OK, Get a Police Report for fender benders


#1

I have kind of poo pooed getting a police report for minor fender benders but now I confess I have changed my mind. As I reported a lady ahead of me in a drive through lane got frustrated with the speaker and decided to back up. I was behind her and she did $2000 damage to my bumper cover, headlight, hood and fender. We did call the police and he got the statement from her that she backed into me. She started a claim with her insurance the next day where she also said she backed into me who was stopped. Then trying to settle the claim with Travelers, they hemmed and hawed and said she changed her story. I have no idea if this was standard procedure for Travelers or not or if she actually did change her story but after faxing the police report, I had her dead to rights, and they quickly closed the file.

In Minnesota, damage over $1000 requires filling out a “Crash Report” (name changed from what used to be an “accident report” interestingly). I did mine the next day with the diagram etc. of what happened. I really don’t think the perp ever did, but if she did and changed her story, that’s a bigger penalty than the misdemeanor of not filing the report. Falsifying a public document is not something you want to do in Minnesota.

So at any rate, I take it back and encourage having the police come but get your car out of the traffic lane at least.


#2

Definitely!
Back around 1975, a woman from NYC hit the rear end of my Volvo while I was stopped at a traffic light. The recoverable bumper on my car absorbed the impact and there was no damage to my car, but her Buick’s nose was badly crunched. Luckily, a cop came along shortly and wrote-up a report.
The woman admitted her guilt, and I drove on without any worries…or so I thought.

About 3 months later, her insurance company contacted me, and stated that she claimed I had caused the accident by stopping abruptly. In addition to telling the insurance rep that the other driver–Esther Hoffman–was a lying turd, I mailed a copy of the police report to her insurance company, and I never heard anything further on this issue. If she had decided to press the issue, it would have been interesting, because I had two passengers (as verified by the police report) who were ready to testify that we had been stopped when she hit us, and she was alone in her car (as verified by the police report).

Hopefully her insurance company charged her with attempted fraud, but…who knows…
:smirk:


#3

I fully agree. Some years ago the state and cities here started telling everyone involved in an accident if there were no injuries to move the cars out of the way and go on with your life.

The trial lawyers must have pushed this through so they can quibble over the differences later at a couple of hundred bucks per hour.
The fact there are no apparent injuries at the time of the accident does not mean that something will not crop up a few days later.

Many people change their stories after a few hours of thought. I was in an accident some years ago. The lady (totally her fault) told the cops on scene one thing. The next day she told her insurance company something else.
This eventually led to push and shove. At that point she told a 3rd story during the depositions and a 4th story in court.

Good thing this didn’t go to the Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court or there would have been Version 5 and 6…


#4

My mom’s car was rearended by some young punk a few years ago.

Both cars were REALLY smashed up

The police was notified. After about an hour, it was clear they weren’t going to show up, so we exchanged information and went on our respective ways

We called the police AGAIN and told them to not bother, because if it takes them that long to send somebody over, just forget it. We can’t wait all day

About 6 hours later . . . ! ! ! ! . . . we got a call from the police that an officer was at the scene, but none of the damaged cars or the owners were anywhere to be seen. We told them that they were incompetent, because we had notified them hours earlier to not bother sending anybody, because we can’t wait all day

So having the police come by is a great idea . . . but in reality, it doesn’t always work


#5

Thanks for the tip.

On a accident, a lady casually hit my right side while crossing three lanes.

My horn was blowing for at least 3 seconds.

It was rush hour traffic and I wanted to call police, but I had no phone.

I thought about pulling to the emergency lane and then calling the police.

But the lady was impatient, so I just got her insurance and license info.

She admitted her mistake, but later lied to her insurance company.

They paid the claim.

I guess the police would have been able to determine who was at fault even if our cars were moved.

I am considering getting a dash cam that records front and back.


#6

These type of people who so effortlessly lie and try to shift the blame to somebody else sometimes make me question the basic goodness of human beings

It also makes me wonder what kind of role models . . . if any . . . they had when growing up

Perhaps they watched their own parents, friends, neighbors, etc. also being dishonest . . . ?

