New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
The Difficulty of Obtaining a Police Report Post-Accident
If someone hurts you or hurts your loved one through negligence or wrongdoing, a New York personal injury law firm can provide assistance in making a damage claim. These claims can be made in many different circumstances, from car crashes to slip-and-falls.
If you wish to pursue a case for compensation for serious injury or wrongful death after a car accident, you should be able to make a case against a driver who was at fault for causing the crash, as long as your injuries are serious. It will be up to you to prove the other driver was at fault for causing the motor vehicle accident to occur.
Police reports from the scene of the crash can be important evidence, but a recent New York Times article demonstrates that sometimes obtaining accurate police reports can be a challenge.
When Obtaining a Post-Crash Police Report is Difficult
The New York Times told the story of the aftermath of an accident that demonstrates both the difficulty of getting ahold of a police report and the possibility of mistakes in the report.
The story originated out of an accident in which a 21-year-old senior at Fordham University was hit by a vehicle when she was walking across the street. She was critically injured, and her sister and friends who witnessed the accident indicate that the driver who hit her ended up just driving off after getting out of his vehicle and looking at the victim for only a second.
The friends of the victim called the police, who sent officers to the hospital to talk with those who had been involved so a report on the accident could be prepared. When the victim’s stepfather called the local precinct to try to get a copy of the accident report, however, he was repeatedly told that only victims could have access to the report.
Of course, the victim was in the ICU. Her stepfather made several attempts to at least obtain a case or incident number, but was simply told the victim was the only one entitled to it.
When the stepfather described the accident as a hit-and-run to police, he was also told that there was no record of an accident that was a hit-and-run. Initially, the department suggested he try again several days after his initial call because the report may not have been prepared yet. Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t that the accident hadn’t gotten into the system yet. It would later turn out the report contained wrong information about the driver staying on the scene.
It was not until the stepfather finally got help from a friend who is a judge that he was able to get a copy of the report, thanks to the judge’s intervention. The fact that the report was wrong when it was received also ended up forcing the stepfather to conduct his own investigation into what occurred.
Not everyone will have a judge who is a friend who can help to obtain copies of police reports, nor will everyone have the resources to conduct an independent crash investigation. You shouldn’t need connections to be able to exercise your legal right to get a police report into your own hands or into the hands of a trusted family member.
Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can assist you in doing everything possible to obtain a police report and other evidence you need to make the strongest possible claim for compensation following a car crash. Contact us today to find out more about how an attorney can help you to make your case for compensation.