Did you know that Las Vegas Metro is no longer responding to minor, non-injury accidents? Unaware of the new policy? Not surprising, but you should be informed.
The Reason for This Change in Policy?
Well, Las Vegas Metro’s position is that an average of 250 man-hours per week is dedicated to minor accidents, placing a time, and presumably, monetary, strain on the officers. While Las Vegas Metro will continue to respond to injury accidents, and will also continue to respond in the event a driver refuses to exchange insurance information, they are no longer responding to accidents without injury.
Concerned About This Change in Policy?
You should be, both as a motorist and as an insured. First, it is relatively common knowledge that minor accidents can, and in fact do, produce injuries. The concern about this new policy is that many soft-tissue types of injuries do not necessarily manifest for several hours and even days after a traumatic event. Simply stated, while you may not “feel” injured on the spot, it doesn’t mean that your body hasn’t sustained injury. Perhaps due to adrenaline, shock, external concerns (“I’ll be late for work,” “I have to pick up the kids.”), focus on the needs and care of others in the vehicle, or even pure stubbornness/overt positivity (“I’ll be fine; I’m okay”), you may encounter a situation where you refuse care or decline injury at the scene, only to experience pain and associated injury symptoms hours later. Absent a report to document the incident and/or cite the offending, adverse driver, you run the risk of having your claim scrutinized and/or denied.
Secondly, absent Metro’s presence, there is no documented accident report and/or accompanying citation. But what’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, although police reports and citations issued are not necessarily 100% conclusive to insurance companies as to the issue of fault, and are rarely, if at all, admissible in a court proceeding, they do factor into an insurance company’s evaluation of a claim, play a role in the analysis of the issue of liability, and also may assist in the expeditious resolution of property damage claims. Absent an accident report, the insurance companies and their adjusters, at best, will welcome the opportunity to prolong the investigation, evaluation, and resolution of claims, and at worst, will simply deny said claims.
Third, in the event, you experience pain and injury from a car accident in which the police were not summoned, and you are forced to litigate your claim or go to trial, you potentially run the risk of the jury being negatively influenced by the fact that the accident wasn’t investigated by the police. A jury, whether stated or unstated, could either simply de-value your claim, i.e., award you less than what you are seeking, or choose not to find in your favor, i.e., award you nothing.
Our Las Vegas car accident lawyers law firm, in an effort to inform and educate the public, has developed a free accident app that can assist you in your time of need. Additionally, we have created a free insurance card holder which includes a one-sheet overview of the 5 things you need to know in the event you, or someone you know, are involved in an accident. We would encourage you to drop by our office to pick up the free insurance cardholder.