Be Your Own Accident Investigator With DPD's New Policy
Beginning on July 3, if you are involved in a car wreck in Dallas, the Dallas Police Department will most likely not respond. DPD’s new policy is that any car wreck that does not require a wrecker, the damage to the vehicles is under $1000, there are no injuries, and insurance information is exchanged must be reported via the City’s online reporting system. In other words, if you are involved in an accident in which these circumstances exist, DPD will not respond.
Of course, the problem with this new policy is that few of us are good estimators of property damage and sometimes , because of the adrenaline involved in a car accident, we don’t know that we are injured until hours later.
So, if you are involved in a car accident in Dallas, you may have to act as your own investigator and so we recommend the following steps:
Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene. Do not place yourself in further danger and if you are in a high traffic area, move the vehicles to a safe location. Get pictures of the damage, the position of the vehicles (if possible) and of the surrounding areas.
Exchange insurance information and drivers licenses. Yes, you both should exchange this information, even if you are not at fault.
Look for witnesses and get names, addresses, and phone numbers. Ask the witnesses what they saw and take notes.
Take note of any surveillance cameras you might see on surrounding businesses. Gas stations and convenience stores usually have these cameras. If possible, go to these stores immediately and ask to see the camera footage. If they let you see the footage, ask them if they will give you a copy.
If you believe that you might be possibly injured, call the police anyways. The DPD policy says that if you are injured, the police will come to the scene as always. If you feel injured, err on the side of caution and report it via 911.
Even if you don’t think you are injured, report it to the DPD online portal. Even if you believe that you will not pursue legal action, make the online report at Coplogic (dallaspolice.net).
Lastly, call a lawyer. If the other person was at fault, it is never too early to consult with a lawyer who can offer advice and jump on the case at its early stages. The first 48 hours after an accident are critical in preserving evidence. At Adam B. Reed & Associates, we are ready to do that work for you and to offer advice during that important time.
Questions? Contact us today for a no-charge consultation.