05 – After an Auto Crash Explained – Ask the Hammer

“Ask The Hammer” – Exploring the Legal Matters That Matter Most

Welcome again to the podcast series now available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio! “Ask the Hammer” is the radio show with attorney Darryl Isaacs, “The Hammer.” Do you have a legal question for The Hammer? You can submit your questions via Facebook or Twitter using #askthehammer. Also reach out to us using the contact form on this page or give the offices of Isaacs & Isaacs a call at 800-800-8888. We’d love to use your questions on the show!


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Episode 5:What To Do After a Car Accident

car accident

Links and downloads mentioned in this episode:

Car Accident Checklist Page – download for your vehicle

Car Accident Checklist PDF

Questions answered in this episode:

  • Should I move my vehicle after a crash?
  • Is there ever a reason to leave the scene of the accident?
  • What about a hit and run accident?
  • There are other vehicles and people involved, should I help them?
  • Should the police always be called? Even when there are no injuries?
  • What information should I collect from others involved in the crash?
  • If there are witnesses, what info do I get from them?
  • Can and should I record a cell phone video of the crash scene?
  • Good Samaritan laws – what is my duty as a witness to a car accident?
  • If I feel like it’s my fault, should I say so?
  • What should I take photos of at the scene of an accident?

Favorite quote from this episode:

ask the hammer

Listen to this episode using the player at the top of the page, or connect via iTunes, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud or Google Play.

Episode 05 Transcription

Welcome to Ask the Hammer, the podcast exploring the legal matters that matter most. I’m your host, Jeremy Kocal, and as always we are here with attorney Darryl Isaacs, “The Hammer,” ready to take on the most popular questions about law.

Today’s episode: What To Do After a Car Accident
We’ll take you through the car accident checklist and we’ll discuss leaving the scene of an accident, Good Samaritan laws, and gathering essential information after a car crash. And of course we’ll get to our social media question that listeners want to Ask the Hammer.

Okay Darryl, we’re tackling the car accident checklist. Print it out. Put it in your glove compartment. And the first item on there is: Stay at the scene.

So an accident has happened, obviously we need to pay attention to safety first, but what about moving the car to the side of the road?

Well, I’m going to tell you not to move the vehicle because if you move the vehicle it’s hard for the officers to determine fault. So we always tell people, if you’re in an accident, leave your vehicle. Now you may exit the vehicle if you’re on the side of the road or something, but leave the vehicle. Do not move the location until the police officer comes.

Because what happens is, if you move the vehicle then, if the other driver, let’s say, doesn’t tell the truth… then, if the vehicle is where it is, then they can do all kinds of work to determine, and it’s just much easier, especially if you’re not at fault.

What happens is somebody decides to just leave the scene of an accident? Is that a crime?

Well, it can be, different factors. I mean, you can call the police and they can try to find the vehicle. You know, if that person has been drinking and doing drugs and left, and then they were able to locate them, it could be a crime. It’s hard to say for sure.

And how about a hit and run situation?

Well if you get the police quick enough, it just depends. I mean, if you got a license plate… if you don’t have a license plate it might be more difficult.

And what about waiting for the police? If they haven’t shown up for a while, should I continue to wait?

The police will come. I would always wait for the police. The police officer investigating gives the person credibility. So it’s just a good idea to wait and get a police report for every accident.

Okay, So we’ve stayed at the scene of the accident. The next item on the checklist is to call 911 or to have someone else call 911. And then the next item is to check others for injury – maybe other passengers in our car. Does that extend to other drivers of other vehicles and their passengers?

If you’re in an accident and you’re hurt, you just want to concentrate on yourself. I always tell people, if asked, just stay and make sure you’re okay because sometimes someone might get mad that they’re in an accident. You may escalate an argument. So, I think the best thing is, if you’ve been in an accident just stay where you are, make sure you’re okay, and if, you know, you need to call the police or an ambulance… I just wouldn’t get too caught up and worry about the other people.

So anytime there is any kind of damage involved, really, you should be calling the police?

Yes. I mean, a lot of times the police won’t come unless there are injuries. If you just report property damage they might not want to come. But, I’m telling you, anytime you get a police report you just give credibility to the accident.

Next item on the checklist is get information from other drivers. What kind of information are we getting Darryl?

You want their address, name, and phone number, and insurance. But a lot of times the police officer won’t want you to talk to the other driver and they’ll get that information.

