Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
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How Long Will My Car Accident Case Take?
The short answer is that how long your car accident case takes depends on the circumstances of the claim. No matter how eager you are to settle your car accident claim, there are contributing factors that may impact the time it takes for the case to conclude.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804 to discuss your claim.
How Long Your Medical Treatment Takes
You should never settle your injury claim before you recuperate as much as possible. You should be fully aware of your healthcare needs and how your injuries will affect your life.
Rather than quickly accepting a settlement check from the insurance company, first consult with your car accident lawyer. Confirm that the compensation is fair and addresses all of your health requirements including long-term care, short-term care, and physical therapy.
Once you agree to settle your case, you cannot reopen it later. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC is available to answer your questions. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to discuss your claim.
Your Car Accident Lawyer May Hire Expert Witnesses
Your car accident lawyer might decide that it is appropriate to hire an expert witness to testify about something in the case. Expert witnesses in car crash cases may testify about:
- The cause of the accident (accident reconstruction expert)
- The extent of your injuries (medical expert)
- The impact of your injuries on the quality of your life and your ability to support yourself through gainful employment (vocational and medical experts)
Pre-Trial Discovery – Interrogatories, Document Exchange, and Depositions
After your lawyer files a lawsuit, both sides will engage in pre-trial discovery. When your lawyer sends interrogatories (written questions the other side must answer under oath), the other party may have weeks to provide the written responses. You may also have to attend a deposition and testify under oath.
If you ask for documents from the other side, it can take a month or more before you get the papers you requested. It can take several months to obtain records from third parties.
Trial or Settlement
If your case goes to trial, it can increase the length of your case. But your case can settle at almost any time. You can resolve a claim before you even file a lawsuit. Some cases settle during the discovery stage. If you go to trial, you can still reach an amicable resolution with the other side before the trial concludes.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804 to set up a free consultation about your case.
What if the Driver Was on Their Cell Phone?
A driver who causes a car wreck because of cell phone use can be liable for an accident caused by distracted driving. The difficulty comes, however, in proving that a driver was using a cell phone before an accident happened, especially if the driver does not voluntarily admit to using the phone before the crash.
If this happened, to you, contact the Law Offices of Jason R Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer.
Does It Matter If the Driver Was Talking or Texting on the Phone Before the Crash?
Yes, it may be important to prove the other driver was talking or texting on their phone before the crash. If your lawyer can prove the other driver was distracted, it could indicate the other driver is at fault for the wreck.
To prove the other driver was talking or texting on a cell phone, your lawyer may present eyewitness testimony from other drivers. Talk to a car accident lawyer about securing the other driver’s cell phone records. A phone carrier generally will not release cell phone information without a subpoena.
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. will gladly work with you and handle your car accident case. If you want to file a car injury accident claim or a lawsuit, we can ask the court for a subpoena to request that the phone carrier produce cell phone records.
If you were injured in a car accident, contact us at 404-474-0804 for your no-obligation case review.
How Will a Lawyer Use Phone Records as Evidence?
We may use phone records to help prove fault in car accidents. By using these records, we can compare the timing of the other driver’s cell phone use to the timing of the accident.
If the other driver disputes fault for the accident, we may use a cell phone forensics expert who can determine how the other driver was using the phone, how long the driver was on the phone, and other activity based on the driver’s cell phone records.
Besides cell phone records, we may gather other evidence to support your claim. The evidence may include:
- Your medical records that show the nature and extent of your injuries
- Photographs of your injuries
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Video footage of the accident
- A police report of the accident
Will the Police Report Say Whether a Driver Was Using a Cell Phone?
Not necessarily. The officer investigating your accident may not have the driver’s cell phone information in the accident report unless:
- The driver admitted to using a cell phone prior to the crash.
- The driver’s passengers witnessed the driver using the phone.
- Eyewitnesses to the accident saw the driver using the phone.
Let Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. Help You Recover Compensation for Your Car Injury Accident
We work on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay us unless we win compensation in your case. Contact us now at 404-474-0804 for a free case evaluation.
What Is Whiplash from a Car Accident?
