Statements Made at an Accident Scene

Contributed By: Anna Betts

When the police arrive at the scene of a car wreck, their job is to determine what happened.  One of an officer’s tools for determining fault is taking statements from all drivers.  It is important to tell the police your side of how the car accident happened.  However, keep in mind that anything you say will most likely be included in the police report.  For this reason, if you misstate anything or speculate as to what happened, the officer may include those misstatements and speculations in his or her report.

The best advice is to keep your description of the facts short and simple.  Explain only what you KNOW and do not speculate.  There is one exception, if you observed or suspect that the other driver was doing anything illegal or odd at the time of the collision, mention that to the police officer.  If you are injured in the car accident, let the police officer know where you are hurt.  That, too, will be included in the report.  If you waive off help or try to “tough it out,” the police officer will mark “no injuries” on the report.

Statements made to the police and statements made to the other driver are admissible in court if your case should go to trial.  They are called a “party admission.”  So, be mindful of what you say, even to the other driver, and always tell the truth.  If the other driver says anything to you, mention it to the police officer so that it can be included in the report.  Things that may seem trivial at the scene can become very important later if you have a case that goes to trial.

Car accidents happen.  However, the more you know about what to do after a wreck, the more prepared you will be to handle it.  If you have an accident in Bentonville, Rogers, Fayetteville, Springdale, or even on I-540, please give our office a call and see what we can do to help you.

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