What Should You Say To The Police After A Car Accident?
It is natural to feel nervous when a police officer is asking you questions, even when there is no conceivable reason to suspect you of a crime. Car accidents are stressful enough, and the immediate aftermath of a car accident is not the easiest time to present the best version of yourself. All car accidents except very minor ones require a police report. South Carolina law indicates that, if a car accident involves bodily injuries, or if it results in at least $1,000 in property damage, the drivers involved must notify police. A police report can help you prove your car to the car insurance company so that it will reimburse you for your accident-related losses, and if the accident is so destructive that you end up filing a lawsuit, the police report from the accident is an important piece of evidence. Be careful about what you say to the police after the accident, because you could end up making things worse. When talking to a police officer after a collision, you should stick to the basic facts, but to get into details about your accident-related financial struggles and how to recover from them, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.
It Is Easier to Talk Your Way Into Trouble Than Out of It
Police must notify defendants under arrest that anything they say can and will be used against them. Most car accidents, even those that involve bodily injuries, do not result in criminal investigations, but you should still keep in mind that the police report is a piece of evidence for insurance claims and, if necessary, for civil lawsuits.
When responding to car accidents, police first try to determine whether the occupants of the vehicles need medical attention. You should accept the offer to be transported to the hospital by ambulance if an officer offers. Waiting to have your accident-related injuries examined is a big mistake from a medical standpoint as well as a legal one. The police then talk to the drivers separately about how the accident happened. You should tell the truth about what led to the accident, but don’t go into too many details or give too much interpretation. The more you try to blame it on the other person, the more that you come across looking like you have something to hide. Instead, let the truth speak for itself. Every police officer responds to dozens of car accidents each year, and officers can usually tell from looking at the vehicle damage how the accident occurred.
If an officer asks a question that could lead to you being charged with a crime, you have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment. For example, if the officer asks, “Why were you entering the parking lot of this Walmart?” then, “I plead the Fifth” is a better answer than, “I came here to meet a drug dealer and buy drugs.”
Let Us Help You Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you persuade the insurance companies of your claims about your injuries and the accident that caused them. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.