Vehicle accidents can be incredibly dangerous, and drivers are often severely injured. Having a police report can help you in subsequent legal action, but you must contact the authorities to report the accident first.
Accidents involving death, injuries, or a certain level of property damage are legally required to be reported to the authorities as soon as possible. Depending on the situation, there might be stiff penalties for failing to report. In some cases, drivers are criminally charged for leaving the accident scene without contacting the police. There are specific details that should be reported to law enforcement, including the drivers’ identities, the vehicles’ make and model, the accident’s location, and whether anyone was injured, among other details. You can report accidents to the local, country, or even state police, depending on where the accident happened.
After a car accident, you should contact the authorities for help and report the crash, no matter how minor or serious the situation. Our Georgia car accident lawyers can help you get a copy of the police report and help you get compensation for your injuries. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
When You Are Required to Report Vehicle Accidents in Georgia
Car accidents can be hectic, confusing, and frightening. Many drivers are in such a panic that they do not know what to do or who to call. While you should contact the police regarding almost any accident, the law holds that certain accidents require drivers to report to the police. If you were recently involved in an accident and are unsure if it was reported to law enforcement, call our Georgia car accident lawyers for help.
According to Georgia Code § 40-6-273, accidents involving death or injuries to any person must be reported to law enforcement. The law does not say whether the injuries must be serious to warrant a call to the authorities. Even if injuries are minor, you should call the police. Accidents must also be reported if there was at least $500 in property damage. This could include damage to your vehicle, another vehicle, or a stationary object in a single-vehicle crash.
There might be instances where drivers are unsure whether their accidents meet the statutory requirements for mandatory reporting. In such cases, it is best to contact the police, even if you are unsure whether you have to under the law. In fact, you should report all accidents, as having a police report about the crash might come in handy later.
What Information Must Be Reported After a Georgia Vehicle Accident?
The law does not mention if any specific bits of information are required in your report to the police. However, there is certain information that should always be included. The police will probably request any other information that is needed. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help you report your accident if you have not done so and begin a civil action to get compensation for your damages.
Generally, you should always inform the police where the accident happened and who was involved. You must include information about how many drivers are involved, whether anybody fled the scene, and any injuries. In many cases, it is illegal to leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive unless you are being rushed to the emergency room. Any information the police need that has not already been provided may be made clear upon arrival.
Where Vehicle Accidents Should Be Reported in Georgia
Now that you know what kind of accidents are required by law to be reported to law enforcement, the next question is, who exactly should be called? The statute discussed earlier also defines what kind of authorities should be contacted after a crash. After you call the police, you can call our Georgia personal injury attorneys to begin the process of getting compensation for your injuries.
Who you must call to report a crash depends on where the accident happened. If your accident occurred in a town, city, or municipality, you should contact the local municipal police. If the accident did not happen within a municipality, you can call the sheriff of the county where the accident occurred.
You can also report the accident to the Georgia State Patrol. This is often the case when accidents happen on state roads or highways. State and interstate highways tend to fall under the jurisdiction of the Georgia State Patrol rather than local or county authorities.
If you are unsure whether your accident happened within the limits of a local municipality, you can and should call 911 and inform them of your location. A 911 dispatcher can have officers from the nearest department dispatched to your scene.
Consequences of Failing to Report a Georgia Vehicle Accident
The authorities sometimes understand when accidents are not reported right away. Drivers often need emergency medical attention and cannot report the crash until later. Alternatively, drivers might assume their accident was not serious enough to require reporting to the authorities, only to find out later they were wrong. If you fail to report an accident, there might be serious consequences, and you should contact our Columbus car accident lawyers for help immediately.
One significant consequence of failing to report an accident might be criminal charges. According to Georgia Code § 40-6-270(a), drivers involved in accidents are required by law to stop, exchange information, render aid or assistance, and contact law enforcement and emergency help. It is illegal for drivers to leave the accident scene before the police arrive. Leaving without reporting the accident may be met with criminal charges for a hit and run.
Call Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers for Help Now
After an accident, no matter how minor, you should contact the police and report it. Not only is reporting the accident required in many cases, but it also helps our Alpharetta car accident attorneys with legal actions to recover compensation. For a free evaluation of your case, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.