If you are involved in a car accident in Atlanta there are a few important things that you should do, providing that you are ok. The first thing you should do is call the police so that they can come to the scene and create a car accident report. There are two reasons why you will want to file a car accident report. The first is that insurance companies require an accident report to file a claim for compensation and damages. The second is that if you choose to file a personal injury claim, your accident report will be an important part of your case.
Another reason to call the police is that in the state of Georgia, it is the law in certain scenarios to call 911 and report an accident if:
- The accident happened in a city or county that requires you to call it in
- If someone is hurt or killed
- When damage to the vehicle or other property is over $500.00
- When reporting the accident to the insurance company.
After you call 911, go ahead and exchange information with the other driver, including names, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
Why You Should Always File a Car Accident Report in Atlanta
Even if the damage is minor enough that the police are not needed, you should still file an accident report for two main reasons:
- You may not realize you are injured – Whiplash is a common neck injury often caused by rear-end car accidents. This neck injury can occur even at slow speeds and only takes seconds. You may not notice the symptoms, and if you did not file an accident report, you might not be entitled to any personal injury compensation.
- Insurance companies use them – Insurance companies will often try to pay the minimum when called with a claim. Without sufficient information, they cannot determine the extent of the damage. However, if you have an accident report, you are more likely to receive a higher settlement.
Whether or not there were injuries, most attorneys, courts, and insurance companies consider an Atlanta car accident report trustworthy.
What to do when the Police Arrive
When talking with the police at the accident scene, be specific about what happened, and get the officer’s name. When done, the office may hand you a card containing the accident report number. Keep that card, but you can still access your police report if you lose it.
Once there, the officer will secure the accident scene and fill out a police report. The car accident report for Atlanta will include:
- Date and time of the accident
- Description of all vehicles involved
- Drivers’ conditions and actions – including injuries or impairments
- Insurance information
- Citations given
- Diagram of accident and any property damage
- The overlay page includes the codes to show information about the incident. Since many people are not familiar with these codes, you can access the accident report overlay to explain them.
What If you Didn’t Call the Police?
You may not have thought you were hurt or that the damage was that bad. Maybe the other driver convinced you that an accident report wasn’t necessary. Whatever the reason, you can still go back and file an accident report.
It is best to call the police department where the accident happened as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more you may forget, or the less the insurance companies may believe the report.
How to Receive Your Car Accident Report
It takes up to 5 days before your accident report is available, and there are several ways to go about receiving it.
- The city of Atlanta has partnered with BuyCrash to obtain your report online. There is a fee of about $5, and you will need to enter the required information, such as your last name and where the incident happened.
- Call the Atlanta Police Department Central Records Unit at 404-546-7461
- Speak with the officer who wrote the report by calling Atlanta Police Department Public Affairs at (404) 546-6873 to help you locate the officer
- Pick up the accident report at Central Records located at:
Atlanta Public Safety Annex
3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway NW
Atlanta, GA 30331
Having your police report will help you file an insurance claim. Without it, there is no easy way to prove that the damage was done at the accident, as you say it was.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been in a car accident, contact our office specializing in Atlanta personal injury. We can help you put a case together. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will be able to gather additional evidence, investigate your claim and put your case together.
Have you been in a car accident? We can help you get your insurance claim. If you are ready to meet with an attorney, contact us at 833-4TheWin to speak with one of our car accident attorneys.