Talking To The Police After A Car Accident

Posted on: 5 February 2015


Vehicle collisions are, unfortunately, very common today. The average driver will be involved in a car crash about every 17.9 years, which means that you are likely to have some type of fender bender at least once during your life. With odds like these, it makes sense to prepare yourself properly, just in case. After a car accident, one of the first things you'll have to do is talk to the police. This can cause a sense of paralysis: What do you say? How do you say it? Keep reading to learn the best way to deal with police after an accident.

Sharing Your Information

The first thing that the police office will typically do is to ask for your personal information, including driver's license and proof of vehicle insurance. Provide this promptly, and answer any questions related to your insurance fully.

There is no need to speak directly with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. In fact, it's better if you have no contact with them at all, because there may be a dispute about who caused the accident.

The police officers will share any necessary information with the other parties involved in the accident, and you will be given their name and insurance information as well.

Discussing Accident Circumstances

The police are going to ask you for information about how the accident happened. It is your right to say nothing, and there may be times when this will be best. If you are dazed and therefore unable to think clearly directly after the accident, don't make any statements unless you are completely certain about what you are saying.

If you are able to think clearly enough to remember everything about the accident, simply stick to the basic facts when you talk to the police. For example, if you were struck from behind while driving slightly under the speed limit, you might say something like "I was driving down the interstate, going just under the speed limit, and I felt the impact as another car struck my vehicle from behind." Stick to the basics when talking about the accident circumstances.

Discussing Fault

Be very cautious about saying anything that could potentially implicate you in the accident. The information you share with the police will be a matter of record, and the police report can later be used to help your car accident lawyer build your case.

Similarly, it could be used against you by the other person involved in the accident, so it's wise to say as little as possible regarding fault. If you admit to being partly responsible, even in a small way, this is known as contributory negligence. It could prevent you from recovering any damages from the accident.

Remember, the police are your friends at post-accident time. They can document the accident properly with your help, and this will be good for your case later on. Cooperate with the police without over-sharing, and call a car accident lawyer, like Diane Parsons, as soon as possible after the accident for the best outcome!