Q: 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 today.
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 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.