What Should I do if:
I am in a car accident
or have been injured.
I have been stopped by the police.
I have been arrested.
I have been arrested for Drunken Driving (DWI).
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF . . .. .
. . .
I AM IN A CAR ACCIDENT or HAVE BEEN INJURED?
CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
- When officers arrive, write down each officer’s
name and where they work
(Sheriff’s Department, City Police Department, or
- Do NOT give any information or make any statements to
police officers, other drivers or passengers, or any other
person involved regarding whether you believe that the accident
was your fault.
- Request that the responding Officer send you a copy of
Obtain as much INFORMATION as possible about all
- DRIVERS: the names, addresses, telephone numbers, driver’s
license numbers, and insurance companies of all drivers
involved in the accident.
- VEHICLES: the year, make, model, and license plate number
of all cars involved in the accident.
- WITNESSES: the names, addresses, and telephone numbers
of all witnesses, including the passengers in every involved
vehicle. Ask the witnesses what they saw. Note the specific
phrases that the witnesses use to describe the accident.
Make a DIAGRAM
- Draw a diagram of the accident scene, making sure to
note the positions of all involved cars both before and
after the accident.
- Take numerous photographs of the accident scene.
- Following the accident, take pictures of your car as
soon as possible.
Get an ESTIMATE
- Bring your car to a body shop of your own choosing and
have the body shop
provide you with an estimate.
- Do NOT let the insurance company pressure you or force
you to take your car to a body shop of its choosing.
- Take pictures of your own injuries.
- Write out a chronology of how the accident occurred:
- What time did the accident happen?
- Where were you coming from and where were you driving
- How did the accident happen?
- Was the other driver on his or her cellular telephone?
- What did the other driver(s) say after the accident?
- Did the other driver(s) say whether it was his/her fault?
- Was the other driver speeding?
- What were the weather conditions (foggy, sunny, etc.)?
- What was the condition of the road (wet, icy, etc.)?
See a DOCTOR
- If you are experiencing any pain following the accident,
you should consult a doctor immediately.
- Do NOT give any statements to the insurance companies
consulting an attorney.
- Do NOT sign any documents without first consulting an
- Do NOT settle your case without first consulting an attorney.
- Do NOT let the insurance company or its adjuster convince
you of the value of
your claim. Consult an Attorney on this issue.
CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY
- An Attorney can advise you of your legal rights, the
strength of your case and its likelihood of success.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF . . . . . . . .
. . . .
I HAVE BEEN STOPPED BY THE POLICE?
DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS
- If a police officer stops you, under the law you are
not obligated to answer any questions or volunteer any information,
other than providing your name, address and date of birth.
There is nothing wrong, and it is safest for you to simply
say, “I do not wish to answer any questions or speak
with you.” Unless you are under arrest, the officer
must allow you to leave. If he or she does not allow you
to leave, you are essentially “under arrest”
and should follow the procedures listed below.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF . . . . . . . .
I HAVE BEEN ARRESTED?
- Whether you are arrested or not, you are not required
to answer any questions or give any statements. The fact
that you remain silent cannot be used against you. Th only
information you must provide is your name, address, and
date of birth.
Do NOT let yourself be pressured into answering the
- Police officers might tell you that they want to hear
your side of the story or that things will be “easier
for you” if you answer questions. Do NOT answer any
questions. Every word you say is evidence that can be used
Tell the Officer that you WANT TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY
IMMEDIATELY and REFUSE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS
- Ask to speak with an attorney and only give basic information
(your name, address, and date of birth). Refuse to answer
any questions without your attorney present.
- If you are arrested and are subjected to custodial interrogation,
you will most likely hear the Miranda warning (“you
have the right to remain silent . . ."). When you hear
the Miranda warning, ask to speak with an attorney and do
not say anything else until you speak with an attorney.
Remember that any statements you give voluntarily can be
used against you.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF . . . . . . . . . .
. . .
I HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DUI)?
CALL AN ATTORNEY
- The officer must inform you of your right to talk with
an attorney before deciding whether you want to submit to
a chemical (blood, breath or urine) test. Whether the officer
informs you of this right or not, ASK to make this call.
Under the law, you must be given a reasonable period of
time in which to contact an attorney.
Request an INDEPENDENT TEST
- Even though you have a constitutional and stautary right
to have an independent test, police officers are not required
to tell this. TELL THE OFFICER THAT YOU WANT AN INDEPENDENT
TEST. The attorney that you speak with should be able to
arrange this test.
As soon as possible after your arrest, write down
- What did the officer give you as his/her reason for stopping
- Did the officer actually see you driving?
- If you were not driving but were in the car, where were
you seated and where were the keys?
- What time did the officer pull you over?
- Did you admit to drinking alcohol or using drugs? If
so, what did you say?
- Did the officer ask when your last drink was, or at what
time you had last used drugs?
- How much time passed from the moment you were pulled
over from the moment the officer ordered you out of the
- Were you alone in the car?
- Did the officer ask you if you take medication?
- When you were talking with the officer, could you feel
the effects of alcohol and/or drugs?
- How much alcohol, and what type, and what controlled
substances had you consumed prior to being pulled over?
- Did the officer have you perform field sobriety tests?
- What test(s) were you ordered to perform?
- If field sobriety tests were administered, how do you
think you did?
- If field sobriety tests were administered, did the officer
tell you how he/she thought you did?
- If a PBT (preliminary breath test) was administered,
did the officer tell you what the result was, and, if so,
what was the result?
- Was the PBT administered before the field sobriety tests?
- Was a chemical test administered (breath, blood, or urine)?
- At what time was the test given?
- Were you given a choice of what chemical test was used?
- What were the results of the chemical test?
- Did you contact an attorney before submitting to the
- How much time were you given to consult an attorney?
- Did you feel rushed in your attempts to call an attorney?
- If you requested a specific attorney, were you able to
reach that attorney? If not, why?
- Did the officer encourage you to call a certain attorney?
- Did you ask to call a family member to arrange for an