When the Police Come, Make Your Voice Heard
It is your responsibility to make sure that police are notified of your accident, and that what is included in the police report is consistent with what you believe happened. This means that even if you are feeling nervous, upset, or shocked, you need to make your voice heard when the police arrive. A police report will be reviewed by an insurance adjuster, so it is critical that a police report reflects key details of your accident.
Information You Should Report to the Police
It is important to know what information you should report to the police when they arrive. You want to give police as many details as possible, but you do not want to blatantly admit fault. That being said, be clear about providing police with:
- The time the accident;
- The precise location of the accident;
- Anyone involved in the accident (you, the driver, any passengers, etc.);
- Whether or not you believe there were any witnesses to the accident;
- What you were doing at the time of accident (i..e waiting at a light, crossing the street, etc.);
- Your version of how the accident occurred; and
- The extent of damages you have initially suffered, including injury to person or damage to property.
If you don’t know the answer to something, just say “I don’t know.” Do not make up information or hyperbolize what happened. This can do more harm than good ultimately.
Tips for Talking with Police and Reporting an Accident
It can be difficult to calmly report an accident; if you’ve been hit by a car, you are no doubt shaken up and nervous about what will happen next. Some tips for talking with police and effectively reporting an accident include:
- Start by calming your nerves. You can do this by taking deep, long breaths, focusing on making your exhale shortly longer than your inhale breath. Doing this for a minute will immediately provide you with a sense of calm.
- Remain polite and professional. Crashes can be emotional, but the last thing that you want to do is raise your voice with a police officer, aggressively disagree, or verbally (and certainly physically) attack the other driver. Remain polite and professional, and focus on sticking to the facts rather than focusing on your emotions.
- Be honest. As stated above, hyperbolizing or flat out lying to the police when reporting your car accident will only do you more harm than good. Honesty is key when filing a police report.
Getting Police Information
After you have filed your police report, make sure to write down each officer’s name and badge number for your personal records. You should also request a copy of the police report. If a copy is not available at the scene, you can call the Las Vegas Police Department to request a copy, or request a copy online.