The term, whiplash, comes from the motion that a whip makes when you snap it. Your body experiences a similar motion when your car collides with another vehicle or object, snapping your head and neck back and forth sharply.
Whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments caused by this snapping movement. Rear-end crashes are a top cause of whiplash injuries.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, some people who suffer whiplash entirely recover after a few weeks of treatment and therapy. But others experience long-term or permanent pain, suffering, and disability from their whiplash injuries.
If you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, call Jason Schultz at 404-474-0804 for legal help getting compensation for your injuries and damage.s
What Happens to Your Body During a Car Accident to Cause Whiplash
The force from a car accident can quickly throw your head backward and then forward, snapping your head and neck like a flicking whip.
The scientific terminology for the jerking motions that a rear-end crash subjects your neck to is “rapid acceleration and deceleration.” Your head and neck are not supposed to move in this manner. The force pushes the head and neck beyond their normal range of motion.
A car accident that forces the head and neck to move in this manner can injure your:
- Neck muscles
- Vertebrae (bones) in your neck
- Spinal discs
Soft tissue injuries like muscle, ligament, and tendon sprains and strains are common injuries associated with whiplash.
In addition to these injuries, the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head and neck may cause a concussion, brain trauma, fractures, and other injuries.
How You Might Feel if You Have a Whiplash Injury
Many people do not feel any signs of a whiplash injury at the scene of the accident. But over the next few hours or days, they may start to experience symptoms, such as:
- Neck pain and stiffness. You might feel pain and stiffness in your neck, which hurts when you turn your head from side-to-side or nod your head up or down. You might not be able to turn your head as far as usual.
- Arm, upper back, and shoulder symptoms. You might have numbness, tingling, pain, or tenderness in these areas.
- Headaches often accompany whiplash injuries.
- You might also be tired or dizzy.
If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Even if you don’t feel injured or if you think your injuries are minor, see a doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may identify serious injuries. The sooner you start treatment, the better it may be for your health and potential legal case.
What to Do if You Sustain a Whiplash Injury in a Car Accident
Do these things if you were in a car accident and experience symptoms of whiplash:
- Get medical attention. As noted, starting treatment right away not only helps you recover from your injury but also enables you to connect the injury to your accident.
- Contact a lawyer. Call Jason Schultz for help: 404-474-0804. Our law firm can help you pursue compensation for your whiplash injury and its effects on your life.
- Do not give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company or agree to a settlement of your claim without first speaking with our firm.
- Gather evidence. Save photographs, medical records, eyewitness contact information, accident reports, or other documentation of the accident or your injuries. Share the evidence with your lawyer. We will also gather evidence to help you prove fault and liability.
The personal injury team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC stands ready to help you. Please call us at 404-474-0804 today, and we will arrange to meet with you for free. There is no obligation, and we do not charge attorney fees until you get compensation.
Are Car Accidents Public Record in Georgia?
Georgia has an Open Records Act (ORA) that addresses which documents are public record. Several government agencies in Georgia created “A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Open Records Act in Georgia,” that explains ORA as it relates to car accidents and many other situations. According to the guide, Georgia’s Open Records Act gives the public access to information and protects privacy.
The Government Can Withhold Information About Car Accidents
There is a general presumption that all public records are subject to inspection and copying, law enforcement has two exemptions, which include:
- Withholding investigative records when there is a pending investigation or prosecution, (other than the initial incident or arrest report). For example, if the police are investigating a hit and run accident or prosecuting someone for driving while intoxicated, they can withhold some investigative records.
- Withholding records that would reveal confidential material, such as the identity of a confidential source, an ongoing confidential surveillance or investigation, or material from an investigation or prosecution that would endanger someone’s life or safety.
Those two exemptions are discretionary, meaning that it is up to the government official to decide whether you can get a copy of those records.
Getting a Copy of an Accident Report in Georgia
You can only get a copy of an accident report in Georgia if:
- You submit a written request that provides a “statement of need.”
- You are a person or entity that is entitled to the report under Georgia law.
