After an Accident

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Q: I was in an auto accident.  I slowed my car, pulled over to the side of the road and checked to see whether the occupants of the other vehicle had been injured, or my mother-in-law.  I called an ambulance, but thought it best not to move her.  Meanwhile, I set out flares, turned my hazard lights on and raised the hood.  I’m not sure who called the police.

I wanted to write down the driver’s info: his name, address, telephone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, etc.  Also, his insurance information.  Plus the guy took out some kind of ‘waiver’.  But no one had a pen.  Not even the witnesses, who left before the police came.  My wife took some pictures.

It was snowing.  The speed limit was 40 mph.  The police asked what happened.  I had trouble remembering.  In hindsight, I would say I was going 45, and he was at 35.  Should I get back to them?

A: I cannot recommend that you get back to the police.  No, no, no.  At the time of an accident, many drivers tell the police the facts, and give their best estimates.  Other drivers find it appropriate to contact an attorney first.  But no one should make guesses.

Days later, you do not seem to have information that aids the police in their performance of a police function.  Are we talking about fault?  That is always a complex issue.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  One needs all the facts and a full mastery of the law.  Even then, it is not the business of the police to receive mere editorial remarks and legal conclusions.

It’s a good thing you signed no waiver.  Do not sign anything before you speak with an attorney.  Do you have a copy of the accident report?  Did you see a doctor?  Take care of that right away: injuries may be lying under the surface.  Come to the lawyer’s office next.  We will tell you what records to keep and give you a balanced presentation.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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