At the Accident Scene
Always have the police called to the scene to investigate
It never ceases to amaze me how many times accident
victims are "talked out" of calling the police by the at
fault driver using lame excuses like, "Here's my home
and work numbers, call me when you get your repair
estimate and I'll write you a check, no problem"-or- "You
said you weren't injured" -or- "My husband will kill me if I
get a ticket" -or- "I've got good insurance!"
Let me just give you my insurance information, and they
will square you away only to find out later that:
1. The other party will not pay for the property damage
like he promised.
2. The next day you hurt all over.
3. The other party had his insurance policy canceled or
the insurance company denies liability based upon
what the other party has told them about the accident.
Leave your vehicle where the accident took place until
the police tell you to move it. People can be very
creative when explaining to the investigating officer why
the accident was your fault not their fault, even though
the front of their car is smashed in, as well as the back
of your vehicle. Moving your vehicle is moving physical
evidence. This may affect the officer's opinion about
how the accident happened and who is at fault! If your
physical condition permits, get out of your vehicle and
wait for the police on the side to the road.
Don't add insult to injury. Or maybe I should say, "Get
out of harm's way." If the weather, roadway or lighting
conditions contributed to the other guy to hitting you,
then these same conditions may contribute to another
guy running into both vehicles, injuring you further and
complicating the liability issues.
Be cautious with conversations with the person at
fault, witnesses, emergency medical personnel, and
the police. After an accident, the person who causes it
tends to be the one who will check on you first, ask if
you are okay, and apologize or say that it was his fault.
It's human nature for a person who causes an accident
to do this. However, when he asks you, "Are you
okay?" instead of politely saying, "Yea," tell him how
you feel: "I'm dizzy." "My neck hurts." "I've got a
headache." Same thing goes for the officer, witnesses
and emergency medical personnel. Tell them how you
Apologies also help the officer determine legal
responsibility for the accident or point up the need for
more investigation. The, "I'm sorry, I just turned on the
radio and I didn't see you stop" is a perfect example. If
the officer has an admission from one of the
participants he may be able to easily come to his
conclusion about the cause of the accident. However
human nature being what it is, the other may "change
his story" and say you "stopped short," after
contemplating the financial repercussions of his
actions during the time it takes for the police to get to
Tell the officer about your conversation with the other
guy and the apology he made. When the officer hears
this scenario from you, he may see the need to do a
more thorough investigation!
For specific information on what to do after an
Automobile Accident, go to the main Accident & Injury
Page and click on At the Accident Scene You Should
Do This, After the Accident Seek Prompt Medical
Attention, After the Accident Call Us Immediately, and
After the Accident We will Protect you.
Contact us for additional information before it is too
Copyright 2011, Noble & Quinn, Attorneys at Law, P.C.
Attorneys at Law, PC
"At Noble & Quinn,
Our Clients Come First"