Las Vegas Police Not Responding to Accidents
Many of you have probably already heard about the Las Vegas Metro
Police Department’s new policy change (effective as of March 1, 2014)
about them not responding to “non-injury” motor vehicle accidents. If
you have not, it essentially entails just that–LVMPD will not be responding to motor vehicle collisions where injuries are not reported. This change is problematic for
several reasons to those who are victims of car accidents which were
caused by the negligence of another driver:
First, many accident victims will not feel the true effects of a car
crash until hours, if not days, after an event, especially a
rear-end collision. Although one may think to feel ok just after a collision,
after the adrenalin wears off, the pain and discomfort begin
to set in. The failure to report an injury right away has been a
classic defense technique employed by the insurance industry for years.
The policy change by the LVMPD of not responding to non-injury
accidents will only make matters worse because a lack of a police
report will cause the insurance industry to fight even harder against
the injury claims made by a legitimately hurt person.
Second, with no police report on file, it is anticipated that more
disputed liability cases will become present as there will be nothing
stopping an at-fault driver from denying that he/she caused the collision
regardless of what was said at the scene of the accident. Many times
after a collision that is responded to by an officer, there are
certain items documented in the report that can be admissible in court, like
witness statements, road conditions, tire marks left on the roadway,
photographs, among others. Where no officer responds, these valuable
pieces of evidence are forever lost, putting the accident victim at a
severe disadvantage where the at-fault driver refuses to take
To counteract some of these negative implications caused by the policy
change, here are a few suggestions in the event you are involved in a
collision and you do not immediately feel like an injury has occurred
and the police fail to come to investigate:
-Take photographs of everything–your car, the other car(s), the other
driver(s) if you can get away with it, the roadway, any tire marks on
the pavement, broken plastic or glass, etc.
-Talk to witnesses, if any, and take down their name, number, and
address. If they are willing, and you have a device that is capable,
take a voice recording of what they saw.
-Do not deny that you have an injury! As stated above, you may not
know you are hurt until a couple hours, or longer, after the crash.
Do not say anything that could be recorded and used against you later.
Plus, calls in to 311 or 911 are recorded and can be collected later
to be used against you. If you tell a dispatcher that you are not
hurt, that could come back to bite you at a later date if you do start
feeling pain several hours later and seek medical treatment.
–Seek Medical Help at the first sign of pain or discomfort! The
longer it takes to have a documented injury, the bigger issue it can
become in getting compensation for the damages resulting from the crash.
–Go in to a LVMPD substation and file a written report of the crash
as soon as possible. That way, there can be no dispute as to what
happened or when it happened. And, at the very least, the report can be used to corroborate your recollection of the events against the at-fault party who may have a different version of what took place.
While this article is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all the
potential issues with the policy change, or a comprehensive list of
what one can do to protect themselves in the event of a crash that is not responded to by the LVMPD, it should serve as a useful tool and guideline to help in the unfortunate event you are the victim of someone else’s negligence on the roadway.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing contained in this article is intended as legal advise nor does one relying upon that which is contained herein create an attorney-client relationship with the author or his affiliates.