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What Happens After a Car Accident With No Police Report?

By Butler Prather LLP on January 12, 2022

One of the most important things any person can do after a vehicle accident occurs is call the police so an officer can come to the scene to fill out an accident report. However, there are various reasons why the police may not come to an accident scene in Georgia. If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident, but the police did not come to the scene to fill out a report, this could certainly affect your ability to recover compensation, and it could even result in criminal penalties.

When Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Georgia?

According to Georgia law, any person involved in a vehicle accident is required to report the collision to law enforcement officials if:

  • There were any injuries
  • There was a fatality
  • There was any property damage totaling more than $500

When we examine these reporting requirements for vehicle accidents, we can see that most incidents that occur in the state of Georgia fit the criteria for contacting law enforcement officials.

What if You Fail to Report the Car Accident?

Failing to report a vehicle accident could have significant consequences for those involved. If you have been in a vehicle accident that involved an injury, fatality, or property damage of more than $500, and do not report the incident, you could actually face criminal charges.

The other individual(s) involved in the incident could say that you perpetrated a hit and run accident because you drove away and left the scene of the incident. Even if this is not how the incident occurred, it will essentially be your word against another individual’s, and the truth of the matter will have to be proven in court.

In the state of Georgia, a hit and run incident could result in up to 12 months in jail, fines ranging between $300 and $1,000, and license suspension. Additionally, if another individual is hurt or dies in the incident, this can lead to felony hit and run charges which can result in up to five years in prison.

Even if leaving the scene of an accident does not lead to hit and run charges, this could open you up to civil legal action from the other party involved. For example, another driver could claim injuries or property damage and file a lawsuit against you to recover compensation for the losses.

What if the Car Accident Was Relatively Minor?

Even if it seems like a vehicle accident is relatively minor, you should still report the incident to law enforcement officials. The thresholds for reporting crashes are fairly low. Even if there are no visible injuries or property damage, there may be unseen consequences that the individuals at the scene are not aware of.

For example, it is not uncommon for the signs in symptoms of some accident injuries to appear hours or days after the crash occurs. The last thing you need is for another person involved in the accident to claim that they sustained an injury and that you left the scene without reporting it. Additionally, even relatively minor vehicle accident damage can lead to expenses rising above the $500 threshold.

Contact an Attorney for Advice Moving Forward

We strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled Atlanta car accident attorney if you have any questions about how to proceed forward with your particular vehicle accident claim. Even if you did not report the accident to law enforcement officials immediately, an attorney can help you by offering a free consultation.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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