If you were involved in a car accident in Georgia and didn’t report it, there may be consequences. It depends on the severity of damages and how long it’s been since the accident. Read on for the details and what to do next.
When Should I Report a Georgia Car Accident to the DMV?
The only reporting requirement after a Georgia car accident is to call the police if:
- The vehicle damage totals $500 or more, which is very common in Georgia car accidents
- And/or there are injuries or deaths from the accident.
You should always stop, remain at the scene of an accident, and exchange information with the other driver(s) in addition to contacting police. This includes helping any injured individuals involved in the crash.
If you hit someone else’s vehicle and they weren’t present, you should find the owner and let them know. In the event that you cannot find the car’s owner, you should report the collision to the local police and leave a note on the owner’s car with your contact and insurance information. You should also report the car accident (in writing) to your auto insurance company.
Although the only legal requirement is reporting the accident to the police, the Georgia DMV does encourage drivers to complete a Personal Report of Accident form after being involved in a crash. This form is not filed with the police, but it helps record information about the accident and may be reported to your auto insurance.
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What Happens if I Don’t Report the Car Accident?
As stated above, you don’t need to report the accident directly to the Georgia DMV, but you are legally required to report most accidents to the police.
If you don’t report a car accident to the police, you could be charged with hit and run or failure to report an accident. These are very serious crimes that can result in license suspension, fines, and jail time. In addition, you might lose insurance coverage for the accident if you don’t notify your auto insurance company soon after.
It’s in your best interest to contact a Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you didn’t report an accident. The same goes for if you were injured in a car accident where someone else left the scene without exchanging information or calling the police. This is common with uninsured motorists or drivers with prior moving violations hoping to avoid further conviction.
Don’t delay contacting a lawyer, as you may be facing legal penalties—and the longer you wait, the worse off you may be.
How Does Report an Accident Protect Me?
Sometimes drivers will fail to report a car accident because they panic at the scene or are worried about rising car insurance costs. In other cases, another driver may try to discourage calling the police. But the truth is, you are far better off reporting the accident to police—even if the accident is minor.
For example, if another driver hits you and leaves several scratches on your car, you might not think it’s bad enough to report. Maybe you simply exchange information with the other driver and leave the scene, assuming minor repairs will be taken care of.
Later, you find out the damage to your car is going to be a lot more than you thought. Maybe your car even has internal damage that affects the way it drives. That means additional costs down the road totaling at least thousands of dollars. Plus, you now notice neck pain you didn’t have before the accident that requires medical treatment. But since you didn’t report the accident to the police or your insurance company, you may lose out on recovering any damages for the costs.
Don’t let this happen to you. Always report a car accident to Georgia police. And if you were already in an accident that you didn’t report, take action immediately by contacting a trusted car accident lawyer in your area. They can advise you on what to do next.
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer for Free
If you were hurt in a car accident in Georgia, the next step after reporting the accident is contacting an experienced lawyer in your area. If you have questions about your accident, we can discuss them during a FREE consultation. We work exclusively with personal injury victims—never for insurance companies. To get started with your free consultation, call us at 404-400-4000, or contact us here today.