I had two different callers last week, who were involved in auto accidents and the police came. It was kind of a convoluted accident, not a simple rear-end collision. There were witnesses involved. And in both cases, the clients ended up going to the hospital, so they didn’t get to stick around.
The police officer gave them the police report number. What I suggested to them, was that they call their insurance company and give the statement as best as they could, but to not … and this is the important part … not call or not respond to the other fellow’s insurance company, or if there were multiple cars, other people’s insurance companies, until you get the police report and until somebody takes a look at the report.
In both of those cases I requested that the folks get the police report and then fax it to me or email to me so I can review the police report to see if it jives with the way the client says the accident happened, who the police officer has at fault and all the other information report. The report notes contributing circumstances as to what the parties did. It shows whether there are photos available or not. It shows whether somebody was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It shows insurance coverage. Lots of interesting information on the police report that you really should read if there’s any question as to how an accident happened, get the police report first.
You may not agree with the police report, and then you can make your report accordingly, but it’s good to know what the independent objective police report says before you go and make the report to the other insurance company. Because once you open your mouth, once you make that report, you’re pretty well stuck with what you said. You want to know what you said made sense.
Don’t tell them you were going North and you made this turn, when actually you were going South and you realize after you made the report to the insurance company that you were actually going the other direction. That’s my tip for the day.