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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default At-Fault Driver Claims I Ran a Red Light

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: NY
    I was involved in a car accident two weeks ago. Basically I was stopped at a red light on a one way, when the light turned green I went , a car service flew passed a red and smashed into the passenger side of the car where my wife was sitting. As we were sitting in the ambulance people told me there was one witness , and that the other driver of the car service ran away from the scene, the cops were on scene and knew that the driver was not at the scene there were two passengers in HIS car who were in the back seat and were slightly injured . Approximately a half hour later the driver came back to the scene, the passengers that were in his car told the police that it was not the same driver that was driving them. I thought that I would have no problem proving that this accident was not my fault until I picked up the police report and all it said was I said he passed a red and he said I passed a red, and under witnesses it said a name, number and address and nothing who side the witness was on or anything. I have at least 15 people who were at the scene who knew the driver of the vehicle ran away and the people in his own car claim that it wasn’t the same driver yet the police decided that it wasn’t important enough to put on the police report. What are my options? There was $1,300 dollars of damage to my vehicle and his car was totaled, and my wife is suffering from bad whiplash.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,312

    Default Re: Police Were to Busy to Do Their Job

    At this point, you hire an attorney (or, your insurance company does) and you sue the other driver for your losses. You bring those witnesses into court to say what the report does not.

    The police report is not proof, so even if it said the other guy is at fault, that is usually open to debate by the other party. The problem here seems to be contradictory witness statements. There is not really a whole lot the police can do to get around that.

    So, consult legal counsel if you have sufficient damages for a lawsuit.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default Re: Police Were to Busy to Do Their Job

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    At this point, you hire an attorney (or, your insurance company does) and you sue the other driver for your losses. You bring those witnesses into court to say what the report does not.

    The police report is not proof, so even if it said the other guy is at fault, that is usually open to debate by the other party. The problem here seems to be contradictory witness statements. There is not really a whole lot the police can do to get around that.

    So, consult legal counsel if you have sufficient damages for a lawsuit.
    there are no contradictory witness statements, everyone know the driver ran away for a half hour even the passengers in his car, and the passengers in his car are saying that its not the same guy he switched with someone else for whatever reason, he was drunk or didnt have a license or was an illegal.

    Are the police not responsible to write this down? instead they take a statement from a guy who wasn't even at the scene.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    20,312

    Default Re: Police Were to Busy to Do Their Job

    If the police have not or will not be charging anyone with a crime, then their involvement is minimal at a traffic collision. In general, enforcement is a political decision and not a statutory one, so if they failed to take a report or conduct an adequate investigation, that is a personnel matter and not a legal one.

    If NY is similar to my state, the police have to take a report for an injury collision and it must comply with a certain format, but there is no legal requirement that it be thorough and detailed. Legally, the police can be incomplete and even, dare I say, incompetent.

    Most collisions are civil matters anyway and rarely involve the police. I have conducted more than 600 traffic collision investigations and have been subpoenaed to court for only one civil matter and was never called to testify (I sat in the witness room for a couple of days).

    Granted, things would be easier if the police had caught on to what was happening or been more thorough, but you have little recourse there except to complain to the agency about what happened.

    So, your recourse is the same no matter the outcome of the police report: Hire an attorney and sue or let your insurance company handle it.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
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    Default Re: Police Were to Busy to Do Their Job

    One tip: For your wife's whiplash, ask for copies of her prior medical records. This way you can prove she had no prior complaints of neck pain in her history.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default Re: Police Were to Busy to Do Their Job

    Thanks for both of your replies, one more question, my wife has been in bed for two weeks already complaining about her back and neck, the orthopedist said theres not much to do but wait it out, he did not take any X-rays or MRI's, is this necessary if I decide to sue?

  7. #7
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: At-Fault Driver Claims I Ran a Red Light

    Those should have been the minute she started experiencing pain.

    Get her to a doc. You will need this documented. Also, be sure to call your insurance company and inform them that your wife is in pain and needs these tests.

    Not trying to be an alarmist here, but what may seem like minor pain can be hiding a serious injury. Take your wife to another doctor today.

    My accident: I complained of minor back pain. I even walked to the ambulance. A few hours later, after MRI's, xrays, CT scans....they found I had a Compression Fracture to L-1, and came 1/8 inch from being a paraplegic. That time they had me walking to the ambulance and even around the waiting room in ER...had I moved wrong, I could have snapped the bone the rest of the way.

    Better to be safe, than sorry.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: At-Fault Driver Claims I Ran a Red Light

    With due respect to Pandora, your wife needs to be following the medical advice of her treating physicians. It's easy to go off half-cocked about "needing" an MRI, but if there's no actual medical indication that an MRI or X-Ray would be useful there's no need to undergo one. If the condition is not resolving, by all means discuss that with your doctor. If the condition is resolving, an MRI or X-Ray won't do anything to make the pain go away faster, and if they show that "nothing's wrong" they could potentially be used as a defense against your injury claim.

  9. #9
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: At-Fault Driver Claims I Ran a Red Light

    I do have to ask: How does the orthopedist know there is no damage when he has not performed an MRI or taken X-rays?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: At-Fault Driver Claims I Ran a Red Light

    I know in workers' comp cases they tend to want to see MRIs or X-rays even if they show nothing obvious. I think they can be played both ways.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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