GA car wreck attorneys are familiar with the situation: you’re sitting in your car after a fender bender and have a moment of panic. Should you call 911? Is it that bad? If someone is hurt, will you have to call 911? What about State Patrol, will they come out? Atlanta Police usually respond, but what if it takes them too long?
Take a deep breath, most drivers get into car accidents, and you can get through this one with the right emergency responders. The keyword is emergency, not urgent. You may urgently need help but still not have a true emergency situation on your hands. But, always start by checking the people in your vehicle, and checking with the other driver. You may be okay, but others involved may need an emergency medical response.
Call 911 in Emergencies Only
All the time while growing up, people are told to call 911 whenever there’s an emergency. But, comical situations like people calling 911 for mistakes in fast food orders and dialing by mistake could cost people their lives. This sparks the question, is your car accident worthy of calling 911?
Many people dial 911 because they don’t’ consider the other options to call. But with a mobile phone in your pocket and an internet connection, you can quickly look up the number for the nearest sheriff’s office, police station, or Georgia State Police center. Calling that number can help you determine if you should call 911 or not.
When it is clearly an emergency, contact 911 right away. If there are injuries, contact 911 right away. If you are afraid for your life, or to exit your vehicle, call 911. The important thing is that you have access to this resource when it’s an emergency and that you don’t abuse this resource when it’s not an emergency.
Why Would You Call Atlanta PD?
Atlanta PD can help you with things in non-emergency situations. For example, if you and another vehicle were in a wreck on a freeway, you may need help getting safely off the freeway. Or you may need help cleaning up the wreckage. It’s important to alert the police of safety hazards that could lead to more accidents.
They can also call for the dispatch of traffic-focused officers that worry about getting traffic flow back to normal. When you call into a sheriff’s office or to 911, you will likely talk to a HERO or a Highway Emergency Response Operator.
When you get in touch and explain your situation, they’ll determine what type of help you need. They may instruct you to call a tow truck, or that emergency responders are on their way to help.
Will Georgia State Patrol Be a Better Contact after a GA Car Wreck?
Typically Georgia State Patrol will only respond to accidents or crashes if they’re the nearest to the scene. The state police operate in a capacity that focuses on upholding public safety, apprehending those involved in criminal activity, and reacting to disasters. They will often give priority to the response to local police if it’s reasonable.
For example, if you get in a wreck and a State Patrol car is right there, then they would likely stop and handle the situation. But, if that patrol car wasn’t there and you called, you would likely see Atlanta Police for your crash. It all comes down to who can respond faster and how much help is needed.
State Police and Atlanta PD have good bonds, and it’s not about who’s in charge of any area. It’s about the victims that need help and how quickly the nearest person can get on the scene. If the crash is a fender bender without any injuries, then it’s likely that no one would respond.
There are 3 Things You Always Need to Do After an Accident
If you get into any sort of accident, there are three things you need to do. This is the best way to ensure that you’re safe. It’s also the best way to preserve any evidence your Atlanta car accident lawyer may need.
The first thing you need to do is call 911. The cops will come out to the scene and do a thorough investigation of the accident scene after you call 911. They’ll look to see if anybody’s hurt. They’ll also get an idea of what happened. They’ll talk to you and the other driver. They’ll get statements from any eyewitnesses. They’ll even take pictures of the scene in case the accident reconstructionist needs it later,
The second thing you need to do after a car crash is go to the hospital. It doesn’t matter who you are. There’s no way for you to know for sure if you’ve been hurt, You could have internal injuries like a concussion. If left untreated, these can be deadly,
Finally, once the scene is cleared and you know you’re okay, you need to call our office. Talk to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer. They can give you instructions on who you can and cannot talk to. They’ll also reach out to the insurance company right away.
What if the Other Driver Offers to Cover the Damage if I Don’t Call 911?
