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Making a Statement to the Police

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 7 Dec 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Making A Statement To The Police

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and you have reported the incident, then you might be asked to give a statement to assist the police with future crime prevention.

This does not imply that you have committed a crime and you are not under any legal obligation to provide a statement - you don't have to give a statement at all if you don't want to, but it can be useful to have your account on record, especially if the accident was not your fault – or if you think that the other motorist is going to lie about the circumstances.

It can also help your insurance company if you give your version of events on record – giving them something to refer to if they need to.

Preparing Your Statement

If you’ve recently been involved in a road accident then there is a good chance that you’ve suffered shock at some point – and this can make you get muddled up and say things that you don’t mean. It’s really important that you don’t do this when you’re making a statement - anything you say may be used against you in a hearing, or in a court of law if a case is brought against you.

With this in mind you need to make sure that you cover everything you want to and make sure that your statement is solid and backed up where possible with appropriate evidence. It’s always best if the final statement stays as such, and doesn't need any corrections or amendments later on as this can damage your credibility with the court.

If you are intending to make a statement then you should make sure that you only include facts and that you include any details that can prove that what you are claiming is the truth.

Going to the Police Station

If you’re not used to giving police statements then having to do so can be quite scary – especially if you’re still shaken up from the accident

When you first arrive at the station, you’ll probably have to wait until an officer can see you. This is where your nerves can start to get the better of you, but do try and relax and don’t worry. The police have a responsibility to investigate road traffic incidents and to record their findings and you are just helping them to do so.

Making Your Statement

You will be assigned an officer who will be trained in taking statements, and are usually very patient and helpful, guiding you through the process

What To Include

You should include the following in your statement:

  • What you were doing when the accident occurred, e.g. where you were going
  • What happened immediately prior to the accident – did someone swerve to avoid a dog, or did the sunshine directly into your eyes as you turned a corner?
  • What happened immediately after the crash – did the other motorist give or refuse to give you their details?
  • What was the demeanour of the other driver – did they appear drunk, behave erratically or threaten you?
  • Were there any witnesses? Did you get their details? Offer this information.
  • Describe the damage to the vehicles, both yours and that of the other driver(s).

The police officer may also ask you specific questions. If you are happy to answer, then do so, but make sure you are 100% sure that your answer is correct. If you’re not 100% sure or you aren’t comfortable answering for any reason, then decline to do so. When making your statement remember the golden rule that you should only include facts unless specifically asked for your opinion, which must be indicated as such - and that you include any details or evidence that can prove your claim.

The police officer taking your statement should listen carefully, make full notes, clarify any parts of your statement that are unclear and will then ask you to sign and date your statement when it is complete. They should also advise you of the next course of action, if any, that is to be taken and what you need to do.

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I was knocked down by a car. I was un-conscious for over 1.5 hours. When I came round in hospital the medical team told me not to move as they thought my back was broken. I was coming round and in shock and vomited. I had had a drink but was by no means drunk. It was at this point a WPC decided to interview me as to the cause of the accident. Appropriate or not...? My back wasn't broken but I sustained serious injuries and the following day had to be admitted to the "HDU." I never saw another police persona nd it took me 2.5 years to get a copy of the accident report. Is it usual for the police to attempt to interview casualties whilst receiving medical attention?
None - 7-Dec-14 @ 2:51 PM
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