When a car accident occurs, police are often called to the scene to investigate the cause of the wreck and assess who was at fault. They take driver statements, gather information about the vehicles, then file the report back at their precinct.
Here’s an example of what an accident report looks like.
Car accidents are a regular occurrence in Georgia. Learn what to do afterward to protect yourself and your rights. This includes reporting a crash to the proper authorities.
When to Call the Police to the Scene of an Accident
Remember, it is against the law in all 50 states to leave the scene of the accident. Doing so is considered a crime (hit-and-run). Stop as soon as you can to assess any damages and injuries.
Other responsibilities include exchanging information with the other driver, showing proof of insurance, documenting the crash, and remaining at the scene until police grant you permission to leave.
What Happens After You Call 911 for a Wreck
After you’ve checked on everyone and assessed their injuries, remain on the scene and call 911. The 911 operators will connect you with a nearby precinct. Make sure to write down the precinct name and the name of the responding officer so you can retrieve the police report later. Many officers carry business cards — so get that as well.
Be prepared to cooperate with the officer and answer questions about the wreck. You do not, however, have to answer anything that may be incriminating. Do not impede an officer’s investigation or get in their way.
The investigating officer may decide you violated Georgia traffic laws. There’s nothing wrong with trying to persuade the officer to not write you a ticket, but once it is issued, you have to accept it. A traffic citation is not an admission of guilt — it simply means you agree to appear in court and have several options if you wish to fight the ticket.
If someone is hurt, tell the 911 operator you need paramedics to provide medical services at the scene. Getting immediate medical attention if you or another person is hurt as soon as possible can drastically increase your chances for a smoother recovery later on. If you don’t want to pay for an ambulance, find a ride to take you to the hospital for a check-up.
Getting a Copy of the Accident Report
Your insurance company will most likely require you to submit a police report if you wish to file an insurance claim. Traffic accident reports can be requested and purchased online through various websites like BuyCrash.com. If you hire a car accident lawyer, they can obtain a copy on your behalf.
How an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
It can be difficult to process everything that has just happened to you immediately after an accident. If you’re hurt, you may be more concerned about medical care than a police report. Or maybe your wreck happened several weeks or months ago and you’re having difficulty retrieving a copy of the incident report.
In a worst-case scenario, you got into a wreck but didn’t call 911 and realized later on you were badly hurt. Now it’s your word against the other driver’s. Even though you don’t have a police report, our attorneys and professional staff can help you file a claim.
No matter what type of accident happened, we make the process easy. We’ve retrieved and interpreted tens of thousands of police reports over the years. If you have questions about the process, give us a call at (770) 934-8000.
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