Cops Cheating Accident Victims


As an experienced personal injury lawyer since 1982, it gives me no pleasure to write the above headline.  Many of my friends (indeed my family) are cops, and overall they do a great job protecting us from the bad guys.

Nonetheless, when I see a practice everyday that hurts my clients, I need to speak up. Lately, throughout Sacramento, officers have been coming to accident scenes and failing to write a police report.

Last week, I had a call from a lady in a new BMW who was involved in a collision on Folsom Boulevard with over $30,ooo in damage to her car.

When the police officer arrived he asked ” Are you OK”, she took quick stock and answered “I guess so” and he just had the drivers exchange information and went on his way.

Now the medical profession is well aware that most people have no idea at an accident scene if they are injured or not. Sure, if they break a bone they’ll know it, but the vast majority of cases involve injuries that show up later.

It takes awhile for edema (swelling) to show up. Further, many times, people in accidents are in a state of shock.  It may be many days  or even weeks before the drivers or passengers make their way to a local hospital or doctor for treatment.

In a fair percentage of those cases, the injury treated will  be a permanent one  involving long term disability or surgery.

And in those cases, it is often difficult or impossible for the injured party to prove fault because an officer failed to ask for witness addresses,  make a quick assessment of the scene, and otherwise help document the facts that would pinpoint liability.

Most citizens in accidents are taxpayers who deserve better.

Just to be clear, it’s technically the officer’s choice to write a police report or not if someone says they are not injured , but in the  past most officers realized the harm lack of a report would cause, recognized the mental state of people involved in the collision and would take the time to write a report.

No longer.

My suspicion is that some pen pusher who hasn’t been on the streets in years, is behind this not the officers themselves.

Nonetheless, it’s hurting people every day who should be helped and not punished.

Until the Sacramento police policy changes, I’d suggest in any decent property damage accident that, if the officer asks if you’re injured, to tell him “Yes”, because you likely ARE.

I’m Ed Smith, an injury lawyer in Sacramento since 1982. Call me anytime at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400, for free friendly advice.

Look up my Firm’s ratings on Yelp or Avvo.

Photo Attribution: By California Highway Patrol (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.