These are some examples of people who may have a right to car accident reports in Georgia (although officials can redact some personal information from the reports):
- Persons actually or allegedly injured by the crash
- An insurer of a person involved in the accident or property damaged in it
- Someone who owns or leases property damaged in the wreck
- Someone with a personal, professional, or business connection with a party to the accident
- Prosecutors and public law enforcement officers
- Someone alleged to have liability because of the crash
- A lawyer who needs the records for a criminal case or a possible claim of an unsafe intersection, roadway, or railroad crossing
- A representative of a news media organization who wants to use the report for an allowed purpose
- Someone researching subjects related to motor vehicle accidents and in the public interest (officials will redact all identifying information)
- A member of a government agency acting within the scope of official duties
Getting a Copy of Other Documents Related to Car Accidents in Georgia
Depending on the type of document, who you are relative to the person who is the subject of the report, and the reason you want the document, you may have access to some documents and not others. Here are a few examples:
- You cannot get a copy of the driving history or personal information on individual drivers from the Georgia Department of Driver Services unless a law enforcement agency has incorporated the driving history into a closed investigatory case file.
- Subject to disclosure requirements, you may get access to police in-car camera or body camera recordings in closed cases. The law is unclear regarding open cases.
- You can get access to crime lab reports (GBI Division of Forensic Services) in closed cases.
You do not need to investigate your car accident on your own. If you suffered injuries in a wreck that was someone else’s fault, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC can gather the evidence to evaluate and prove your case. Call us today at 404-474-0804, for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Can a Car Accident Cause Spinal Stenosis?
- Herniated disc
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spaces inside your spine narrow and put pressure on the nerves within the spinal column. The lower back (lumbar stenosis) and neck (cervical stenosis) are the two most likely places for spinal stenosis to occur.
Although osteoarthritis causes more spinal stenosis than any other factor, trauma-caused stenosis can create a medical emergency and cause permanent nerve damage. If you fracture or dislocate one or more of the bones in your spinal column (vertebrae), the displaced bone can injure the discs and nerves in your spine. If you already had osteoarthritis or another underlying condition before the wreck, you could develop spinal stenosis more easily than a person of normal health.
Complications of Spinal Stenosis
If left untreated, spinal stenosis can worsen and cause you to suffer permanent damage, including:
- Balance issues
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Because a car accident can cause spinal stenosis, you should get a medical evaluation right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Pain or muscle cramps in your legs when you walk or stand for an extended time
- Weakness in one or both of your hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Difficulty walking and keeping your balance
- Bladder or bowel problems
Treatments for Spinal Stenosis
Your doctor will likely use imaging tests to gain detailed information about the exact location and extent of your spinal injury or stenosis. X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and CT myelograms are the usual imaging tests for these conditions. Armed with the data from the imaging tests, your doctor will develop a treatment plan.
Unless you have a severe case or a medical emergency, your doctor will tend to begin with conservative, non-invasive measures, which can include:
- Monitoring your condition with regular follow-up appointments
- Advising you to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve) for a short time
- Prescribing short-term or long-term use of opioids, while warning about the risk of addiction to these codeine-related medications
- Using a trial run of anti-seizure medications like Neurontin or Lyrica or nightly doses of antidepressants to reduce your nerve pain
- Sending you to physical therapy to stabilize, strengthen, and increase the flexibility of the spine
If these treatments are not successful, or if you have a severe injury, your doctor might try:
- Steroid injections at the site of the stenosis in your back
- Decompression procedure, using a needle-like tool to remove part of a ligament near the stenosis to allow more space and relieve the nerve compression
- Back surgery, such as laminectomy (removing part of the affected vertebra), laminotomy (carving a hole in part of the vertebra), laminoplasty (creating a hinge on part of the vertebra to open up space – this surgery is only performed on the neck, not the lower back), or minimally invasive surgery (with less damage to surrounding tissue)
Risks of Spinal Surgery
All surgery carries some risks. While some people experience a reduction in their discomfort and other symptoms after surgery for spinal stenosis, others do not. Possible complications of surgery for spinal stenosis after a car accident include:
- Symptoms the same or worse after surgery than before
- Deterioration of the spinal nerves
- A blood clot in one of your legs
- A torn membrane around the spinal cord
Compensation for Trauma-related Spinal Stenosis
Your damages claim can include multiple components in these complex cases, including losses from:
- The original trauma (medical bills and lost wages)
- The spinal stenosis that developed
- Complications from surgery or another treatment (additional medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering)
- Short-term and long-term impacts on your life from the multiple medical conditions (ongoing medical treatments, long-term care costs, disability, decreased earning potential, chronic pain, mental distress, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium)
What to Do After a Spinal Injury from a Car Accident
Protect your health and well-being by getting medical attention right away. Do not sign papers or agree to a settlement with the insurance company. If you agree to a quick settlement early in your medical treatment, you are locked into that amount of compensation, even if your medical bills keep piling up for additional treatments.
