Years ago, it was very common for people to just exchange insurance information after their car accident. Nobody really thought about calling the police, especially if the accident was minor. Our Macon accident lawyers will tell you that that is no longer the case.
Why Is It So Important That You Call the Police After Your Accident?
There are several reasons why you need to call the cops immediately after your motor vehicle accident. The first reason is that it’s required by law. It’s also important that the police come out and do a thorough investigation of the crash.
When the officers arrive at the scene, they will arrange for you and any other injured passengers to be transported to the local hospital. This will ensure that you get the medical care you need. It also means you’ll have medical records to prove that you were, in fact, injured.
The Police Will Conduct a Thorough Investigation of the Crash
When the police arrive at the scene, they will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash. They will speak with both drivers and get a statement from each of them. They will also confirm that both parties have a valid driver’s license and current insurance.
In addition, the cops will speak to any eyewitnesses and get their statements as well as their contact information. This is information that your Macon accident lawyer will not have access to once the accident scene is cleared.
Your Macon Accident Lawyer Will Need a Copy of the Police Report
Many people don’t realize this, but your Macon accident lawyer will need the police report to prove your case. There’s valuable information contained in this report that will be almost impossible to obtain on your own.
Some of the information contained in this report includes the following.
- Registration, license, and insurance information for both drivers
- Statements made by both parties involved in the crash
- A description of the accident scene
- A description of the road conditions and weather
- Pictures and even a video of the crash site
- Notations as to whether either driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision
- Statements from any eyewitnesses along with their contact information
- Any other pertinent information that the officer feels will help determine fault
As you can imagine, it will be very difficult for your Macon accident lawyer to prove your case without this information. You will also notice that there will be no way for your attorney to procure this information without the assistance of the police.
You’re Legally Required to Report a Car Crash in Georgia
Aside from needing a copy of the police report for your lawsuit, you are also required by law to report the accident. According to Georgia Statute 40-6-273, motorists are required to report accidents if they meet certain criteria.
These criteria will be discussed in detail below.
Was There More Than $500 Worth of Damage to the Vehicles Involved?
Any accident that causes more than $500 worth of property damage must be reported to the authorities. Since there’s no way to determine exactly how much damage was caused in your crash, it’s critical that you report it.
Did Anybody Suffer Any Physical Injuries?
You are also legally required to report any crash that causes serious bodily injury. Technically, the law no longer requires that the accident involve serious bodily injury.
If anybody was hurt in the accident, both drivers are legally required to report the crash to law enforcement.
The Other Driver May Not Have a Valid License, Registration, or Insurance
One reason we always remind our clients to call the police is that you have no idea if the other driver is telling you the truth. When the other driver tries to convince you not to call the police, it means something is amiss.
One common reason our Macon accident lawyers have experienced is that the other driver doesn’t have valid insurance. Or they may be driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license, and they don’t want to be arrested.
For All You Know, the Other Party is Driving a Stolen Car
Another reason why it’s important that you contact the authorities immediately after your crash is that the other driver could be driving a stolen vehicle. For all you know, they could have been in the middle of committing a crime.
When the police officers arrive at the scene, they will run the plates for both vehicles to see who they are registered to. If the other driver’s identification does not match the vehicle’s registration, they may be arrested for driving a stolen vehicle.
The Other Driver Could Be Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Most people know that the legal limit for DUI in Georgia is 08. If the other driver believes that they are close to or above this limit, they are not going to want to be within ten feet of a police officer.
The problem for you is that if the other driver was drunk, it would go a long way toward proving fault. If you let them leave the scene, it will be impossible to prove that they were under the influence at the time of your collision.
Your Macon Accident Lawyer Knows None of These Reasons Are Sufficient
One of the things our car accident attorneys in Macon tell our clients is that they need to call the police immediately after their car accident. The police officers will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash and provide you with a final report. This report will be instrumental in helping you prove fault.
If you don’t call the police, you’re going to make your Macon accident lawyer’s job a lot harder than it has to be. In fact, without the police report, it may be impossible to prove your case. You have no idea if the information the other driver gave you is accurate or current.
This is one of the reasons we suggest you contact our office as soon as possible after your accident. Take advantage of your free, initial consultation and sit down with an experienced Macon accident lawyer.