If you have been involved in a Georgia car accident, you may be required to call the police, depending on the severity of the accident. Even when the law does not require you to report the wreck, you should consider doing so, to protect your right to compensation for your injuries and property damage and to avoid getting blamed for the crash.
When You Have to Notify the Police
According to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, if you are physically able, you must notify authorities if your crash involved any of the following:
- personal injury;
- death; and/or
- property damage that exceeds $500
If you do not call the police, someone could claim that you left the scene of the accident illegally. It is possible to face criminal charges, like hit and run, if you do not notify the authorities immediately. Also, it is your word against everyone else involved as to what caused the wreck if the police do not come to the scene.
When It Is a Good Idea to Notify the Police
Even when a car accident in Georgia seems minor, such as in the case of a rear-end crash at slow speeds, it is still a good idea to call the police. This is because many times, injuries from a car accident in Georgia, such as whiplash, may not be immediately evident. In addition, it is hard to assign a dollar amount to vehicle damage without getting an official estimate, so it is better to have a report.
The police report will be essential documentation of when and where the accident happened. Otherwise, the insurance company might refuse to pay for your car repairs or medical bills, claiming that the property damage and injuries occurred elsewhere.
The at-fault driver might try to lie his way out of liability for the crash if you do not protect yourself and your claim by calling the police to document what caused the wreck. The police report will provide a link between the accident and your injuries. Your lawyer will gather the report and your medical records to build your case for compensation.
Note: If you did not call police to the scene, you can file your own accident report.
What to Do at the Scene of the Accident
Things that happen at the scene of the crash can have lasting consequences on your injury claim. If you are physically able to do so, consider these suggestions.
- Call the police to come to the scene and write a report.
- Get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the wreck.
- Get the names and contact information of bystanders (witnesses).
- Take photos of the scene to document the area at that time.
Do not do this:
- Do not make small talk with anyone at the scene.
- Do not minimize your injuries.
- Do not refuse medical treatment.
- Do not take the blame for the accident.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Whenever injury occurs, whether it is something you can see, such as a broken leg or collar bone, or something that may develop over the period of days or weeks, such as nerve damage, you may want the option of filing a Georgia personal injury claim. A Georgia personal injury claim can be invaluable after an accident, as it allows you to seek compensation to cover the medical costs, lost wages and emotional suffering that resulted from your injuries.
We will build your case, collect the evidence, and deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf. We can consult with experts like:
- Accident reconstruction experts to prove who caused the wreck
- Medical experts to talk about the extent of your injuries
- Vocational experts to explain how your injuries affect your ability to work
How a Police Report Helps Your Injury Compensation Claim
Aside from the fact that you must call authorities whenever someone has been injured after a Georgia car accident, getting a police accident report may serve to strengthen your Georgia personal injury claim and prevent insurance adjusters from blaming you for the car accident in Georgia.
Why You Should Call a Lawyer Right Away
If you have just recently been injured after an accident, contact an Atlanta car accident attorney as soon as possible. Let your attorney know about your police accident report, so it can be used to bolster your claim.
Contacting an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact S. Burke Law for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.
Call us today at 404-842-7838 to see how a car accident lawyer can help you.