Every now and then, when people get into a car wreck, they agree to handle it outside of insurance. This is common when the damage is less than a few hundred dollars. It doesn’t make sense to have your rates go up if the damage to your car is less than your deductible. Years ago, this was quite common. But years ago, there weren’t thousands of people running around with false identifications and open warrants.
If the other driver asks to resolve the crash without calling the cops, you need to say no. First, your Atlanta car accident lawyer needs the police report. Second, you have no idea who you’re dealing with. They could you false or expired insurance information, they could be driving a stolen car. You have no clue. And if they’re drunk driving, the only way to prove it is the have the cops run a breathalyzer. The bottom line is that you should never agree to leave the scene of the crash without calling the police.
Is There Any way to Undo the Damage?
If you left the scene of the crash without calling the cops, all is not lost, Your Atlanta car accident lawyer can try to track down the person who hit you, the worst case, they can help you file a first-party claim with your own insurance company. This isn’t ideal. They’d rather find the person who hit you. If you have pictures of the accident scene or their car, it could help.
The other thing your Atlanta car accident lawyer can do is hire an investigator to track down the other driver. But you’d only want to do this if there was a lot of money at stake. If you suffered thousands of dollars at stake, it’ll be worth hiring an expert to find the other driver.
The Law in Georgia Requires that You Report the Wreck
If you get into a car accident in Georgia, you have to report it. You don’t have a choice. The law requires that you report any car crash, especially those that involve an injury or serious vehicle damage. Rather than worry about whether the damage was more than a certain amount, just report it. The great thing about calling the cops is that it serves as reporting the crash. This means you won’t have to do anything extra to make sure it’s done properly.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Needs the Police Report
While you’re sitting there talking to the stranger, the crash scene is getting contaminated. You could say something that the other driver will use against you if the case goes to court. You are much better off calling the police. They’ll come out to the scene and do a thorough investigation. They’re going to take notes of what they observe at the crash site.
Some of this information includes:
- Name, driver’s license number, and insurance information for both drivers
- Pictures of the accident scene and vehicles
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Statements made by the drivers and witnesses
- Description of the road conditions
- Information if either driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash
This is the kind of information that will help your Atlanta car accident lawyer prove your case. Once the accident scene is cleared, they can’t get any of this information. If you don’t call the police, you’re making your attorney’s job infinitely harder. This can have an impact on whether you’re able to submit the evidence necessary to be awarded damages. No matter how inconvenient it may be to call the police, it’s just something you must do.
There’s Never a Good Reason to Not Call the Cops
One of the things a lot of our car crash victims say is that the other driver begged them not to call the cops. They’ll promise to pay your out-of-pocket expenses. Then, a few months later, your Atlanta car accident lawyer realizes that there’s no response from the defendant. You wonder if they even gave you legitimate contact information. Your attorney is probably wondering the same thing. Your attorney will check with the insurance companies and try to track down the culprit. If they’re not able to do that, it’ll have to be treated like a hit-and-run accident. Your only recourse will be to file a claim with your uninsured motorists’ policy. Sadly, they usually don’t cover your entire claim.
The Other Driver May Be Up to No Good
There’s a good chance that something is amiss if the other driver begs you to not call the cops after a car crash. They may be driving on a suspended license. Or they could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They don’t want the cops to come to the scene for obvious reasons. If this is the case, they may not give you the right information.
Know the Differences Between Different Responders and Their Roles
The first responders in Atlanta all have different roles. Make sure that you are only calling emergency response in emergency situations. Too often, people simply call 911 because they think it’s the thing to do. What that does is congest the system, and it could result in someone in a much more serious situation having a delay in getting the help they need. Always take a moment and think, “Is this worth calling 911 over?”
In the event that someone is hurt, then contact emergency response. But, if no one is hurt and you just need help with the cleanup, then consider calling the Atlanta Police Department or even GSP. Hopefully, a nearby officer would have seen the crash happen and get over to help you right away, but you can’t count on that. After you reach out to the right emergency responders, get in touch with a local GA car wreck law firm. Call The Weinstein Firm today.