The moments after a car accident are often overwhelming and full of confusion. There will likely be many people involved at the scene. There’s you, the other party or parties that were part of the accident, and emergency responders like paramedics and the police. After the paramedics take a look at you, it’s likely the police will speak with you to get details about the accident for their report. This can be intimidating, even if you weren’t at fault.
There are a few items that you should know when you’re speaking to the police after a car wreck because their report can be an essential part of your car accident claim.
What Should You Say to the Police After a Car Wreck?
It’s likely that you may not be in the calmest state of mind when talking to a police officer. However, showing a temper or raising your voice is not going to help the process and it’s not going to put you in the best light, either. Remember to be polite and respectful.
You may feel intimidated when you’re talking to the police but remember that they’re assessing the situation and writing down information that’s pertinent to the accident. They’re not out to get you or harm you in any way. Keeping this in mind, you can tell the police officer that you don’t want to answer questions until you discuss the matter with your attorney. However, you can also answer some basic factual questions about the accident. They’ll likely ask you to tell your side of the story. At this moment, the crash will be fresh in your mind and you’ll be able to remember more details of what happened. This could reveal critical facts about the crash that shows you weren’t liable.
It’s crucial that you only tell the police facts about the accident. You shouldn’t try to guess or fill in gaps because you could be wrong and this would make your story unreliable. If there are things that you do not remember, you can say that. There may be a third-party witness who will come forward and speak with the police and their account could fill in the details that you’re missing.
You should also know that you can ask the police questions. Get the officers’ names and badges so you know who made the report. You can give these to your lawyer if there’s an issue with receiving the report.
One of the more challenging things that may arise is that the liable party may not be honest in their report. This can happen because they’re scared of being found to be fully responsible for the accident, whether it’s from the damages they’ll owe, their premiums rising, or getting points on their license. They could try to assign some of the fault to you, which could reduce the compensation you receive. If they’re found to be 80% at fault for the accident and you assume 20% of the responsibility, you can only collect 80% of the compensation.
This can be frustrating, but the best thing for you to do is be honest and speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. They’ll be able to advise you on what to do and how to handle this situation. As your attorney gathers evidence and studies what happened, they’ll be able to piece together the true events, showing that you were wrongfully injured.
Welsh & Welsh Attorneys Will Protect Your Rights
When you file your car accident claim, you want to make sure you have legal representation on your side. These matters aren’t always black and white, especially when the other party involved isn’t cooperating or being honest. Having a reliable and experienced lawyer beside you will give you a better chance of getting a full and fair settlement that will help you cover the costs of the accident. You deserve to be able to heal in peace without worrying about bills or how you’re going to afford continued care.
Give our office a call today so we can give you the help you need. Together, we can go through this process so you can put the accident behind you and begin to move forward.