Hasner Law | Car Accidents | December 1, 2022
Atlanta is home to thousands of drivers who take to the streets daily. Even in ideal road conditions, car crashes can occur, often when you least expect them. When you become involved in a collision, there are legal protocols you’ll need to follow.
Every state has unique laws that dictate how traffic accidents are handled. Generally, the severity of a crash determines how you’ll move forward. If you become involved in an Atlanta car accident, you’ll need to know the legal requirements for reporting a crash.
Georgia’s Duty To Stop Laws
Georgia has strict laws regarding how motorists deal with accidents after a crash. Most notably, the law requires any driver involved in an accident to stop and remain on the crash scene.
The law has a limited threshold, even if the crash is a minor fender bender. As such, it’s the legal duty of all parties involved to stop their vehicles and exchange basic information, including:
- Contact information
- Insurance policy
- Vehicle registration number
Additionally, Georgia motorists have the legal duty to provide reasonable assistance whenever someone becomes injured during a crash. This can include calling an ambulance or rendering basic assistance as needed.
Failure to stop after a car accident in Georgia is a criminal offense known as “hit and run.” Depending on the circumstances, these charges come with severe penalties and can be misdemeanors or felonies.
Reporting a Car Accident to the Police
Per Georgia law, any driver involved in a car crash resulting in specific injuries or property damage must remain on the scene and contact the police.
Georgia drivers are obligated to contact law enforcement whenever the following elements are present after a crash:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage over $500
Per the state’s “duty to report” statute, drivers must call the police as soon as possible. Failure to report a serious crash has severe consequences, including criminal conviction. Additionally, you risk losing the possibility of compensation in a personal injury claim whenever you fail to engage in due diligence.
How Calling the Police Can Help
Following a serious car crash, police on the scene will conduct an investigation and document the accident. The information collected by law enforcement can help establish fault and determine how the accident occurred.
Crash reports will likely contain vital information that you’ll need later on, such as:
- Photos and videos of the crash
- Witness information
- Written findings
- Contact information of other parties
- Miscellaneous evidence
- Insurance information
Generally, Georgia car crash claims rely on proving that negligence occurred. When an accident results from negligence, the responsible party is liable for the damages. Police reports ensure crash victims have the necessary information to file a claim against a negligent driver.
Some of the most common examples of driver negligence include:
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Poor vehicle maintenance
On scene, police officers will review the crash and submit a comprehensive report to the state authorities. Whenever you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, you can access these reports, which can be used to support your claim. In many cases, an attorney will conduct an additional investigation, such as interviewing witnesses or hiring traffic crash experts.
If you were involved in an accident that required police to be on the scene, you likely incurred damages, such as medical bills or vehicle repairs.
When filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver, Georgia enforces a strict two-year statute of limitations. As such, you’ll want to consult a seasoned personal injury lawyer who can help you prepare a claim on time.
Contact the Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas: