Two things you should do after a car accident is going to the hospital and call the police. You want to get medical treatment for your injuries and you need to make sure you’re okay. As for a police report, you always need one for a car accident. Not only are you required to report your accident to the police, but you really will need a police report later on. Your Atlanta car accident attorney is going to rely on the police report to prove your case.
It’s always a good idea to report your accident to the police immediately. Ideally, the police will come out to the accident scene. This way, their report will be thorough and complete. If you wait until after you leave the accident scene, you’re depriving your lawyer of some valuable information.
Your lawyer is going to rely on the police report down the road, and if you don’t report your accident for several days, there’s no way to get an accurate report of what happened.
An Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Knows the Law About Reporting Your Accident
Georgia law requires that you report any car accident that results in at least $500 worth of damage. The statute actually says you have to report the accident immediately, and while it doesn’t give the exact amount of days you have, you shouldn’t wait any longer than a day to do so.
In reading the statute, it appears that thirty (30) days is really the longest you would ever want to wait to report your accident. But again, the longer you wait, the less helpful a police report may be.
A lot of people are afraid to report car accidents. They don’t want the report to be used against them later on. In Georgia, the report you file cannot be used in court. However, the information in a police report written at the scene can be helpful in proving your case.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Will Rely on the Police Report
Your lawyer is going to rely on two main things when it comes to proving your case. He’ll need your medical records to prove your injuries, which is why it’s so important that you always seek medical treatment immediately following your accident.
He will also rely on the police report. Most police reports contain the following information:
- Identification, licensing and insurance information of all drivers involved
- Description of the scene and road conditions
- Statements made by the drivers
- Any statements made by witnesses
- Contact information for witnesses
- A notation of any citations or arrests that take place at the scene
- Pictures of the accident scene and vehicles
Your lawyer can use all of this information if your case goes to court.
If you don’t have this police report, your lawyer is going to have some trouble down the road. He won’t be able to get in touch with witnesses. He’ll also have no way to provide pictures of the scene to an accident recreation specialist.
This is why it’s always a good idea to call the police as soon as the accident takes place. Sometimes, the drivers agree to not call the police and just exchange insurance information. This is never a good idea.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Knows It’s Never a Good Idea to Not Call the Cops
If the other driver asks you not to call the cops, be suspicious. There is usually a good reason why someone wants to avoid calling the police, and no matter how hard they try, it’s important that you insist on doing the right thing.
There are lots of reasons why someone wouldn’t want you to call the cops:
- They don’t have a valid driver’s license
- They don’t have car insurance
- They have warrants against them
- They’re not supposed to be driving the car
- They could be in a stolen vehicle
- Maybe they are in the middle of committing a crime
- They are drunk or under the influence of drugs
If the police don’t come to the scene, you’ll never be able to prove these things. However, if the cops do come, you’ll have proof of the defendant’s negligence.
For example, if the police arrest other drivers for a DUI, you can use this as proof that he was liable for your injuries. Had you never called the police, the drunk driver would walk away from the scene and would deny he was drunk when you file your claim against him.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Right Away
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer right away. Your insurance claim could get denied and you may need to take legal action against the other driver.
Call and schedule your initial consultation today. This gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. Your lawyer can also give you an idea of what your case may be worth.
The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.