How to Get Legal HelpThe Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC will protect you from a lowball settlement with the insurance company. We will calculate a fair amount of compensation and negotiate directly with the insurance company for you. Call us today at 404-474-0804 today to get your free consultation.
Can I Sue a Drunk Driver Who Caused My Car Accident?
Yes, you can sue a drunk driver for your injuries if the impaired person caused the crash. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is negligence. When drunk driving causes an accident, the negligent person is liable for the resulting damages.
What We Have to Prove to Win Compensation for You in a Drunk Driving Accident
In order to sue a drunk driver, we have to prove their negligence caused the wreck that hurt you. There are three elements to negligence:
Duty of Care
This factor is the easiest of the three to prove since all drivers have a duty of care. They must operate their vehicles in a prudent manner, keep an alert lookout, and follow the laws and rules of the road (which include not drinking and driving).
Breach of Duty of Care
Breach of the duty of care is negligence. Driving while impaired violates the duty of care in two ways—a drunk driver is not operating their vehicle in a prudent manner, and is breaking the law against driving while under the influence. We will prove this breach of duty by using the police report from the accident and information from the criminal DUI case.
This is if the injuries you sustained were the result of the drunk driver, and not someone else. For example, if one driver ran a red light and another driver was drunk, and the driver who ran the red light caused your injuries, we must pursue a claim against that driver. On the other hand, if the drunk driver slammed into your car and caused the harm to you, we can sue the drunk driver. We will use the police report, your medical records, and accident reconstructionist experts, if needed, to build your case on causation.
What Damages You Can Get in an Impaired Driving Crash
Every case is different, and we cannot state an amount you can expect to receive for your losses without evaluating the individual facts of your claim. There are, however, ways to get justice for drunk driving by collecting damages, which may include:
- Medical expenses: This category can encompass all reasonable costs for medical care you had to undergo because of the wreck. Some examples are bills from the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgeon, specialists, your regular doctor, prescription medications, and physical therapy. We will use the medical records and invoices to prove this aspect of your claim.
- Lost wages: You can recover income you lost because of the crash, your medical treatment, and recuperation time away from work. We will establish this item by using your employer’s records.
- Long-term care: If you need long-term care because of catastrophic injuries from the collision, we can include the anticipated costs in your claim. We use medical and vocational experts to show the court what you will need.
- Decreased earning capacity: Some people need to cut back their hours or take a lower-paying job after severe injuries from a motor vehicle accident. If this happens to you, we can pursue your losses.
- Disability: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, we can include this in your claim. We use medical and vocational experts to prove these claims.
- Pain and suffering: Anyone who has suffered significant injuries in a car crash knows that merely getting the out-of-pocket losses from the wreck paid by the at-fault driver is grossly inadequate to compensate you for the experience. We will use your medical bills and lost wages to calculate a reasonable amount you should get for your pain and suffering.
- Other non-economic losses: Depending on the facts of your case, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for things like disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
What Happens if You Were Partly at Fault
Georgia law will allow you to recover part of your losses even if you were also to blame for the accident, as long as your negligence was less than 50 percent of the cause of the wreck. This legal concept is comparative fault (or comparative negligence), and the 50 percent cutoff makes Georgia’s rule of law on this issue modified comparative fault.
Here is how Georgia’s modified comparative fault works:
- If the drunk driver was, by way of example, 90 percent at fault and you were only ten percent at fault, you will get 90 percent of your damages. So, if you had $100,000 in losses, the law would reduce your compensation in proportion to the amount of your fault. After the ten percent reduction for your negligence, you would recover $90,000 of your $100,000 claim.
