At a car crash scene, everything is hectic. Atlanta police show up, you’re there, the other driver is possibly irritated, or erratic, and somehow you have to answer a ton of questions. But do you really have to answer a ton of questions? There’s nothing more infuriating than finding out that your entire case is coming into question because of how you answered one question.
Find from an Atlanta car crash attorney which questions you actually do have to answer, and which you might want to avoid.
When The Police at the Car Crash Scene
Usually, police are asking questions to complete a police report. If they arrived at the car crash scene, then it’s likely that the crash was serious, and someone was hurt. If you do know anything, it’s always best to cooperate with the police, even if it might paint you in a bad light. If no one is hurt and everything goes smoothly, you can simply file a crash report online.
However, if you’re not sure about something, it’s best to make that clear. Answering a police officer’s questions with “I don’t know” or “I didn’t see” is more honest than trying to piece together the events at the time. After a crash, you’re shaken, and often it takes a while before you can calm your nerves.
If the police ask a question that you’re not comfortable asking, tell them so. If they ask what was going on in the car before the crash, and you’re not comfortable, tell them. However, that may lead to more questioning and possibly suspicion of fault. With the police, it’s always best to give an honest answer.
The Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are a different beast entirely. Not only do these companies make a killing off of minor mistakes and shorting people on payouts, but they work hard to cut short all compensation payments. That means that the heartfelt question, “Oh, is everyone okay?” is actually a tactic to pull you into admitting that there were no injuries. That’s not the real state of things. Injuries may take days or weeks to appear, and when you’re at the car crash scene, you may have no idea.
When it comes to insurance companies, you only have to answer the most basic questions, if you’re one of those responsible people who contact them before you even leave the car crash scene, remember that you only have to give them the who, what, and where information.
That means you tell them who the other driver is, provide their insurance information, explain where the crash happened, and the basics of what happened. This conversation is not the time to get into details over who was at fault or who swerved into what lane.
Don’t Ask The Other Driver Emotionally Charged Questions at the Car Crash Scene
This topic is a hot debate for many drivers. Those who feel a moral obligation to others may lend the other driver a hand. If someone is hurt, you should. But then there’s the issue that comes into play when one driver becomes too inquisitive.
It’s okay to ask if someone is hurt, or if they need medical aid. However, no driver should ask another if they had been drinking or anything along the lines of, “What were you thinking?” Asking broad and emotionally charged questions can make even a calm person mad. In the worst scenarios, an irate driver becomes violent. Avoid asking unnecessary questions.
The only questions that you really need to focus on, or have any right to ask another driver, are for their insurance information, identification, or information, and if they need medical help.
Never put yourself in a dangerous situation by answering any other questions that might engage an enraged driver. Road rage is a real issue, and it leads to many attacks that are otherwise avoidable. If you feel unsafe, leaving your vehicle, contact the police immediately.
Whenever You’re In Doubt, Contact The Weinstein Firm
At The Weinstein Firm, our attorneys help car crash victims protect themselves from insurance companies and assertive drivers. It’s common for one driver to place blame on the other to cover up their wrongdoing. Don’t worry. You did nothing wrong. Even if you have a small assigned percentage of blame, neither the other driver nor the police should make you feel at fault.
Contact The Weinstein Firm to set up a consultation. During this time, an attorney can review your claim and discuss what happened at the car crash scene. Even insurance companies can ask uncomfortable questions that you don’t have to answer, or at least, not right away. Contacting a lawyer can put you in a position to field out unreasonable or unnecessary questions.