There are millions of car accidents every year in the US. Hopefully none of these will involve you but if it does knowing what to do can save a lot of time and trouble. This is especially true when dealing with local law enforcement. Police officers are very busy professionals so here are some things that you can do to help them out.
Call the police immediately
A significant part of what local police do is investigate car accidents and document what has happened. It’s their job, so call them right away – that means dialing 911. And keep in mind, no matter how small an accident may seem, it is still best to call. Don’t let another party talk you out of it! If they try to, it might mean they have some situation that they don’t want revealed –like an expired license or even an intoxication issue.
You can collect data right away
If you are involved in an accident, consider collecting data before the police arrive. This is not time to be shy. For example, find out who the other parties are and any witness’s names. You never know, it could take some time before the police arrive and important people may leave before the police get there. When the police arrive, you can pass the information on to them and this will help them immensely.
Immediately grab your cell phone and start taking some pictures. Things may change quickly post-accident. This way, when the cars and people have are moved, you will now have the visual evidence of what occurred.
This will seem odd but you have the right to record conversations. (Most smart phones today have the capability to do this). Try and record any conversations you have with those at the accident scene, and you can record the police also. It’s 100 percent legal, and it can often be helpful later if the statements on the police report aren’t accurate or if the other person’s insurance contests the report.
No one wants to go spring into action at the scene of a car accident but if it involves you or family, protecting your interests could save you a lot of time and trouble. As we mentioned in this article, consider recording as much of it as you can just in case you need to present the information to an interested parties at a later time.
Special thanks to: Len Stoler Porsche