An accident often creates a confusing situation. Consequently, the arrival of a police officer could work to ensure both drivers of access to useful information.
Information that a police officer might share with drivers
• Directions on where the damaged vehicles should be placed, if they have to be moved
• Refresh a confused driver, with respect to what contact information should be shared
• Review duties of victim: For instance, following a hit-and-run incident, the victim must work with the police, in hopes of locating the victim
• If any vehicle had been towed, the police might know where it had been taken.
Helpful functions that might be carried out by the arriving officer
• Calling 911, in order to request emergency medical care
• Protecting the accident scene, prior to arrival of any investigator
• Investigating for the presence of useful evidence; documenting discovery of any such evidence
• Speaking with one or more witnesses, and recording their comments
In what sorts of situations would a call to the police be required?
Any situation in which someone has been injured. Any situation in which the value for the damaged property would exceed the threshold, the one that had been established in the state where the accident took place
Actions that an injured victim should take, following the arrival of a police officer
• Get the officer’s name and the number on the officer’s badge
• Learn the name of the agency from which the officer has come
• If possible, get the number for the report that should be given to the indicated agency
• If offered a ride to the hospital, or to a medical clinic, accept that same offer.
• After arriving home, call or go to the appropriate agency and request a copy of the submitted report; be ready to pay the requested fee.
Make a list of facts that should be shared with the defendant’s insurance agency. For instance, if someone at the accident scene found you to be unconscious for a brief period of time, then that should be mentioned in any statement.
Make a second list of the information that was shared with the arriving officer. That could prove useful, if the adjuster were to allege that certain details had come from the officer’s lips. No victim should feel compelled to accept without question the veracity of every claim that has been made by an adjuster.
In addition, if the victim decided to retain a personal injury lawyer in Kitchener, that second list could be shared with him or her. Then, that retained attorney could compare the copied police report with the written statements that he or she had received from the client/victim. That would serve as an additional check on the veracity of the adjuster’s statements.