When Gretchen Seth was struck by a car during the Sea & Sky Spectacular Air Show at the Beaches, she did everything right. According to WJCT news, she spoke with the sheriff’s officer who arrived at the scene, and she didn’t have any harsh words with the woman driving the SUV that struck her. Even though she’d had the right-of-way, Ms. Seth didn’t push the issue, knowing little good could come of it. Instead, she waited for the ambulance that would carry her to a five night stay in the hospital.
Still proceeding exactly as she should, Ms. Seth contacted the sheriff’s office about the accident, hoping to obtain a copy of the accident report to submit to her insurance company. She was told the report would be available by the end of the week. But the next time she contacted the sheriff’s department a few days later, she was told no report existed. Not only that, she was told no officer had responded to the scene of the accident.
Now, Ms. Seth is facing a terrible uphill battle. Not only is she likely to be in significant pain from her injury, it will be hard for her to work a normal schedule while suffering from a broken leg. Without the accident report, she will have a difficult time getting the other driver’s insurance to pay for:
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages or ongoing compensation due to diminished ability to work
Again, Gretchen Seth did everything right, and the system failed her. And not only did the system fail her, the system refuses to admit that it failed her, instead insisting that no officer responded to the scene of the accident, even though witnesses saw a sheriff’s deputy.
If you are in an accident, be sure you get the name of the investigating officer. Most jurisdictions will provide a preliminary report that you can use to prove that the accident took place. Getting the officer’s business card is also an excellent idea. If you have been injured, or know of someone who has been injured in an accident, the best thing you can do is contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will fight for you and help you prove who was at fault, while also handling the necessary interactions with the courts and the rest of the justice system.