Whenever our Atlanta accident attorneys meet with a new client, we ask them to tell us their story. In order for our team to determine whether their case is worth pursuing, we need to know what happened. Very rarely does a client come to us and tell us that they were the ones who fled the scene of the accident.
While this will make it very difficult for your Atlanta accident attorney to prove your case, it is not impossible.
Our Atlanta Accident Attorneys Always Tell Our Clients to Follow Certain Steps After the Crash
One of the things our car accident lawyers in Atlanta always tell our clients is that there are certain steps you need to follow immediately after your crash. Normally, if you follow these steps, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be compensated for your losses.
If, for some reason, you decide to flee the scene of an accident, you need to have a very good excuse. Unless you can convince your Atlanta accident attorney that fleeing the scene was warranted, they may not be willing to represent you.
Call 911 Immediately After the Accident
One of the first things we tell our clients to do after a car accident is call 911. There is never a good reason to not call the police. Obviously, one of the benefits of calling 911 is that they will send a team of officers out to the accident scene.
Not only will the cops do a thorough investigation of the accident, but they will also ensure that you’re transported to the nearest emergency room. If you don’t call the cops and decide to leave the scene of the accident instead, you’re putting yourself in a very untenable position.
Take Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene
Once you have called the police, you should try to take photos and a video of the accident scene. It’s important that you have pictures of both the accident scene and the damage to your vehicle. Not only will this help your car accident lawyer in Atlanta prove damages, it may also help prove fault.
If you fled the scene of the accident, your Atlanta accident attorney will have to work extra hard to prove that you’re entitled to damages. This means they may have to hire an accident reconstructionist.
Your accident reconstructionist will depend on pictures and videos of the accident scene in order to determine fault.
Go To the Hospital and See a Doctor
Once the police arrive on the scene, you need to go to the nearest hospital to be checked out by a doctor. The cops will arrange for an ambulance to take you and any other injured parties to the emergency room.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is refusing medical treatment. There are several reasons for this, including:
- There is no way to know if you’ve suffered any internal injuries.
- You need to ensure that you are okay, and the only way to do this is to be checked out by a licensed physician.
- Your Atlanta accident attorney will need a copy of your medical records to prove that you were injured.
- The only way to prove that the crash is what caused your injuries is to show that you were immediately transported to the emergency room.
It can be difficult to prove this when you flee the scene of an accident.
If you drive yourself to the hospital, it may be difficult to disprove that something other than the accident caused your injuries. The defendant will argue that an intervening event caused her injuries.
Reach Out to an Experienced Atlanta Accident Attorney
The final thing you should do once you’ve been seen by a doctor is contact an experienced accident lawyer in Atlanta. Even if you fled the scene, there is a remote possibility that you can still collect damages.
If you wait too long to meet with an Atlanta accident attorney, you jeopardize your chance of receiving compensation. In a normal car accident lawsuit, the lawyer needs several weeks or months to prepare your case.
It takes a long time to prepare your case when you fled the accident scene. This is because you’re automatically putting your lawyer on the defensive.
Not only will your car accident lawyer in Atlanta need to prove fault, they will also need to prove that there was a legitimate reason why you left the scene before the cops arrived.
The Law Requires That You Report Any Accident Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury
In Georgia, as in every other state, there are laws that require you to report a motor vehicle accident. The laws in Georgia require you to do so if one of two things has happened.
According to OCGA §40-6-273, if there is more than $500 worth of damage to either vehicle, you’re required to report the collision. Additionally, if the accident resulted in any type of bodily injury, to yourself or to a passenger, you are required to report the accident.
What Happens if You Are Caught Fleeing the Scene?
It is important to let you know that fleeing the scene of the accident can impact more than just your civil claim for damages.
Not only are you giving the other driver the opportunity to claim that you were at fault, but you also put yourself at risk of being criminally charged with fleeing the scene.
If you happen to be charged criminally for your actions, your Atlanta accident attorney can certainly refer you to a criminal lawyer in Georgia. However, you cannot lose sight of the fact that you need to pursue your civil claim sooner rather than later.
Call Today and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation
Most people who have been involved in a car accident know that it’s in their best interest to meet with an Atlanta accident attorney. This is especially true if you fled the scene of your motor vehicle accident.
Things are already going to look bad for you. The last thing you’ll want is to be at a serious disadvantage when dealing with the insurance company.
Most of the time, people who flee the scene of an accident have a difficult time recovering damages. The more time your Atlanta accident attorney has to repair your case, the better the odds are that you’ll receive compensation for your injuries.