Drivers in the Atlanta area may now be on their own if they are involved in a non-injury car crash.
To help lessen the spread of COVID-19, the Atlanta Police Department announced a temporary policy to stop sending officers to non-injury vehicle crashes. In such circumstances, drivers would be expected to exchange information and ensure that all aspects of the crash scene are recorded before filling out a form online.
Without a proper police report, however, some are worried that insurance companies will use that lack of official documentation as leverage when settling claims. For this reason, Atlanta motorists should know what to do during an accident without an injury and the best ways to protect their car accident claims.
The new standard is that Atlanta police officers will not report to the scene of an accident where there are no injuries and all vehicles are drivable.
The Police Department will still send officers to crashes involving injuries, disabled vehicles, hit-and-runs and dangerous situations.
What to Do in an Atlanta Fender Bender or Accident
The Atlanta Police Department recommends motorists go through the following steps immediately after a crash without injuries.
- Pull over and remove your vehicle from traffic
- Ensure all parties involved are safe and uninjured
- Determine if a vehicle needs to be towed
- Record evidence at the crash scene — photograph vehicle damage, the crash impact, traffic signs, skid marks, etc.
- Photograph the license plates and VINs of any other vehicles involved in the crash
- Exchange insurance, driver’s license, vehicle information, and contact information with the other parties involved
- Request contact information from eyewitnesses
- Record the crash scene’s location, time of accident and direction
- Consider completing a SR-13 form to file the accident record
- Contact your insurance company to see if you need to record additional information
The Policy’s Implications
Typically, insurance companies use police reports to establish the facts of the case. Without a neutral legal body to help record the details of an accident, insurance companies may be more reluctant to view the SR-13 form as an accurate depiction of the crash events.
Moreover, drivers at the scene may not have the presence of mind to document the evidence typically included within a police report. If a driver does not meticulously record the scene, road information and details of an accident, their accident claim may suffer. Without proper police recordkeeping, insurance companies may struggle to determine fault and liability.
Insurance companies are typically reluctant to settle a car accident case for top dollar, and without proper documentation from law enforcement, they may be even more likely to lowball your claim.
To help avoid these issues it is important to get legal counsel immediately after a car accident.
“If you are in a car accident in Atlanta, contact a hardworking car crash attorney immediately,” says Alex Nguygen of 770GOODLAW, H.Q. (Alex) Nguyen Law Firm, LLC. “Since the police may not visit the crash scene, it is more important than ever to ensure that you take all of the steps to properly collect evidence. With the proper legal counsel, you can ensure that all of the critical information is recorded on your SR-13 form for the insurance company to see.”
It is important for drivers in an accident to collect “too much” evidence at the crash scene, rather than collect too little and face difficulties down the line. Car accident claims can be complex. Having a lawyer to handle your car accident claim and protect your rights is immensely beneficial.