If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that you take actions at the scene of the accident that will help you prove your case later. It has always been important to call the 911 from the scene of the accident to request assistance from the police and medics if anyone is injured. However, due to the pandemic, the police may not go to the scene of your accident if there are no reported injuries. Ohio law only requires police to respond to a collision when:
- The accident causes an injury that requires medical care
- A fatality occurs
- Property damage totals more than $1,000
When calling 911, notify the 911 operator or police dispatcher if your accident involves injury or significant property damage, especially if your car is not drivable. Even if you just feel shaken up, it’s probably wise to err on the side of caution and ask for the police and emergency services to respond to the scene. If you don’t believe you’re injured or if the police don’t respond for any other reason, it’s important to safely and accurately exchange information before leaving the scene. Consider taking a photo of the other motorist’s driver’s license. It is also very important that you record the name, address, and phone number of every person who witnessed the accident.
Take as many photos as you can at the scene: It is important to take photos with your cell phone that shows the damage to each car. Taking photos of the accident scene may help you prove your case, especially if the police department refuses to send a police officer to the scene of your accident. But be careful not to place yourself in a dangerous situation while taking photos at the scene. It may also be helpful to your case if you take one or two photos of the other driver, their license plate, their driver’s license, and auto insurance card showing proof of insurance. This evidence may be very important to proving who was driving the car, especially in cases where the police do not show up to the scene of the accident.
The attorneys at GBM Law have had cases where the at fault party denied that they were driving the car that struck our client, and photographs taken by our client at the scene have been the rock-solid proof of who was driving the at fault party’s vehicle. Our phones provide a safe means to collect information without direct contact with another party. Whether or not an officer reports to the scene, it’s wise to take several photographs.
Call an attorney: It is always important to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can. The attorneys at GBM Law provide free legal consultations to keep your case on the right track. Insurance adjusters don’t get paid to explain all of your rights, but we are here to help. If you were injured due to a car accident, contact an attorney immediately and let the attorney take a burden off of your shoulders so that you can focus on getting the medical treatment that you need.