Whenever possible, it is very important to call the police after a car accident in which someone has been injured. Having the police respond to a car accident is crucial for several reasons.
First, the police officer’s job upon arrival is going to be to investigate how the accident occurred. Many times the police officer will look for witnesses, locate and document skid marks and vehicle damage, take pictures, and gather facts and statements from the parties. Often, the police officer will draw or diagram how the wreck occurred. All of this information will be compiled into a Georgia Uniform Vehicle Accident Report. This report may later be used to the advantage of the injured person in court, particularly any damaging statements made by the at-fault driver.
Perhaps more importantly, the police may assign fault based on the facts. Aside from investigating and issuing a report, the police officer may issue criminal citations if a traffic law has been broken. For example, it is likely that in a rear end collision, the police officer will it give the at-fault driver a citation for following too closely pursuant to O.C.G.A. 40-6-49. Again, this type of evidence will help the injured party in negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Further, the ticket disposition, in other words, how the at-fault driver handles the criminal citation, may be beneficial for your case. For example, if the at-fault driver pleads guilty to the citation, that plea can be used in a future civil claim against that person.
It is important to note that a police officer can issue a police report whether the accident occurred on public property, like a city street, or private property, like a parking lot. Insist that the police officer issue a report.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car wreck, and you have a question about how the settlement process works, then please, feel free to call and speak to our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.