WHAT DO I DO IF I AM INVOLVED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION?
Hoffspiegel Law Blog
If you are involved in a collision, it can be difficult to think clearly. Your adrenaline is spiking, your mind is racing and your thought process is not at its best. There are, however, a few things that you should do as a matter of course.
If the other driver is hurt, offer them assistance. Call 911 and report the collision and tell them to send an ambulance.
The law requires that a person involved in a crash move their vehicle to a safe place. Some people are afraid to move their car because they want the investigating officer to see how the vehicles came into contact. The best solution to this is to walk around both vehicles and take photographs. Be sure you are far enough from the vehicles so that the entire event can be captured…in other words, pictures taken right up against the vehicles will not give much perspective on what happened. Show the photographs to the investigating officer. And if you cannot safely move your car, you will have to leave it for a wrecker service.
You must have insurance to operate a vehicle in Georgia. If you do not have proof with you, you are in luck because Georgia has their system on-line and the investigating officer can find your coverage from their patrol car. But it works best if you can simply hand your proof of insurance to the officer when he or she arrives. Always take photos if you are not at fault. Cell phone photos are good quality these days and are frequently blown up and used in trials. Get those pictures before the scene changes.
If you have used your camera, let the officer know about it and show them the film. Move your vehicle to a safe place. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their names and contact information. They will not always stay until the police arrive and you may not be able to locate them again if they leave. However, if you lose a witness, you may get lucky. Make an open records request to the police department handling the collision and request the call log and the patrol unit and body cam video. You may find that one of the witnesses called 911 and left their number. You may also find a witness that you were never aware of.
Do not argue with the other driver. There is no benefit to doing so. Be sure you and your passengers are in a safe place while you wait for the police. Try to remain calm…it is easier and more effective to communicate when you are composed. Call a friend or family member if needed. And if you are hurt, accept the ride in the ambulance to the hospital. If you are hurt, be sure to let the officer know…this is not the time to be tough or stoic. You will only feel worse and regret it by the following day.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were involved in an Atlanta car crash and your own negligence contributed to the accident, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney. Contact our Atlanta car accident attorneys Lloyd and Alex Hoffspiegel to discuss your particular case. Call (404) 760-8600 to schedule a consultation with our lawyers at Hoffspiegel Law.