Oops. I Hit A Police Car. What Do I Do Now?
If you are involved in an accident with a police car, a fire engine or any other emergency services vehicle, treat the situation like you would any other accident. Follow the post-accident checklist, but be more guarded and cautious than you would be in a normal accident, and do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you think you may need one. Attorneys at the Advocates are available 24-7 for free consultations.
Take a Deep Breath and Assess the Situation
If you have just heard the tell-tale crunch of metal and felt the snap of your neck after an automobile collision, the first thing you need to do is to stay calm. You are going to need your brain and composure to get you through these next steps.
Take a deep breath, look around you, and determine what is going on. If you are driving, look at your passengers, and figure out which way is up. Do not let the police officer intimidate you into not following these steps.
Move to Safety
Now that you know which way is up, try to move to safety. If you are pinned inside the vehicle, just hold tight until emergency personnel arrive on the scene. If you can drive the vehicle, move the car from the roadway onto the shoulder or a nearby parking lot, so that you are no longer in the path of traffic. You may not be able to move. Just do the best you can.
Take Stock of Possible Injuries
Once you are in a place of safety, check to see if you are injured in a way you may not have noticed before. Check your passengers. Take a moment to check on any children that may be with you. Look for blood, and administer first aid.
Call 911 Anyway
Once you are safe and not bleeding to death, report your accident to the authorities. Although you have hit a police car, you should report the accident yourself. You may not want to, but it is in your best interests to do so. (LINK TO ARTICLE FROM THIS MONTH ABOUT REPORTING ACCIDENTS).
Wait for the Authorities
Do not leave the scene of an accident before another police officer or state trooper arrives at the scene. Other police officers will need to investigate the accident. Do not admit fault for the accident or apologize for the accident. If you can, stay inside your vehicle and wait for help.
Cooperate With Police
Once more officers arrive on the scene, answer their questions honestly. Provide any documents they ask for, and if you get a ticket. Do not challenge the officer at the scene of the accident.
Go to the Hospital
Any time you are involved in an accident, please see a medical provider: your regular doctor, an urgent care facility, or an emergency room the same day as the accident.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Your car insurance policy will require you to report any accident to them within 24 hours. It is a good idea to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident as you can,
Contact an Attorney
If you think that you were not at fault for the accident, and that you may need help navigating the post-accident process contact an attorney. Attorneys from the advocates are available 24-7 for a free consultation.
Avoid Hitting a First Responder All Together
Police officers and other first responders are often injured while working traffic incidents on the side of the road. The Utah Highway Patrol warns drivers to watch out for officers and move over if a car is parked on the shoulder.