Thursday, September 8, 2011

To Report, or Not to Report---That is the Question

Recently, officers responded to a non-injury accident between a pedestrian and a car. The jogger told police the driver did not stop short of the cross walk, and the front bumper hit his leg causing him to fall to the ground.

The pedestrian, not fully understanding what had happened, got up and kept jogging for a short distance. He then decided a police report should be filed in case his injuries were more serious than he first realized.

By this time, the car was on its way and he was only able to obtain a license plate number. The jogger called police and, after explaining what happened, officers were dispatched on a hit and run accident.

Using the license plate information, officers located the driver of the car. The driver’s account of the accident was consistent with the jogger’s. He said he waited a short time and the jogger resumed his run, so he left.

After a short investigation, it was determined the accident was not a hit and run. It was simply a case where neither party exchanged information. A report was taken to document the event.

So what is the proper way to handle an event such as this? In the absence of injury or DUI, the State of Kansas only requires an accident report be written when the accident occurs on a public street or highway and the damage is over $1,000.00.

The State of Kansas does not require an accident report when the accident occurs on private property, unless there is an injury or suspected DUI, regardless of the damage amount.

The most important step is to exchange information. Reports can always be made at one of our stations (12400 Foster or 8500 Antioch) at a later time. Sometimes, serious injuries are not detected until weeks after an accident occurs, so having the information of the other person involved is essential.

In the above example, since there was no injury and no damage, the exchange of information would have been all that was needed.