
- Take lots of photos of:
- the property damage to your vehicle.
- the other vehicle (include the license plate).
- the scene of the accident including street signs or signal lights.
- the position of both vehicles after the accident before they are moved (if safety considerations allow).
- skid marks left by either vehicle.
- any bruising or soft tissue injury you receive.
- Exchange names, addresses, driver’s license numbers and insurance policy information with the other driver. If multiple vehicles are involved, obtain this information from all parties. If the other party refuses to comply, call the police.
- Talk with any passengers or witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information and record a statement from them if possible. (use your phone to obtain a video or audio statement).
- Don’t be confrontational with the other driver, but if they admit fault, ask if they are willing to give a statement in writing or on your smartphone video.
- If you have any symptoms of injury, promptly visit an Emergency Room, or Urgent Care facility.
- Call the Richard Harris Law Firm for a no-cost consultation to discuss your rights. (702) 444-4444.
Being in a car wreck is traumatic and difficult. But with or without the police coming to the scene, it’s important to obtain documentation of the facts of the accident and the people involved. You need a consistent and accurate account of the incident to give to law enforcement, insurance companies and lawyers. You will have to give your account of the story several times during the claims process.