The immediate aftermath of any motor vehicle accident can be a very confusing and stressful time for anyone involved in the crash. The first steps after a crash should always involve seeking emergency medical attention and contacting local law enforcement.
When law enforcement officers respond to a crash, they will secure the scene, assist with getting emergency medical services to respond, and will perform an initial investigation. This investigation will be documented in a police report.
Police reports often provide valuable information in many personal injury cases. Some drivers may ask you not to contact police and will ask to pay for damage without involving either party’s insurance, but it is almost always better to contact the police.
If you were involved in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in Marietta, contact our experienced car accident attorneys at The Champion Firm, P.C today. Our firm’s record of success includes $2.06 million recovered for the family of a man killed in a car wreck.
Why Is It Important to Call the Police After an Accident?
Filing a police report is not just a good idea, but it is also required under Georgia state law in most instances.
Georgia Code § 40-6-273 establishes that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or $500 or more in property damage must give notice of the accident to the local police department when it occurs within a municipality.
How to Get a Car Accident Police Report
After you contact the local law enforcement agency, it may take a few minutes for an officer to arrive at the scene of the crash. Be patient and wait for the officer to arrive.
The officer needs to collect a variety of information to include in the report, including the date and time the crash occurred, the date and time the crash was dispatched to the officer, and the total number of vehicles, injuries, and fatalities.
The location of the crash will be noted, and information about the drivers will include their names, driver’s license numbers, and dates of birth. The report may also include information about the drivers’ insurance policies.
Tips to Protect Yourself at the Auto Accident Scene
Be very careful not to apologize. Do not say anything that might be construed as accepting responsibility for the crash.
You should similarly avoid saying that you “feel fine” or that you are not hurt in case it turns out that you did, in fact, suffer injuries. One of the best things you can do at the scene of the crash is collect the evidence you can by taking pictures of everything involved.
What Happens If You Don’t Call the Police After an Accident?
Failure to report an accident could constitute a “hit and run” crime. Leaving the scene of an accident in Georgia is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail.
The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. is prepared to fight to pursue every last dollar that you need and deserve after a crash. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
About the Author
The Champion Firm is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.