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05/02

Policy Changes Mean More Problems for Drivers

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

vegashurt_fender_benderDrivers have been less than impressed with the Metro Police’s decision to stop responding to fender-bender accidents. Currently, Las Vegas police will only respond if the accident involves injuries. Personal injury attorneys, insurance companies and drivers have all complained about the new system and are asking for a return to the old one, according to a recent report.

A Poorly Devised System

The new guidelines went into effect on March 3, and so far there have been nothing but complaints from motorists. The problem with the system seems to be that the LVMPD has given up all control over accident reports. Drivers must now submit a report to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. There is almost no way for a driver to prove that he or she was not at fault for an accident or collect compensation from the driver who caused the accident to repair his or her vehicle.

This system also has almost no way of identifying or controlling those who may be victims of injuries whose symptoms do not appear until much later after the accident. Whiplash injuries, for example, are notoriously difficult to identify and symptoms may not appear for many days after a crash. By this time, the driver and the person who caused the accident are both long gone from the scene, making it very difficult to prove any account of what happened.

Personal Injury Attorneys Unite

Personal injury attorneys have been almost unanimously against this policy change, but what is surprising is that they have been joined by insurance companies in their negative assessment of the situation. Several attorneys have reported taking cases involving motorists who are having difficulty getting insurance due to these new standards. Insurance companies state that a case that could have been settled quickly now takes a minimum of 20 percent more work to sort through witness statements and determine fault. This will translate into an increase in premiums for paying customers.

Hit-and-run accidents are particularly problematic. Without a police report, most insurance companies must charge victims a deductible in order to fix their cars. If the driver does not come forward, an event that is highly unlikely, the victim will be left to pay for the damage.

If you have been the victim of an accident, it is more important than ever to protect your rights. Contact Bernstein & Poisson today to learn more about how you can recover damages.

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