Dealing with Cops at the Scene of a Denver Car Crash
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
November 30, 2022
The response time for cops at the scene of car accidents in Denver has reportedly gotten really bad. I’ve heard lots of stories from car crash victims who waited 45 minutes, an hour, and longer for cops to respond to their accident scene. In the meantime, the people who witnessed the accident, those who could potentially help you prove the other driver was at-fault, take off. What are you supposed to do?
First and foremost, don’t badger the cops when they arrive. Treat them with respect, always. Not only are they overworked right now (no, they were not sitting at a donut shop taking their sweet time to respond), but they also will be your best advocates for proving your case to insurance companies and, potentially, a jury.
Therefore, assuming you weren’t injured so badly that you have to go to the hospital, there are a few things you can do to make a cop’s job easier. And when you help the cops, you help yourself. So don’t get in your own way by being a jerk to the cops.
Here are some ways you can help the cops at the scene of a Denver car crash:
Exchange insurance information with the other driver
These days, you don’t need a pen and pencil; just snap a picture of the front and back of their card.
Do not assume that an exchange of insurance information is enough and you can drive away to report the incident later. You need a police report. Even if the other driver takes responsibility at the scene, don’t assume he or she will be quite so honest later when they discover how much this accident might cost. You need a police report to make sure fault is assessed at the scene and the other driver can’t slip out of it.
Use your smartphone and take pictures of the entire scene. You can also take videos. You want pictures of your car, the other driver’s car, the other driver’s license plate, the location of the crash, debris on the road, skid marks… anything related to the crash that you will have to describe later.
If people stick around because they saw the accident and want to help, ask them if they would share their name and phone number. If they’re willing, they can also let you take a video statement of them talking about what they saw. Witness statements are often the key element to making sure you get compensated for all of your losses after a Denver car crash.
Keep witnesses at the scene, if possible
Going back to the theme from the top of this story, it is taking cops a long time to make it to the scene of most non-emergency car accidents. Ideally, your key witnesses will stick around, but that can be a lot to ask. If they’ve waited and have to leave, ask again if they’d be willing to make a video statement that you can show the cops.
Be considerate to the cops
In my life, I’ve always found that sugar works much better than vinegar. Not only for getting what you want, but also for establishing trust in a relationship. If the cops have taken a long time to get to your accident, try to imagine what might have kept them. Cops have big, sometimes-dangerous jobs. You may be late for a meeting because of their delay, but imagine what their days are like.
Give them some respect and thank them for arriving at the scene. Remember: you need a police report to find the other driver at fault. Also, if your case goes to trial for any reason, that cop will have to sit on a stand and testify about the accident. What do you want him/her to remember about how you behaved that day?
Car accidents are stressful and they can bring out the worst in people. Try to keep your head, remain calm, and gather the information that will help your case against the other driver later. If cops arrive and see you doing your part to make the event more understandable, helping to dial down the stress, they are more like to understand the entire situation better. And, since you didn’t cause the accident, that’s exactly what you need them to do.
As always, if you’re injured, seek medical help right away, and contact our car accident lawyers in Denver to find out what your options are for getting compensated.