Police officers and other first responders face increased risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed nearly every facet of our lives. As stay at home orders in many states and cities require non-essential businesses to shut down or cut back on hours in operation, measures are also being taken to protect law enforcement personnel.
In Memphis and other locations, police departments are temporarily changing their car accident reporting procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Officers in the Tennessee city are not responding to minor car accidents unless some other circumstance justifies their presence. Examples where an officer would come to the scene include when a wrecker is needed, if a confrontation exists between the parties and where drugs or alcohol might be related to the collision.
No matter where you are, if you’ve been in a minor vehicle accident and the police are not coming to the scene, you should take the following steps, if possible:
- Determine if the car accident is minor — Is a tow truck needed? Are there any injuries? Does one of the drivers seem drunk or otherwise under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol? If so, call the police and an ambulance if needed.
- Exchange essential information — Exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance information and license plate numbers with all the drivers involved. Look for witnesses and get their contact information.
- Take pictures of the scene — Get photos of visible injuries, as well as any damage on the cars. These pictures can be filed with the police report.
- File a police report — Call the nearest police station to file a report over the phone. Ask where any photos should be sent to file with the police report. Make sure to do this promptly. Ask how to obtain a copy of the police report for yourself and do so. You will need this for your insurance and if the case ends up in court.
Navigating automobile accident procedures can be daunting, especially in a time when resources are strained. If you are in a car accident, an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your circumstances and advise you if you might be entitled to compensation.
Contact a skillful auto accident lawyer to discuss your legal options
Goldberg Sager & Associates litigates cases stemming from car crashes and other types of vehicle accidents. For a consultation regarding your potential case, please call 718-514-9516 or contact the firm online.