Should I Call The Police After A Car Accident In Rhode Island?
Even if the damage to your vehicle is slight, it’s most certainly a good idea to call the police. Oftentimes, the physical damage to your vehicle does not reflect the significance of the injuries that you have sustained. You should, at the very least, get the police on the scene for slight property damage, and if you are injured, have them make a record of the event, including taking the names of the parties and/or witnesses involved.
Will My Attorney Have Access To Any Police Reports Right Away? Can The Police Report From My Auto Wreck Help Or Hurt My Personal Injury Case?
Your attorney should be able to access the police reports, though there might be a one- or two-day waiting period. The police reports can only be helpful to the extent that the appropriate information is submitted to the police officer on the scene. Good information in, good information out, we say. If you don’t provide the correct information or if you are not able to articulate how this collision occurred in an appropriate manner, you are not going to get a very good police report happen to have witnessed the situation (which is a very rare occurrence), the police officer can only record the information they receive. Keep in mind that they are receiving information from two different sources, so unless the parties agree how the situation occurred, the police officer will have to make judgments as to what information they deem reliable compared to the information that the other party may be providing.
When speaking to a police officer after a car accident, you want to be straightforward and honest about the situation; at the same time, you need to be a bit of an advocate for yourself. If the other party is responsible for having caused the collision, you need to make sure that the police officer has sufficient evidence to establish that. Identify any witnesses at the scene and bring them to the attention of the police officer, which means you might need to ask the witness if they will stay at the scene to provide their statement prior to an officer arriving. At the very least, you need to get their information from them. The information you are able to provide to the police officer will determine whether the police report is sufficiently helpful or not.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Personal Injury Claim After A Car Accident In Rhode Island?
Like anything else in law, there is not one clear-cut answer. The very short answer to that question is you have three years from the date of the incident in which to file a personal injury claim in the state of Rhode Island—that is the general rule, though there are some exceptions. One exception is what we call the discovery rule. If you didn’t know of your claim and only later discover that you have a claim, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations, which means extend the period of time in which you can make a claim. Also, if you are under a disability, you may be able to toll the statute in some fashion, but these are the exceptions, not the rule.
How Important Is It To My Personal Injury Case That I Sought Medical Attention Following A Car Accident To Have My Injuries Properly Documented By A Medical Professional?
Oftentimes, if you are involved in an accident, your injuries are not immediately apparent. If you don’t have the need for immediate medical attention, then you shouldn’t be seeking immediate medical attention. On the other hand, if your injuries are serious enough to warrant immediate medical attention, then by all means, you should visit a medical professional right away.
I tell my clients who are involved in accidents that the medical attention you receive is really in direct relationship to the seriousness of your injury. So, if you are seriously injured, then you should do what most people would do in that situation: seek medical attention.
Failure to seek medical attention will most certainly have an impact on your case, but that’s something we will deal with in an appropriate fashion. If the fact of the matter is that you’ve had a delayed reaction to the situation and it did not appear to manifest itself until a later time, then that’s the time that you ought to be seeking medical attention. Going to a doctor to “just get checked out” and having no injuries appear can have as detrimental of an effect as not going at all. Therefore, you ought to seek medical attention commensurate with the seriousness of your injuries.
For more information on Auto Accidents, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (401) 831-0555 today.