Metro No Longer Responding to Non-Injury Car Accidents
As you may have heard, earlier in the week the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced it is changing its policies regarding non-injury accidents. Metro has taken the position that it needs to better prioritize the types of issues it responds to given the high number of daily calls that must be responded to. Metro has decided to focus more heavily on injury and fatality accidents rather than responding to investigate property damage crashes. This policy of Metro not responding to non-injury accidents will becoming effective on March 3, 2014.
Obviously, this can create a problem for anyone who gets into a minor car accident on our roads. Ordinarily, if a person is rear-ended, they can call for an officer to respond, the officer then comes and collects all relevant information from both parties, makes a conclusion as to how the accident occurred, and may issue a citation. The act of the officer responding is helpful in multiple ways. First, the officer ensures that the relevant information regarding each party is collected, such as contact, ownership, and insurance information. Second, the officer’s assessment of how the accident occurred very frequently aids the insurance company in determining who was at fault and which insurance has to pay for the damage.
It is quite possible and realistic with metro not responding to non-injury accidents that parties become less forthcoming with what occurred in an accident, and even lie about their personal and insurance information. Very often people are more likely to be honest regarding an accident when they are speaking about it to an officer that likely has several years of experience and has responded to possibly hundreds or thousands of similar accidents.
When this new policy becomes effective, it is important to follow the following steps if you are involved in a car accident in which metro is not going to respond:
- Get the other driver’s name and contact information.
- Write down the license plate number of the other vehicle, and if possible, take a photograph of it.
- Take photographs of both vehicles and any visible damage.
- Take photographs of the surrounding area, including any traffic signals or skid marks.
- Ask to see the other driver’s insurance information and copy down the carrier, policy number, and contact information.
While all of the above items may not be possible to obtain in every accident, it is important to get as much of this information as possible. It is also important to get this information to your insurance carrier as soon as possible.