Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | August 19, 2020
A Facebook post announced a new change in how the Atlanta Police Department intends to handle non-injury car accidents. According to the post on the Facebook page for Atlanta311, the Atlanta Police Department will no longer respond to the scene of non-injury automobile accidents. The statement reads that the change is to “protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”
Accident Victims Requested to Submit Accident Form
The social media post requests that individuals involved in an automobile accident complete Georgia SR-13. According to the information available, you can complete the SR-13 form and submit it online.
If you do complete the form online, it is a good idea to print out the completed form for your records. It may also be a good idea to print out a blank copy of the form and keep in your car with you in case you are involved in a non-injury accident.
What Should You Do if You are Involved in an Atlanta Traffic Accident?
You may still want to call 911 even though the dispatcher will inform you that a police officer will not be dispatched unless there are injuries. All 911 calls are recorded, which could prove helpful in a future personal injury case.
If the operator asks if you are injured, stating you do not need emergency medical services is better than saying “no.” You may also want to state that you may see a doctor later if you begin to feel worse.
If it is safe to exit your vehicle, try to take photographs of the accident scene and make a video of the scene with your cell phone. Make sure that you capture things such as:
- The vehicles involved in the accident
- License plates
- Condition of the road and surrounding area
- Traffic signals and traffic signs
- Skid marks
- Damage to the vehicles
- Photos of the other drivers and passengers (try to be discreet to avoid a confrontation)
- The other person’s driver’s license and insurance information
Avoid being drawn into a confrontation. If the other driver becomes aggressive because you are taking photographs, get into your car, and call 911. If the other driver does not want you to take a photograph of his driver’s license and insurance information, write the information down.
All drivers are required to exchange their names, addresses, vehicle registration, and driver’s license information by law. However, getting a photograph of the license plate can suffice if the other driver refuses to cooperate.
Make sure that you complete the form SR-13 and submit it to the state. If you have questions, you may want to contact the Atlanta Police Department or an attorney for assistance.
Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Even though you may not think you were injured in the car crash, you may notice soreness and other symptoms after a few hours or the next day. Symptoms of soft tissue injuries can take several hours or days to develop. You could have a fracture, traumatic brain injury, or another injury that is masked by the anxiety and shock of being involved in a traffic accident.
Never ignore pain, soreness, or other symptoms after a motor vehicle accident. It can be a good idea to be checked by your physician to rule out any injuries. Waiting too long to see a physician after a car accident could hurt your chance of recovering compensation if you are injured because of the collision.
When Should I Call a Car Accident Attorney?
If you did not sustain any injuries in the accident, you might not need a car accident lawyer. However, it can be beneficial to talk with an attorney to make sure you understand your legal rights, especially if your doctor informs you that you sustained injuries in a car accident.
Other reasons to call an attorney after a car accident include, but are not limited to:
- The other insurance company refuses to accept liability for the accident claim
- You are being blamed for contributing to the case of the crash
- Your child was injured in a car accident
- The traffic accident involves a government employee or government vehicle
- A commercial vehicle or large truck is involved in the accident
- You sustained catastrophic injuries, such as loss of limb, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, or severe burns
- The insurance company is acting in bad faith, such as refusing to investigate the claim, bullying you into accepting a low settlement, or purposefully making a claim more difficult to pursue
Car accident claims can be frustrating, time-consuming, and complex. It can be helpful to have an experienced attorney handling your claim to protect your best interests and legal rights. Having an attorney handle your injury claim also allows you to focus on your recovery.