You may know to call the police after any car accident, but what happens if they do not come?
Calling the police after an accident is always one of the first things you should do. The hope is that after you call, police will arrive at the scene and write and file a report. What happens, though, when the police do not show up? Although this is not something you can control, there are important steps to take afterward.
You may be required to report the crash, and you do not want to be accused of violating the law. You also do not want to get charged with a hit-and-run when you tried to report the accident. Below, our criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta explains the most important steps to take.
Why Do Police Not Respond to Accidents?
There are a number of reasons law enforcement may not show up to the scene after you report an accident. A serious crime may have happened that they are investigating, or a major weather event, such as a hurricane, may make it impossible for police to get to the scene. If law enforcement does not believe your accident was serious enough, they may also decide not to visit the scene to take care of more important matters.
When are You Required to Report an Accident in Georgia?
In Georgia, you must report a car accident if any of the following apply:
- At least one person became injured or was killed as a result of the crash
- Property damage exceeds $500 in value
- Your insurance company requires you to file a report
- The crash happened in a city where a report is required
Knowing your own legal obligations for reporting accidents is important, as it can shield you from facing criminal charges in the future. If you do comply with the above requirements and the police still do not arrive at the scene, you should take additional steps.
What to Do if Police Do Not Show Up at the Scene
Police reports are generally neutral. They outline certain types of evidence at the scene, document statements from all parties involved, and provide a basic description of how the accident happened. While still at the scene, take all the important steps you would otherwise. That is, take pictures of the accident scene, locate witnesses and ask for their contact information, and exchange your insurance information and driver’s license with all other drivers involved.
Once you have that information, you can then file your own police report. Visit the police department in the city where your accident happened and ask to file a report. Many police departments will also let you file your report online. Filing a report on your own will document the fact that you did not simply leave the scene or fail to report the crash.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgia Can Help if You Have Been Charged
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident or failing to report a car accident, ourGeorgia criminal defense lawyer at Ghanayem & Rayasam can help you prove differently. We will collect important evidence to show that you were not trying to shield yourself from liability or criminal charges and give you the best chance of success. Call us now at (404) 561-0202 or fill out our online form to request a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.