Failure to Report An Accident
Georgia law requires individual to have in a very particular way following an accident otherwise they may be charged with failure to report an accident. Individuals who fail to follow the applicable guidelines are at risk of facing criminal charges that carry substantial penalties. In many cases leaving the scene of an accident constitutes a crime that results in harsher penalties than many other DUI offenses. Applicable Georgia law varies based on the type of accident in which an individual was and rather the exact damages include bodily injury, death, or property damage.
Laws Regarding Parking Lot Accidents and Failure To Report An Accident
Applicable law in the state of Georgia states that individual who are in a parking lot and strike a parked motor vehicle while backing out of a space should take all reasonable efforts to contact the motor vehicle’s owner. The term “reasonable” is somewhat open to interpretation but motor vehicle drivers should likely leave a note on the other driver’s windshield with contact and insurance information.
Accidents Involving Bodily Injury and Failure To Report An Accident
Georgia law states that individuals have a legal obligation to help the injured person by calling an ambulance. Individuals are also highly advised to remain calm and to stay at the scene of the accident to avoid being charged with failure to report an accident.
The Hit and Run Statute vs. Failure To Report An Accident
An applicable body of law exists in the state of Georgia regarding hit and run accidents. Motor vehicle drivers must make sure that in any accident resulting in jury or death to another individual or property damage to a motor vehicle to stop at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to this location.
Individuals must provide certain information including their name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle that is being driven to any individual who is struck by the vehicle or any individual who is inside a vehicle that is struck by the driver’s vehicle. Individuals are also required by Georgia law to provide reasonable assistance which can including transporting another individual who was injured in the accident to a doctor hospital if the other individual’s injuries appear to be serious enough to require such assistance. In the event of death or disability or another type of incident that leaves an individual unable to communicate in any way, individuals are required to make every reasonable effort to call an ambulance and report the accident to local law enforcement
Other Situations In Which Emergency Services Should Be Contacted
There some other types of situations in which individuals should make sure to contact law enforcement or emergency services. Motor vehicle drivers should contact emergency services if one other driver disagrees with the other driver about how the accident occurred. Police reports can prove to be particularly powerful evidence in demonstrating to a court of law or an insurance company how accidents occurred. Another situation that often requires contacting emergency services is if the other motor vehicle driver is uninsured because law enforcement documentation can help record proper contact information for an individual.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Individuals often fear that their automobile insurance rates will increase if an accident is reported. As a result, drivers might attempt to do anything to get away responding to an accident without contacting law enforcement or emergency services. Without a police report, individuals face several substantial obstacles including: a motor vehicle driver might later change their mind about paying for damage to a vehicle, a vehicle’s occupants might later discover that they have suffered a serious injury that was not immediately noticeable, and potential witnesses and evidence might be impossible to obtain.
Advice for Individuals Who Are Involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you are in a motor vehicle accident, it is always wise to stop to make sure that the accident has been properly handled. Individuals should also make to follow several other pieces of advice, which include the following:
- Avoid leaving the scene of the accident. Individuals must stop immediately if they are involved in an accident. It is important that driver’s know how the law requires them to respond to an accident.
- Contact local law enforcement, emergency services, and other appropriate authorities. A law enforcement report can help document which driver was at fault for the accident as well as to list any traffic laws that were potentially violated.
- Make sure to provide the other party with your contact, insurance, and vehicle registration information.
- Notify insurance companies if appropriate. Even though another motor vehicle might promise to pay for any damage that they cause, these types of agreements can easily lead to individuals unable to force another individual to pay for repairs. The best idea is always to record information regarding the other party’s insurance company.
- Offer to help any injured individuals.
- Remain at the scene of the accident until matters are resolved.
- Seek medical treatment if necessary. Many individuals worry about falling into debt due to medical bills and avoid receiving the treatment required to help their injuries caused by the accident. In order to protect one’s physical and financial health, it is always a wise idea to immediately seek medical treatment.
- Take photographs of the accidents. Individuals should make sure to record documentation of how exactly the accident occurred. Once individuals have sought any required medical treatment, it is wise to photograph any physical injuries as well.
Contact a Skilled Georgia Attorney
If you have been involved in a “hit and run” accident in any manner, it is a wise idea to contact a skilled attorney like the legal team at Yeargan, Barber & Kert to learn what your potential options are. Do not hesitate to contact our law office today in order to receive assistance in handling your case, no matter of how the case occurred. If individuals are uncertain about whether they are required to report a motor vehicle accident, it is a wise idea to rely on the realization that it is much better to have an official report confirming how the accident rather than one’s instincts alone when attempting to prove the accident happened in a certain way due to law enforcement or insurance companies.