After a car accident, 911 is routinely called if the crash involved property damage and/or injuries. Understandably, after being involved in a crash, you might feel confused or even disoriented in the moments that follow. You especially might not think twice about the statement you provide to the responding officer, simply trusting that the police report will accurately corroborate your account of events.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Here are three things to keep in mind when speaking with the responding officer:
1. Ask the Officer to Turn Their Body Camera On
While this might seem like a strange request, the body camera can record everything you say. If for any reason the police report doesn’t match what you remember saying to the officer, this footage can help to potentially amend the report.
2. Make Sure the Officer Repeats Everything Back to You
Something as simple as this can also ensure the accuracy of the report. In the aftermath of a crash, you might feel frazzled or the officer might jot down inaccurate or incomplete notes. Having the officer repeat everything you say back to you can ensure that you feel confident about your retelling of events and that you stand by your statement.
3. Write Down the Police Report Number
Asking for and recording the police report number is a step that many people forget, or simply don’t know, to take. The police report can be instrumental following the crash, stating basic facts about the accident scene and even providing the officer’s conclusion on what may have happened. While police reports are inadmissible in court should your claim go to trial in Georgia, the report can be particularly helpful at the start of the process with the insurance company and throughout the duration of the investigation.
Police reports are typically filed one to two weeks following the accident. However, things can happen. Having the police report number can be helpful in order to purchase a copy of the report as soon as possible following the crash.
While no one anticipates being involved in a car accident, unfortunately, accidents are common. Understanding what steps to take following a crash can make a significant impact on the process to follow.