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A recent Star Ledger article (12/12/16) revealed that the Newark Police Department will not respond to non-fatal accident scenes when called. The absence a police report will present significant problems for you or your lawyer when a claim for property damage or personal injuries is presented to any insurance company handling that/those claim(s). The police report usually contains many of the relevant facts of the accident, as well as the identity and contact information of any witnesses. The report is usually accepted as credible by the insurance company. Without the report your lawyer will probably have to hire an investigator to get many of the facts that would ordinarily be in the report. That cost will be passed along to you.

If you find yourself in an accident and the police (Newark or otherwise) do not respond within a reasonable time, exchange credentials (license, registration and insurance cards) with the other driver(s) involved. Be sure to check the dates on the documents to be sure they are current. Also, make sure that the license plate number on registration card matches the plate on the vehicle. If you have a phone with a camera take a photo of the documents, and of any damage to the vehicles. Keep calm during this encounter because the situation could easily become contentious. After obtaining the information, drive to the nearest police station to report the accident and get further instructions.

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