Interacting with the Police After a Car Accident
Let’s face it, interacting with police after a car accident is intimidating without a lawyer present. If you’ve been involved in a crash, your actions during the initial investigation can greatly impact how the police decide to report the incident.
The first thing the police officer will do is collect information to determine the cause of the accident. If they believe that you were at fault, they may arrest or ticket you.
In some states, police officers have legal access to breathalyzers and other tools that can detect whether someone has been drinking before the collision occurred. If a police officer suspects that someone in the car was drunk driving, they will probably ask them to take a breathalyzer test even if no one was injured in the crash.
If the police don’t think the people involved were violating drunk driving laws and everyone is safe, they’ll usually let everybody go with just a warning or perhaps a citation for minor traffic violations like failure to yield.
If there aren’t any witnesses or evidence, it’s going to be your word against theirs about the cause of the collision, so choose your words carefully. Don’t get caught in a game of he-said, she-said that could damage your credibility.
Law Enforcement Just Wants Facts
It’s best to keep in mind that police officers aren’t there to solve your insurance claim. They are simply there to file an official report. So even if you’re upset, it’s important to stay calm and not argue with officers or other people about what might have been the cause of the collision.
So even if you’re upset, it’s important to stay calm and not argue with officers or other people about what might have been the cause of the collision.
The cops are just doing their job and are required to investigate every accident. It’s a good idea to filter what you say and do, so that you don’t get in trouble and so that you can receive compensation if you were injured.
The police will be scouring the scene for any evidence that would support the case for either side, so expect them to be looking around for skid marks or other physical indicators of who was at fault. This is normal and not necessarily an indication that you’re in legal trouble.
You may talk to the officer about weather conditions or missing street signs that may have impacted the crash and anything else that might absolve you of guilt.
Contact and Attorney and Don’t Admit Fault
Don’t admit fault, even if you think you’re at fault. The other driver might also be at fault, or there may be an issue with insurance information that needs to be resolved first.
Interacting with the police after a car accident is stressful, but remember they’re there to help you and so is your legal team. Call Greenstein & Milbauer at 800-842-8462 to have them review your case.