“A car knocked me down in a parking lot, no police came, now I am hurting and the bills are mounting, what are my options?”
Hi, I’m Katelyn Holub, a personal injury attorney practicing law in northwest Indiana. Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from a listener who would like to know their options if no police report was made of a pedestrian knock-down incident where they initially thought they were not injured.
This is a question that we get frequently.
First, it’s not uncommon to suffer a trauma that appears to be minor only to find that days later you have in fact suffered an injury. Most doctors tell us that it sometimes takes as much as two weeks for injuries to appear following a trauma to the body. So quite often people will suffer a trauma due to another person’s carelessness, and think there’s no need to call the police or document what happened.
Obviously, obtaining a police report to document an incident, even when you are not clear that you are hurt, is important and is what we recommend. If you end up not being hurt, you’ve just wasted a few minutes talking to a police officer, getting the name of the other party involved, as well as the name of the insurance company for the other party involved.
But, if there is no police report, you still may be able to make a case.
We have found that with the low cost of security cameras, in many parking lots for grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, shopping centers, and the like, there will be video footage showing the incident involving the knockdown of the pedestrian. Often the video is not great, but it can be just enough to allow an attorney to track down the responsible party.
For example, typically there is a time and date stamp on a video. Sometimes it’s possible to see a license plate on a video. The date and time stamp alone provides the opportunity to go into the store and see if there are records of a transaction. A credit card used to make a purchase can lead to the names of individuals who were present at the time of an incident.
So, the bottom line is that it is very important to get a police report, but all is not necessarily lost if you did not get one. Even your own purchase stub can help show the date and time of when you walked out of the store. That then can be cross referenced against the cameras inside the store at the cash registers. Perhaps if your attorney obtains the video, when you watch the video you can identify the driver of the car standing in the checkout line before the incident. That in turn, enables the storekeeper to further narrow down who it was that was involved in the knockdown incident.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”. Have a fantastic day.