The next item we have is get names and contact info from any witnesses.

That is so important. If you see people around, you might ask them, “Did you see the accident? Could you see it? If so, can I get your name and number?” Yes, witnesses are wonderful. And if you get them, make sure you tell that to the police.

car accident
source: iStockphoto

And what about recording devices? If I wanted to document what happened by video, is that something that’s helpful?

Nowadays, with cell phone and technology, you can take pictures of the car, you can take pictures of their car, maybe do a quick video of what the other driver looks like. If there’s skid marks, you want to get pictures of the skid marks, any broken glass. You know they say a picture’s worth a thousand words… anything that would help tell the story.

What if I’m the one driving by, what is my duty or legal obligation if I’m the one witnessing a car crash or an accident?

We have what’s called a Good Samaritan Laws. Unless you have a special relationship or unless you’re like a doctor, or you know, specialized training, you have no duty to try to save someone. Now, once you start, you can’t stop. That’s the deal.

Like in my accident, no one knows… I was kind of out of it, and luckily, two or three Good Samaritans stopped, moved me, which you shouldn’t have moved me when you have a neck injury, but they wanted to get me out of the road so I wouldn’t get hit again, and then they directed traffic. I just think in today’s society, people as a whole are really good. I just think people will always want to help people.

Every now and then, or maybe with regularity, people that are in accidents are confronted with probing questions by insurance companies after an accident.

Oh yeah. Well I’ll tell you what, today a good friend of mine just called me before I talked to you and he said the insurance adjuster called and wanted a statement and said, “You don’t need to get a lawyer, I’ll take care of it, give me your medical records and we’ll settle.” They do that all the time because they can call and offer you five hundred, a thousand bucks and get a settlement instead of paying their policy limits of twenty-five, fifty, a hundred grand down the road.

So, you gotta be careful getting a quick settlement, especially until you know the extent of your injuries. We always tell people just don’t talk to the insurance companies, because all they’re trying to do is protect their insured.

And typically how quickly after an accident are people calling an attorney to get help? Are there other things they should be doing first?

Well, okay. My preference as the attorney wanting to help you, would be take care of your injuries first. I mean, you could be at the accident, you take care of it. I’m always gonna be there. And I love to get the calls sooner than later so we can get an investigator taking pictures, investigating the accident. But don’t delay your medical treatment for that, you know what I mean? Go to the hospital. Now a lot of the time people go to the hospital, then they’ll call us and we’ll come to the hospital, but make sure you get your treatment started as soon as possible.

Any other thoughts, Darryl, about what to do after a car accident?

The biggest thing we haven’t talked about – when you’re in an accident, whatever you do, don’t admit to anything. Don’t say, “Well I didn’t see the light,” or “I didn’t see this,” or “I didn’t slow up.” Just answer a question but don’t volunteer information.

We turn once again to social media and the questions that you would like to Ask The Hammer. Today’s question comes from Facebook:

Is it reasonable to ask to take a picture of somebody’s driver’s license, and if they ask that of me, what should I do?

Well, I don’t know if someone’s gonna want to give you a photo of their license. They might give it to a cop. You can ask for it, I don’t know if they’ll agree to it.

And if the tables were turned, and somebody is asking somebody who you would represent?

I wouldn’t give it. No, I would never tell my client to give it. Now you know, most drivers’ licenses today have ID numbers, they don’t have social security numbers. But the biggest thing is you want to protect your personal identification numbers from being put out there.


If you have a legal question you’d like to Ask The Hammer, reach out to us on Twitter, on Facebook , or the website, IsaacsandIsaacs.com, we’d love to tackle your question on our next show.

And here’s our legal disclaimer:

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever. If you have specific legal questions, contact an attorney to discuss specific legal matters about your case. The attorneys of Isaacs and Isaacs operate nationally with their primary office in Louisville, Kentucky. Listeners should note that legal services may be performed by others.

Join us next time with Darryl Isaacs on Ask the Hammer. Thanks for listening.

Get Your Question Answered By Darryl Isaacs

Ask the hammer
Interested in submitting your question to Darryl Isaacs on Ask The Hammer? Reach out using the contact form on this page or give the team at Isaacs and Isaacs a call at 800-800-8888.

For additional resources and more podcast episodes, be sure to check out the Isaacs and Isaacs blog.

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