Auto accident attorneys in Atlanta are intimately familiar with car accidents.
But unfortunately, many accident victims are not.
Immediately after an accident, you will likely have thousands of questions running through your head.
Should you call 911? Is it that bad? Is anyone hurt? Do we need an ambulance for emergency medical attention?
Atlanta Police usually respond, but what if it takes them too long?
The first thing, and maybe the most challenging thing, you need to do after a motor vehicle accident is to keep a level head.
Traffic accidents happen all the time, and if you get in one, you’ll make it through, especially if you call the police to the scene.
If you are involved in a car accident in Atlanta, you should call the Atlanta Police Department (APD) to come to the scene and create an accident report.
Most insurance companies require an accident report to file a claim for compensation and damages. Therefore, if you file a personal injury claim, your accident report will be essential to your case.
In the article below, we will talk about the importance of calling the Atlanta police department and obtaining an accident report.
Before we get into calling the police, we should talk about the three things everyone should do after a car accident.
These things will protect your physical as well as your financial health.
The first thing you need to do is call 911.
The cops will come out to the scene and thoroughly investigate the accident scene and prepare an accident report.
The police will check for injuries and start to get an idea of what happened.
They’ll talk to you, the other driver, and get statements from any eyewitnesses.
They’ll likely even take pictures of the crash scene in case the accident reconstructionist needs it later.
The next thing you need to do is seek medical attention, even if you don’t need to go to the hospital.
There’s no way for you to know if you’ve been hurt due to the adrenaline rush you’ll get right after the accident.
You could have internal injuries like a concussion or a soft tissue injury like a whiplash.
If left untreated, these can cause chronic conditions.
Once you’ve seen a doctor, you must speak to a personal injury lawyer.
Talk to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer.
They’ll go over the details of your accident to see if you have a case and immediately reach out to the insurance company.
Fortunately, Atlanta has made it easy to obtain a police report once you or your lawyer is ready.
The City of Atlanta has partnered with www.BuyCrash.com to allow drivers to obtain police reports.
To get your online report, you’ll need to enter your name, the date of the crash, where the accident occurred, and your vehicle identification number (VIN).
There’s a fee to access the report.
If you don’t want to get online, contact the Atlanta Police Department Central Records Unit at (404) 546-7461 to obtain your police report.
It could take up to five business days after the accident for your accident report to become available.
For any questions about your accident report, the officer who wrote the report is your primary contact.
APD Public Affairs can be reached at (404) 546-6873 for help locating the reporting officer.
You need to write down the reporting officer’s name at the scene of the accident so you can provide this information when necessary.
You also need to take note of the police agency that the officer represents, for example, Atlanta Police vs. Fulton County, so you know which agency to contact for your accident report.
If the police don’t respond to the scene or prepare an accident report, you might have trouble pursuing an insurance claim.
Without a police accident report, the negligent driver can contest liability.
This makes it difficult for the insurance companies to sort out who was at fault for the accident and may end up denying claims.
If you believe you weren’t at fault for the accident and suffered damages, you will be forced to file a personal injury lawsuit and go to court.
This will delay your financial recovery and increase the complexity and cost of resolving your car accident claims.
That’s why you should always call the police, even in non-injury accidents, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If, for whatever reason, the police aren’t called or don’t come to the scene, you can still file an accident report with the Georgia Department of Transportation for personal use.
The Atlanta Police Department allows motorists involved in crashes where the police do not respond to fill out the SR-13 form, available on the city’s non-emergency ATL311 website.
When filling out the form, you should include information such as where the accident occurred, the vehicles and drivers involved, and other details about the collision.
But many personal injury attorneys and insurance experts are concerned that the SR-13 form isn’t an adequate substitute for a police report to determine liability after an accident.
Having an accident report filled out by a driver doesn’t avoid the “he said, she said” problem that insurance companies want to avoid.
Police should always be called to the scene so you have an impartial police accident report.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlanta police enacted a policy that said Atlanta officers wouldn’t respond to non-injury automobile accidents.
This policy didn’t include accidents that resulted in injuries.
The policy has since been reversed, but police continue to follow social distancing guidelines and minimize in-person contact between officers and members of the public when responding to a non-injury auto accident.
Police officers in Atlanta will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves to practice safe social distancing measures.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, only about 100 of Atlanta’s approximately 1,100 traffic accidents per month involve serious injury.
Of the remaining 1,000 monthly accidents, the significant majority involve only private property damage.
If you have recently been involved in an Atlanta car accident and the police weren’t called, and you don’t have a police accident report, you need to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Accident lawyers specializing in auto accidents will make a massive difference in the outcome of an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, especially if there’s no accident report.
Having adequate legal representation will ensure you’re compensated for your medical treatment and any property damage.
It will also help ensure that an insurance adjuster won’t try to undervalue your claim.
Contacting the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at The Mabra Law Firm will ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries after your car accident.
You are much more likely to have a favorable outcome in your accident injury claim.
Fill out the form below to schedule your Free Consultation with The Mabra Law Firm today.