Increased exposure to the virus during the COVID-19 pandemic has emergency responders changing how they react to some 911 calls. Effective immediately, the Atlanta Police department announced officers will no longer respond to motor vehicle accidents if no one is injured. Other law enforcement officials throughout the state could adopt a similar protocol.
As a motorist, there are ways to protect yourself after a car crash even if you do not sustain injuries.
● Establish Safety- After the impact, turn on your flashers and pull to the side of the road.
● Call for Help- Use your hands free device to call the local non-emergency police agency. Dispatch will advise as whether you’re within a policing district where officers will be called to the scene
● Gather Information- Obtain as much information as possible. Take photos of the at-fault driver’s insurance card, driver’s license and vehicle tag number. If it’s daylight and you can safely walk around the vehicle, take photos of the damage to both vehicles.
● Report the Incident- For non-injury auto accidents in Georgia, drivers should download this personal accident report form. It’s easy! Fill in the information directly from your smartphone. Save and email the completed form to yourself and the other driver before even leaving the accident scene.
● Call a Towing Company- If your vehicle is disabled, contact a towing company. Be sure to remove any valuable items from your vehicle. Also call a friend or order a Lyft/Uber for transportation home.
● File an Insurance Claim- That same day or the following business day, contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver and file a claim. Forward any property damage photos and the accident form to the assigned adjuster.
Purchasing a dash camera is one final thing to consider. A decent model starts around $50. While a dash cam may not record the occurrence of a side swipe or rear-end impact, it can be used for frontal impacts such as a vehicle turning left in front of you or a sudden brake and turn without proper signal usage.