- If, on the other hand, both you and the other driver were driving while impaired, the judge might find you each equally at fault, that is, each of you are 50 percent negligent. The 50 percent bar to recovery would preclude you both from getting damages from each other.
How Does Collision Coverage Work?
Collision coverage is an optional insurance coverage in Georgia that pays to repair or replace your vehicle, less a deductible. You pick the amount of your deductible when you purchase this coverage. Collision coverage works regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
What Does Collision Insurance Cover?
Collision coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle if you are at fault, even in a one-car accident. For example, if the roads are slick and you slide into a stop sign, your property damage liability insurance will not pay for your car repairs (your liability coverage covers property damage you cause to other parties), but if you have collision coverage, it will pay to repair or replace your car if it is a total loss.
If you are at fault for a wreck with another vehicle, your property damage liability coverage will pay for the other party’s car repairs or replacement, and your collision insurance will repair or replace your vehicle.
Should You Buy Collision Insurance?
You might already have collision insurance if you make car payments or are leasing your car because the finance companies may require you to carry it.
Compare the expense of the collision coverage to how much you would have to spend to replace your vehicle with a similar one. If for example, you are insuring an old car worth only $1,500, you might not find the extra coverage worth it. On the other hand, if you have a $30,000 car, it may be worth it to add collision coverage to protect you in the event of a wreck.
Is There a Rule of Thumb for When to Buy Collision Insurance?
CarInsurance.com recommends that you buy collision insurance if:
- Your car is under 10 years old, or
- Your car is worth more than $3,000, regardless of age, or
- Repairing or replacing your car is not financially feasible for you.
Is There a Rule of Thumb for When to Drop Collision Insurance?
The same experts recommend that you think about dropping your collision insurance if your maximum possible payoff (the full value of your car minus your deductible) is not more than 10 times the cost of your annual collision premiums. In other words, it may not be worth it to pay $300 in annual premiums for an older car that has a maximum possible payoff of $2,500 (full value of the vehicle is $3,000, and the deductible is $1,000). You should not, however, drop collision coverage until you have paid off your auto loan.
Another rule of thumb for dropping coverage is to add up the cost of your comprehensive and collision coverage and your deductible. If the total is higher than what your car is worth, it may be time to drop the extra coverage. For example, if your combined collision and comprehensive coverage cost $500 a year, and you have a $1,000 deductible on an old, high-mileage car that has been in car accidents, the Blue Book value of the vehicle might be below $1,500. If so, it may not make financial sense to carry collision.
If you suffer injuries in an accident that somebody else causes, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804. We will evaluate all available coverage and help you file the appropriate claims to recover compensation.
How Do I Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Atlanta?
How do I get a police report for a car accident in Atlanta?
Not everyone can get a copy of a police report for a car accident in Atlanta. Georgia law does not require the public disclosure of motor vehicle accident records unless you establish that you have a legal need for the document. The statute defines “need” as a person or legal entity who:
- Has a business, personal, or professional connection to a party involved in the accident;
- Witnessed the accident;
- Suffered injuries in the accident;
- Has an interest in property damaged in the accident;
- Is allegedly liable for the accident;
- Insures a party to the accident or property damaged in the accident;
- Is a public law enforcement officer or a prosecutor;
- Is a government official or entity seeking the report for a legitimate governmental function;
- Is conducting research for the public interest;
- Is researching for a news media organization, within permitted uses of these reports;
- Is a lawyer requesting the report for a criminal case or for a claim of unsafe roads; or
- Is a lawyer representing any of these people or entities.
If you fit within one of these categories, then you will have to complete the proper form and submit it to the correct authorities. The correct authority will be the law enforcement unit that responded to and investigated your accident. This unit could be the Georgia State Highway Patrol, the county sheriff, or municipal police.
Why would I need a copy of the police report?
Accident reports include critical evidence to prove your claim for damages after an accident. Some people will lie to get out of having to pay money for the harm they have caused. They may, for example, claim that a traffic light was green when it was actually red. They may lie about making an illegal turn or about failing to yield right-of-way. They may even lie about who was driving. The accident report will establish the truth to support your side of the story.
