Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury deaths and the second leading cause of hospitalizations and ER visits in Georgia. While crashes are so common, you might not know what to do when you are in one. The shock and the accident’s impact might make you lose focus on the next steps to take after the car accident.
You might be wondering if you have to notify the police and when to. Below, we explore all the intricacies of speaking to the police after a car accident. To learn more about what to do after a car crash, contact our car accident lawyers today.
When Must You Notify the Police?
There are certain instances when the law requires you to notify the police after an accident. Unfortunately, this is not a choice you can choose whether or not to make. According to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, you must notify the police if the following occurred in your accident:
- Property damage worth more than $500
- Personal injury
It does not matter if you caused the accident or not; the best thing to do in these cases is to call the police and stay at the scene until they come. If you leave, other parties might relate the report of the accident in a way that implicates you.
If none of the above occurred in your accident, you do not have any legal obligations to call the police. However, it is still advisable to do so. This is because things like personal injuries might not be easily judged at the accident scene.
Often, people do not detect injuries such as whiplash and internal injuries until long after the accident. You could even sustain property damage without knowing it’s worth it until you speak to your auto mechanic. As such, going ahead to speak to the police and give a report is a safe choice to make.
Your police report will be instrumental in getting compensation for any damage you or your property sustained. In addition, you will have documentation to back up your claims to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This will help sort out medical bills, car repairs, property damage, etc.
What Should I Do While Waiting for the Police?
When you call the Atlanta Police Department to the crash scene, you’re essentially seeking an accident report to enable you to file a personal injury claim. Therefore, you should do the following while waiting for the police to arrive at the scene:
After the accident, park your car off the road to avoid blocking traffic or any further accidents. If you cannot, move out of the way of incoming traffic and wait by the roadside. Then, dial 911, report the accident, then wait for the police to come. When they arrive at the scene of the accident, provide all details they need.
While waiting for the police to arrive, you should exchange contact information with the parties involved. Taking pictures of the accident scene can also help you file a personal injury claim. If there are any witnesses around, you might also want to collect their contact details and get their reports of what they witnessed.
How Do I Obtain a Car Accident Report?
Obtaining a car accident report to use to make your compensation claim is not complex. After you have made your report to the police, they should have logged it in within five business days. You can then contact the Atlanta Police Department Record Unit to gain access to the report.
You can also access your crash report online for a fee. However, you would need to input your name, date of the crash, the road where the accident occurred, and your vehicle identification number to access the report. In addition, it is essential to collect the reporting officer’s name at the scene of the accident.
This will help you if you have to make further inquiries about your accident report. If you did not call the police after the accident, you could still file a crash report with the Georgia Department of Transportation. This will ensure that a record of the accident exists, and you can refer to it if the situation arises.
Speak to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today!
If you or your loved ones sustain injuries in a car accident in Atlanta, you should contact us immediately. Our experienced car accident attorneys at The Weinstein Firm will ensure that you get fair compensation for injuries and any damages. To discuss the details of your case with us, schedule a free consultation today.