A Police Officer Would Ask a Car Accident Victims
Car accident interview questions may vary from case to case. However, questions for road accidents and car accident questions usually cover what the victims were doing when the accident occurred, how the accident unfolded if any other witnesses saw the accident, and what the victims believe the cause of the accident was. A police officer may also ask victims what they did immediately after the accident, and the officer will typically gather the contact information of all victims as well.
Interview Questions for Road Accidents
Questions that a witness to a car accident may be asked by the police are outlined below. These questions may be asked during a vehicle accident investigation if they were not adequately answered immediately after the accident occurred.
Please Explain What You Saw
Police officers will generally start with open-ended questions. These questions allow witnesses and accident victims to answer in as much detail as possible about what they remember right after an accident.
Police officers tend to avoid asking leading questions or questions that have simple yes or no answers because those questions can limit the responses that the victim or witness may be able to provide. The first question that is usually asked is about what the victim or witness saw.
Please Explain What You Were Doing Before the Accident Occurred
Since witnesses may not have been focusing on the road or an impending accident before it occurred, the officer needs to understand the context of the witness’s responses. If the witness heard an accident and then rushed to see what happened, their testimony would be of less value than someone who saw the accident unfold in real-time.
Please Explain Where You Were Relative to the Accident
This question may help the police officer establish where the witness or victim was when the accident occurred so that they can determine how the accident happened. If, for example, many witnesses were all at different places when the accident occurred, their combined testimony can be used to reconstruct an entire scene from multiple vantage points.
Please Provide Additional Details Regarding What You Saw
This question allows the witness or victim to recreate the accident as they remember it, focusing on important parts and ignoring other parts they may not fully remember. The officer may then focus on answers that might uncover additional details or note answers that might not make sense so that an accurate account of what happened can be recorded.
Please Explain if You Saw Anyone Else Who May Have Witnessed the Accident
Tracking witnesses is an important first step in reconstructing the events of an accident. Even if a witness or victim did not see much or does not have much information to offer, they can potentially provide leads to others who may have more information.
The police may also ask several guided questions during their interview. These questions may include:
- What was the general position of each vehicle before the accident?
- Was anyone driving erratically, speeding, or going against traffic?
- Were there road or weather conditions that might have led to the accident?
- Did the actions of another driver or an individual, such as a pedestrian, cause or contribute to the accident?
Other unclassified questions and information the police may ask you about include:
- Do you know anyone involved in the accident?
- Do you need a ride home or need medical assistance?
They may also ask you for your contact and insurance information. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accident injuries can be expensive to treat, and insurance is often needed to handle victim injuries in such cases. In 2012 alone, injuries caused by traffic accidents caused a total amount of $18 billion worth of lifetime medical costs. If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you may have to pursue other routes to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Officers should refrain from asking leading questions or accusing anyone of anything. However, keep in mind that an officer will most likely file an accident report and may even testify in court regarding your case if needed. They may issue citations or tickets if victims or those involved in the accident broke any laws.
The police officer may also help guide people away from the accident scene, take statements, gather evidence from the scene, conduct sobriety tests, close off sections of the road, and notify emergency contacts about the accident, if necessary.