Accident reports contain important details relating to the crash, including:
- The location of each vehicle;
- The points of impact and damage to each vehicle;
- All injuries noticed at the scene of the accident;
- All traffic and safety laws broken;
- The estimated speed of each vehicle;
- What caused the accident;
- All citations or tickets given by the responding officer;
- The weather, time of day, and road conditions; and
- Names of eyewitnesses.
When a person later denies a fact about the accident, the police report can often set the record straight. This can make the difference in whether you receive compensation for your claim.
How do I contact the Georgia State Highway Patrol?
If the Georgia State Highway Patrol investigated your accident, you should contact the Open Records Unit or a local State Patrol Post. You will have to complete a form to get your report and there may be a charge. For photographs or other records about the crash, contact:
Georgia Department of Public Safety
Attn: Open Records Unit
P. O. Box 1456
Atlanta, GA 30371
You may also fax your request and completed form to 404-624-7529.
Your request must include:
- Your full name, mailing address, and telephone number;
- The names of the people involved in the accident;
- The records you are requesting;
- The city or county in Georgia where the accident happened;
- The date of the accident; and
- The accident report number, if known.
What if I do not know where to get the report?
You can get some crash reports through the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Crash Reporting Unit. Online reports are available for a small fee. The Georgia DOT uses BuyCrash.com, a third-party vendor, to process these report requests. BuyCrash.com will require you to type in the last name of the involved party and the date of the accident, as well as either the VIN of one of the vehicles, the report number, or the driver’s license number of an involved party.
What if my accident occurred in Atlanta?
You can get an accident report for an accident that happened in the City of Atlanta through BuyCrash.com or by visiting the Central Records Unit between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., at:
Atlanta Public Safety Annex
3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW
Atlanta, GA 30331
Where can I get a copy of an accident report in an Atlanta county?
Fulton, Gwinnett, and Clayton counties allow you to get your accident report online through BuyCrash.com. You can get your accident report in person or by other means from these metropolitan Atlanta counties:
5539 Old National Highway
College Park, GA 30349
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Records and Reports
141 Pryor Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
1960 W. Exchange Place
2nd Floor Room 210
Tucker, GA 30084
Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
770 Hi Hope Road
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
You may request your report online.
Clayton County Police Department
7911 N. McDonough St.
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursdays and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
You may contact a records custodian by email or request your report online. You may also visit:
Coweta County Sheriff’s Office
560 Greison Trail
Newnan, GA 30263
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
8470 Earl D. Lee Blvd.
Douglasville, GA 30134
You may submit a request online or via mail, fax, or in person to:
140 Stonewall Avenue West, Suite 100
Fayetteville, GA 30214
Henry County Sheriff’s Office
120 Henry Parkway
McDonough, GA 30253
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Is there an easier way to get an accident report?
Law enforcement agencies allow attorneys to obtain accident reports on behalf of their clients. At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we can identify the law enforcement agency involved in your accident and request your accident report.
If you suffered injuries from a car accident that was not your fault, we can help. Call our attorneys today at 404-474-0804 to set up your free consultation.
How long do I have to report a car accident in Georgia?
In Georgia, you must report a car accident that involves any of the following to police immediately:
- At least $500 in property damage
If you do not report the accident, you could face hit-and-run charges or end up paying for the accident yourself if the other driver later decides to file a report.
What will happen once I report the accident?
If you report the accident from the scene, an officer will come out and write out a report of his observations and opinions on how the accident occurred. The accident report might also include any citations issued.
Does reporting an accident to police help me?
Yes. Sometimes, you do not recognize an injury at the scene of the accident. If you do not call police to the scene, report an accident, or seek immediate medical care, but later develop injuries, the insurer will likely deny your claim, arguing that there is no record of the accident.
It is also helpful in proving fault as the officer writes his opinion of who is at fault right on the report.
What should I do if a law enforcement officer did not come to the scene?
If no law enforcement officer came to the scene of the accident, you should file an accident report with the nearest law enforcement agency and write a Personal Report of Accident. In both reports, you will likely need to note the following:
- The date, day of the week, and time of the accident
- What the weather was at the time of the accident. The location where the accident occurred, including city and county. If outside of the city, note the distance to the nearest town.