Sadly, I’ve worked with several dishonest people like this . . . and even some of my current colleagues are like this

I’ve long ago stopped telling them that I believe what they’re doing is not okay . . . because no good can come of it, and they can’t take any criticism, or even any opinions which don’t mirror their own. I have to work with them, so maybe it’s better to not speak up and maintain a good working relationship


#7

Sorry it took a crash for you to change your mind. I attended a safety conference last year and heard a presentation from the local police department about accident reconstruction. The officer doing the presentation complained about doing reports for such crashes.
I get that this is probably one of the most menial tasks a police officer can do; however, even minor repairs can get into a couple of thousand dollars, especially if you consider the time of all the people involved in the repair, a replacement rental, and so forth. I’m not really sure who else could serve as an unbiased reporter on the events. I’d say these reports stop a great deal of unnecessary legal proceedings and are the fairest piece of evidence in determining fault.


#8

Long time ago I was in a hit & run. A guy crossed into my lane and scraped the side of my car. I pulled right over and he just took off. Luckily people were standing nearby and got his plate. I called the police. Police made a report and they later gave me all his info including his insurance, yes he had insurance.

So get this, I file a claim with his insurance. The guy later actually claims he stopped and gave it to me! And the insurance believed him! The insurance then decides the accident was half my fault when it was clearly all his fault. I had to get the police officer to contact the insurance co. to state the other driver never stopped and had a warrant issued for it.
After that, they quickly paid me the full amount. I don’t know what became of the other driver.


#9

Considering how affordable they are, maybe it’s time to start doing like Russian drivers and documenting every car trip with a dash-cam.

"“You can get into your car without your pants on, but never get into a car without a dash cam,” Aleksei Dozorov, a motorists’ rights activist in Russia told Radio Free Europe last year."


#10

In most of Western NY, with the exception of the City of Buffalo. police will NOT respond to a non injury accident. State law requires reporting even a non injury accident if the damage is over a certain amount, I think it is $2500 but am not sure. I have never heard of the law being enforced except for commercial drivers.

Just because an accident report is required, it is the responsibility of the driver not the police. The police can issue reports and attend accident scenes but are not required to do so sans injury.


#11

What I don’t like about the policy of not responding to non-injury collisions is that so many times a motorist may not even have symptoms of an injury caused collision until hours, days, or even weeks later.

With the police not being involved at the start a collision can leave way too many loose ends as to whodunnit.

Some years ago when the city manager here was liquored to oblivion and ran a stop sign at 50 MPH before colliding with a utility pole and missing a natural gas junction by 6 feet half the cops in town responded to that one.

The city manager was so drunk he walked away without a scratch; leaving the city issued Crown Vic a mangled mess.
And per the usual, he was never arrested or even cited nor was he even terminated from his job.
You’ve never seen a vehicle hidden so quickly under a tarp and crushed so quickly…


#12

Sometimes the insurance company is telling the lies.When we hear that the driver changed the story, it’s just the insurance company trying to save money. Allstate was mentioned and I have not heard many good words about them.


#13

With budget cuts, and so many towns staring down a heroin epidemic, don’t expect police to prioritize responding to a fender-bender without injuries…


#14

I got hit in a parking lot at a shopping center, and was told police reports are not filed on incidents on private property, she was as honest as I and her insurance company covered the damages. She hit my car while parked.


#15

She was parked and hit your car? How did she do that ?


#16

speaking of heroin . . .

There’s a young homeless heroin addict hanging around my mom’s church. He hangs around the parking lot, and sometimes sleeps in the bushes.

he looks like he’s dying, but he’s not yet ready to accept help

Interestingly enough, the pastor has not yet notified the police, even though the drug addict is suspected of some petty theft of church property

If I hear of any cars being broken in at the church parking lot, I’m going to have a talk with the pastor. I know the congregation means well, but there’s only so much :poop: you should put up with

Apparently the items he steals are pawned off, to support his drug addiction


#17

So ask the pastor if he’d rather the guy just die or get him some help, whether he is ready or not. I give to the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul and they are very good at turning people off of drugs and alcohol and turning their lives around. Most places have similar organizations but I couldn’t stand to just watch the guy deteriorate.


#18

I would say he spent some time in jail.


#19

There are still plenty of good honest people.

I once was towed by a wrecker for only $7.

Another time a college student repaired a leaking fuel line for me when I was stranded.


#20

If you are in a fender bender and the cops won’t show up – Use your cell phone to take a photo of the other person’s license, registration, tag, and insurance card. Then take photos of the damage to both cars and also shoot the area, streets, stop signs, and traffic lights. Then call your insurance company and ask them what you should do. If possible get a signed statement from the other person. AND if you are at fault – ADMIT IT. Honesty always pays.