In most instances, the investigating police officer to the scene of an auto accident will interview the drivers, passengers, and any witnesses and ask them what happened. That information will be contained in an Accident Report. The purpose of this is to document the crash and determine whether anyone is at fault and should be issued a traffic citation.
Interestingly, the statements of anyone involved in the crash given to the officer during the accident investigation are legally privileged. In other words, subject to a few exceptions, the statement given to the officer will not be inadmissible in a court of law in subsequent proceedings, like a personal injury case.
Why you ask? There is a reason for this. The public policy behind the “accident report privilege” is to allow those involved in a crash to speak freely to the officer about the incident without fear of having their statements later used against them in Court. In other words, obtaining accurate information relating to the investigation outweighs the admissibility of these statements in subsequent court proceedings.
What does this mean to you? Simply put, every driver or witness to a crash should feel comfortable about talking to the officer and relating accurately what they know about the crash without fear of having the information used against them later.
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