- The year, make, and type of each vehicle involved, as well as the license plate number.
- The full name and street address of each driver (or the owner of the vehicle), as well as the driver’s occupation, driver’s license number and state, birth date, age, and gender.
- The names of the insurance companies for all vehicles and drivers. If available, include the name and address of the insurance agents.
- Whether the cars are drivable.
- The name, address, age, and gender of every person injured in the accident. Identify which vehicle each injured person occupied. Designate whether the injured person was a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or other.
- Light conditions, e.g., daylight, dawn or dusk, and darkness.
- If any pedestrians were involved, the direction they were going (e.g., North, South, East, or West), and what they were doing at the time of the collision (e.g., crossing or entering at intersection, crossing or entering not at intersection, getting on or off vehicle, standing in roadway, walking in roadway with traffic, etc.)
- What all involved drivers were doing, e.g., going straight ahead, overtaking and passing, making a right turn, making a left turn, making a U-turn, starting in traffic
- Your recollection of what happened (Note: We recommend you fill this part out first to give a better, truer account of what happened.)
The Personal Report of Accident is for your personal use. Do not mail it to the Department of Transportation, as it will destroy the report upon receipt.
Why should I complete a Personal Report of Accident?
The Personal Report of Accident could be of great value to your lawyer if you have an injury claim arising from the accident and there was no police officer called to the scene. This will serve as a report of the accident to prove that one did, in fact, occur. It also gives your lawyer the opportunity to contact eyewitnesses for their account of what happened.
Call Jason R. Schultz for help after a car accident in Geogrgia.
Injuries from a car accident can be stressful. We can help, regardless of whether you called the police to the scene. And we do not charge to talk with you about your accident, so your consultation is truly risk-free. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz today at 404-474-0804, or fill out a contact form on our site to schedule your consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer.Remember, there is also a statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Georgia so call us soon.
Should I take an ambulance after a car accident in Georgia?
Whether you should take an ambulance after a car accident depends on how badly you were hurt. If you sustained a severe injury, you have a medical condition, or something just feels off, take the ride. It is better to be safe than sorry.
What kind of injuries justify taking an ambulance from a crash?
Any serious injury can justify taking an ambulance from the scene of an accident to the hospital. Some examples of serious injuries that can justify taking an ambulance are:
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Serious burns
- Broken bones
- Significant bleeding or blood loss, or injuries that will not stop bleeding
- Injuries to babies or children
- Injuries to the elderly
What pre-existing conditions should I be mindful of after a car accident?
People with certain pre-existing conditions should take an ambulance if they have been in a car accident. Women in their third trimester of pregnancy or in a high-risk pregnancy should take an ambulance to the hospital, regardless of the severity of the accident. People with serious heart conditions or other significant medical conditions should also ride to the hospital in an ambulance.
You should also take an ambulance if something feels off. If you feel dizzy, disoriented, or feel any type of pain or discomfort, the EMTs might recommend you take the ambulance to the hospital. This is because not all injuries are apparent at the scene. That slight discomfort could mean something much more serious.
Will it hurt my claim if I do not take an ambulance?
No. You can still get compensation for your injuries if you do not take an ambulance. When the insurer evaluates your injuries claim, it will use your medical records to establish what injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
This means that even if you do not take an ambulance from the scene, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible to protect your physical health and link any injuries to the accident.
Will taking an ambulance help my case?
Maybe. The means of transportation from the scene of the accident to the hospital seldom is a factor. However, if you were able to drive yourself to the hospital, but your personal injury claim states that you had serious injuries, the insurance adjuster may be more skeptical of your injuries than if you had taken an ambulance.
Of course, if you had to be airlifted to a high-level trauma center, that will be an indication of the severity of your injuries, but the bottom line is what the medical records show.
What if I cannot afford an ambulance ride?
Ambulance rides can be expensive. However, if we win your injury case, we can recover compensation for the ambulance ride and any other injury-related expenses. Do not forgo an ambulance ride if you really need it.
For help recovering ambulance and other injury-related costs, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. today at 404-474-0804.