These are some crazy times. Recently released news from the Atlanta Police Department about not responding to fender bender “non injury accidents “causes concern among daily drivers.
We wanted to address how to make sure you stay safe, take the proper steps and most of all how to make sure you do not get taken advantage of when in pertains to your insurance!
Remember, an at fault accident (an accident where it is deemed to be your fault) stays on your insurance record for 5 years.
The Atlanta Police department has suspended the response to non-injury crashes because of Covid-19 guidelines
They will still respond to hit and run, crashes with an injury, and any accident causing a safety hazard or vehicles blocking the roadway.
When asked about drunk driving crashes, Atlanta Police do say they will respond to “incidents involving criminal activity.”
Here is what we recommend in the event of a fender bender:
- IMMEDIATELY start a video with your smartphone if you have one. Pan over the whole area and the scene of the accident so it is clear who hit who. This will deter any parties from lying in the future.
- Make sure if everyone is ok and move the vehicles off the roadway to safety as quick as possible.
- If there are ANY witnesses make sure to try and get a statement from them on your video. This will be a HUGE determining factor if the other party who hit you decides to deny fault after the fact. If it is your word vs the other party, it is good to have witnesses. A simple statement of “I saw the blue car hit the yellow car” is better than nothing and make sure to get their contact information.
- Be sure to video the entire scene. The area, traffic density, skid marks, lights, and positions of the cars can help in the future.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get their name date of birth, drivers license number, license plate, VIN, insurance company, policy number, and named insured on the insurance card. The name of the driver might not always match the name of the person on the insurance card! You must have that name when you call in to file the claim.
- If you do not have a smartphone you can complete a Georgia SR-13 form (pictured to the right)to document the accident for your records. Be sure to draw a diagram of the accident and
record all of the information previously stated by hand!
- CALL YOUR AGENT! We can always help and even show up to the scene if need be!
- If the accident is not your fault you should not file a claim through your insurance carrier, the claim should be filed through the insurance of the person who hit you.
We also recommend getting a dash-cam. They are fairly inexpensive and will prove your innocence. This will save you insurance money in the long run by not being wrongfully blamed in an accident.
Below we have listed the official recommendation from the Atlanta PD but always remember to call your insurance agent if something happens and start recording as soon as possible.
Atlanta Police have advised to do the following after getting in a fender bender in the city limits:
- Pull over and move your vehicle from the roadway, if possible.
- Ensure all drivers and passengers do not need medical assistance.
- Determine whether a tow truck is needed and call the towing company of your choice to remove any vehicle that requires it.
- Take photographs of the accident to include photos of vehicle damage, the area of the accident, including the roadway, traffic signs or signals and street signs. Photograph skid marks if they are present and related to the accident.
- Photograph the license plate and VIN of the involved vehicles.
- Exchange information with the other drivers, including insurance information, driver’s information, and vehicle owner information. Make sure to get the insurance company name and policy number.
- Request contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
- Document the accident location, your travel land and direction of travel at the time of the accident.
- Consider completing a Georgia SR-13 form to document the accident for your records.
- Contact your insurance company to confirm you obtain all the information they may need.