In the majority of the scenarios, it is your legal obligation to report a car accident in Georgia. There is a high probability that you may face severe legal repercussions and also lose the entitlement to recover any financial damages.
In this article, we have highlighted some of the situations that may ensue if you do not report a car accident in Georgia:
When A Car Accident in Georgia Should Be Reported:
It is clearly stated in the state law that a formal police report shall be filed by anyone involved in the incident if:
- There were deaths
- There were injuries
- There was property damage aggregating to more than $500
The majority of car accidents meet these criteria. Nowadays, property damage can easily surpass $500, even in cases where there are no apparent injuries. Hence it is always suggested to adequately report a collision unless the repercussions were trivial.
What Happens if You Fail to Report a Car Accident in Georgia?
There could be long criminal court hearings awaiting you in case you fail to report an impact when the situation fits the above-stated legal criteria. If you drove away without attending to the scene of the impact, the victim could easily claim compensation terming it as a hit and run case.
This could result in fines and penalties ranging somewhere between $300 and $1,000. This could also lead to a suspension of the driving license along with up to 12 months’ imprisonment.
Additionally, the injured victim in the crash can also sue for not reporting the accident which is accounted for as separate charges.
What If the Accident Was Minor?
Should a report be filed in case the damages are negligible and there are no severe damages? Not reporting a car accident may have some major life-altering externalities. Therefore, it is always a better alternative to report the incident.
Failing to document an accident poses a risk to the rights you are entitled to even if there was no legal obligation to report the collision. The police arrive at the scene of the impact and devise a detailed car accident report when the case gets reported to the police. They may also interview the people present at sight and gather any available evidence. If no report is prepared and you subsequently try to recover damages, it is effectively your word against everyone. Even if the incident was not your fault, you may be termed as the culprit for what happened.
To be able to secure compensation for all monetary along with non-monetary damages is another reason to always file a report. Some injuries and damages may not be readily apparent in some scenarios, including deferred symptoms of internal bleeding or engine failures. One of the popular examples which may take hours or even days to appear is a traumatic brain injury.
Do Insurance Providers Require Accident Reports While Initiating Claims?
At the time of processing the claims, most insurers do ask for a police report to adequately value personal property or injury claims. The documented evidence can be of extreme help even in cases when the insurance administrators do not require a formal incident report. They guide you in working out a beneficial settlement and help to establish that the recklessness caused by the other party leads to the mishap.
Can I Be Termed as the Culprit After Reporting the Car Accident in Georgia?
The probability of the case going to trial may cause some drivers a lot of worries. The Georgia Code states that an accident report is a statutory obligation and won’t turn out to be an indication of negligence.
What Else Should I Document at the Scene of the Car Accident in Georgia?
Other than filing a police report and contacting the relevant authorities, you can follow these steps to be on the safer side:
- Inquire relevant details and contact information of anyone who was part of the accident
- Adequately document the images of the sight of impact along with any apparent property damage
- Gather any data and information that may be available regarding the witnesses
In order for a smooth recovery procedure for your damages, it is vital that you retain every possible detail regarding the accident. This will also ease the insurance process.
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Our professional attorneys will help you cope with your car accident in Georgia as we have extensive experience in dealing with such cases. If you or your loved one has been a victim of such an incident, contact us today to help you with it.