When a car accident occurs, there are many questions that flood through our minds. Though it is an anxious experience, carefully collecting information is important even if negligence hasn’t occurred. This can be done simply by speaking to the driver, or by taking photos or video to keep a good record.
Here are some important questions to ask both the other driver(s) and police at the scene of an accident.
Questions to Ask Driver at the Scene of an Accident
Is this your car?
This is an important question because it affects the way insurance works. If it’s not their car, they may still be covered by the owner’s insurance, particularly if they were a permissive driver (i.e. the owner gave them permission to drive it).
What is your information?
There’s a variety of information that needs to be collected at the scene of an accident. While you should always contact the police to have them file an official report, you can get things going by asking for information like:
- Home address
- Best phone number
- Email address
- Insurance carrier & policy number
- Make, model, year,and plate number of the vehicle
How fast do you think you were going?
This kind of question can provide insight into the other driver’s state of mind. It also may indicate intent or knowledge of wrongdoing, especially if they openly admit to going over the speed limit.
Where were you coming from?
This may seem like an insignificant question, but whether they answer that they were coming from a party or some sort of social gathering, work, or home. It helps to establish a time frame and understand the mindset of the driver.
Were you on your phone?
If the driver was on their phone, this would be in violation of Indiana law. As of July 1, 2020, it is now illegal to hold a telecommunications device in your hands while driving in the state of Indiana, unless you are calling 911 in an emergency. This law includes both cell phones and tablets.
Questions to Ask Police At The Scene of an Accident
Can we compare the information provided by the other driver?
Check with the police to see if the info that they gave you matches what they gave to the officers, and to ensure that it is all accurate.
Have there been other accidents at this location?
Asking about other accidents in a particular intersection or stretch of road may point to poor road conditions or design. A personal injury attorney can use this to investigate whether other factors may have been to blame, and if other parties are liable for the accident.
Who appears to be at fault?
Police officers are trained to determine who caused a crash. If the officer is assigning fault to you and you don’t think that’s correct, you need to find out why and provide additional information.
It is possible to record the conversations you have with the other driver and police. Indiana is a single-person consent state, meaning you can discreetly turn on an audio recording app on your phone without having to make a big deal about it.
Auto accidents have many factors and it’s important to learn the facts of the case early to protect your rights. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and believe the other driver is at fault, call Christie Farrell Lee & Bell for a free consultation and put top Indiana injury attorneys to work for you. From listening to your story to fighting for you in court, we’re your advocates.