What to Do if 9-1-1 and the Police Are Unable to Help After a Car Crash

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Sep 11, 2020 in Auto Accident

man calling for help after an accidentDue to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, demonstrations, severe wildfires and other emergency situations happening in Oregon right now, the response time of 9-1-1 dispatchers has been unreliable and significantly delayed. Currently, there are reports of 9-1-1 calls not being answered, even during severe auto collisions. As a result, the police may not be available to complete an investigation or fill out a police report.

For motorists, not having a police report can make it difficult to establish what happened in an accident. If you are involved in a car crash and the police or other first responders are unable to come to the scene, you can help preserve evidence and protect your claim by:

  1. Investing in a dash camera and making sure it is set to record when you are driving.
  2. Documenting the accident scene by taking pictures, drawing diagrams and writing down statements and contact details of eyewitnesses. Use your cellphone to capture video if necessary. 

Prepare a Basic Roadside Emergency Kit

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares, triangle reflectors or LED flares
  • A quart or more of motor oil
  • One gallon of coolant
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Blanket or space blanket
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife
  • A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Ice scraper (if you live in an area with snow)
  • Pen and paper
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Bottled water

Assemble the kit and arrange it so items do not get tossed around the vehicle. A cardboard box, plastic tub, or large backpack are effective and mobile. Pre-assembled kits are available via the internet. 

Take time to familiarize yourself with the items in your kit so that you can use them properly when needed. During an emergency, exercise good judgement such as stopping on the shoulder and out of traffic. Turn on your hazard lights. Once you have determined you are safe, use your cellphone video and camera to record the scene and dictate your notes and observations. 

Contact a Licensed Attorney for Legal Help

If you are injured in a car crash due to another’s negligence, it may be necessary, especially if police are unable to come to the scene of your accident,  to take steps to preserve evidence. After seeking medical care, we strongly recommend that you contact a licensed attorney as soon as possible to help protect your legal rights and best interests.

At Rizk Law, we are deeply committed to fighting for the rights of the injured, and we have been doing so for nearly 20 years throughout Oregon. Our Portland car accident lawyers have extensive experience and a proven track record.

Call our firm at 503.245.5677 to schedule your free initial consultation. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs to hire our services. We do not collect any fees unless we recover compensation for you first.