Filing a Police Report When the Police Don't Show

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

9 Nov. 2017

You’re probably familiar with two types of car accident scenarios: 1) there is a serious injury crash where the police are called to the scene, and 2) there is a minor fender bender where the drivers decide not to call the police because the accident was so minor. But, what about the in-between scenario, the one where the drivers call 911, but the police never show up? How do the drivers get a police report when the police didn’t respond to their call? Not only that, but why would the police never show?

Before we go any further, we want you to know our position on police reports: No matter how minor the accident is, there should be a police report. So, if for any reason the police do not show up, we recommend taking the matter into your own hands.

Reasons Why the Police Don’t Show

While law enforcement does its best to respond to car accident calls, occasionally a 911 call will be placed after a crash and the police won’t show. There are four main reasons why the police won’t respond to a car accident:

  • The accident was minor and involved little damage.
  • The accident was minor and no one was injured.
  • Wind, snow, hail, or a blizzard prevented the police from getting to the accident scene.
  • The police had to respond to a more urgent call; for example, a child falling out of a window, or a homicide.

If you are involved in an accident and the police do not respond for some reason, our advice is to do one or more of the following: 1) call the dispatcher and ask him or her how to file a police report, 2) go down to the station yourself and file a police report in person, or 3) see if the local police department’s website has a place for filing police reports online. For access to the Hackensack Police Department’s website, click here. To access crash reports in Hackensack, click here.

Police reports are extremely valuable in personal injury claims, especially as they pertain to evidence. For example, if you were in a crash and later realized that you were in fact injured, or if your car started to rattle, the police report will be used as critical evidence in the claim. Whenever you’re involved in a crash, be sure to obtain the other driver’s license, insurance, registration and contact information. This information will come in very handy if the police don’t show and you have to file the report on your own.

Looking for a New Jersey car accident attorney? Contact us today!

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