If you are involved in an accident, it is imperative to call the police, regardless of how minor the accident is, how little damage might have occurred to the vehicles that were involved or who was at fault in the accident. In many places, it is illegal not to call the police when there is an accident. Plus, you will need to have proper documentation of what happened for the insurance company and for any lawsuits that might arise later on.
However, once the police arrive, you might be unsure of how you are supposed to talk to them. In fact, you might be wondering if you are supposed to talk to them at all. This is a simple guide to help you do the right thing.
Be Polite and Cooperative
It can be easy to feel a bit nervous when you’re around the police. This can be especially true when you have just been in an accident and are feeling emotional about the whole situation. It is important not to let your emotions get in the way when you are talking to the police, and you should be polite and cooperative. This can help avoid any potential issues when you’re dealing with the police. Plus, manners can go a long way when it comes to how the police will treat you as well.
Provide Specific Information Only
The police will probably ask you quite a few questions upon arriving at the scene of the accident. In general, it is okay to answer specific questions about what happened. However, you should not provide any added commentary. Telling the police what you might think happened, apologizing or anything like that could come across as you admitting fault or could otherwise be a bad thing. Also, if you are asked a question that might incriminate you, you can tell the police that you do not want to talk to them until you have a lawyer present.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
The police are there to help everyone out at the scene of the accident, and they aren’t supposed to choose sides, either. Even though the police might be there to ask questions and make a report, they can also often help with things like calling an ambulance so that you can get medical attention. It is never a bad idea to seek medical assistance after an accident, even if you don’t think that you are injured; this is because not all injuries are easy to see right away. Plus, it’s good to start a paper trail for any injuries that you might have sustained during the accident in case of a lawsuit or an insurance claim.
In the event that you are in an accident, it is never a bad idea to ask the police to help you call an ambulance. Additionally, if you need a tow truck, the police may be able to give you advice about a local company that offers this service.
Hire an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Even though you may be able to answer basic questions to law enforcement about the accident, it’s best to avoid talking to anyone else after an accident — such as the insurance adjuster — without the help of an attorney. As soon as possible after your accident, you are going to want to seek legal counsel. When choosing a lawyer, look for someone who has experience in handling car accident cases. Make sure that you bring any paperwork that you have from your accident when you meet with your attorney, such as the police report that you were given at the scene of the accident, any documents that you might have received from your insurance company or insurance adjuster, any medical bills that you might have received for accident-related medical care and anything else that you might have on hand. This can help give your lawyer a better idea of what you are working with. Then, your lawyer can help represent you in the best way possible, can provide suggestions, can deal with the insurance company and can otherwise help with every aspect of your case.
Dealing with the police after an accident can be pretty overwhelming and scary. However, it does not have to be. If you follow these tips, you can help ensure that you handle things in the best way possible after an accident. This can make a big difference in the way that things turn out after your wreck.