Man driving while texting
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By Jarome Gautreaux

Determining whether to call 911 can be confusing when involved in an accident in Georgia. You can make that decision based on the circumstances of your situation. The law in Georgia requires reporting any accident involving injury, death, or significant property damage to the authorities immediately. The decision to contact emergency services following an accident depends on various factors.

Considerations When Making The Decision To Call 911

  • Severity of the Accident: If the car accident is severe and involves injuries or significant property damage, it is crucial to call 911 immediately. Emergency services can provide necessary medical attention and secure the scene. In Georgia, as in many places, immediate police notification is required in the event of significant injuries, which ensures that you document the accident with an official report, which can be critical for insurance claims and legal matters.
  • Injuries: If anyone is injured, even if the injuries appear minor, it is advisable to call 911. Some injuries might not be immediately apparent to those involved due to the shock experienced during an accident. Emergency responders will be able to evaluate and assist with any medical needs.
  • Traffic Hazard: If the accident has created a hazard to other drivers, such as obstructing the road or causing a significant traffic disruption, calling 911 is advisable. The police can manage traffic flow and reduce the risk of further accidents by assisting in moving the vehicles to a safe location.
  • Legal Requirements: Georgia law requires that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more shall immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department if such accident occurs within a municipality. (GA Code § 40-6-273 (2022)). Failing to report an accident can lead to legal penalties. By calling 911, you ensure compliance with state laws regarding accident reporting.
  • Disputes or Safety Concerns: If there is a dispute between the parties involved or if you feel unsafe at the scene (for example, if the other party becomes confrontational or there is a risk of violence), calling 911 can provide a level of safety and ensure that law enforcement can intervene if necessary.
  • Documentation for Insurance: Calling the police to the scene allows them to make an official report, which insurance companies often require to process claims. This report provides a neutral account of the accident, which can be crucial for resolving disputes with insurance companies or involved parties.

Situations Where Calling 911 Might Not Be Necessary:

  • Minor Accidents: If the accident is minor, such as a low-speed collision without injuries and with only minor damage, and the vehicles are safely out of traffic, Georgia law may allow the parties involved to exchange information and handle the matter privately. However, even in minor accidents, it is often a good idea to file a report for insurance purposes.
  • Private Property: If the accident occurs on private property, such as a parking lot, and involves minimal damage without injuries, it may be appropriate to exchange information and not affect the police. However, be aware that some private property incidents still require police notification, depending on the extent of damage or if the property owner demands it.


While not every car accident in Georgia requires a 911 call, it is generally advisable to exercise caution and call 911, especially if there are injuries, significant damage, or any doubt about the appropriate course of action. Assessing the situation, prioritizing safety, and complying with Georgia laws regarding accident reporting are essential. Gautreaux Law has experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you take legal action against the other party if you decide that this is what you need to do. We can also guide you with your insurance claims or other matters related to the accident. Contact our office for an initial consultation.

About the Author
Jarome Gautreaux is a personal injury trial lawyer. He represents people who have been seriously injured, as well as the families of people killed because of carelessness or negligence. For over 20 years, he has successfully recovered more than 100 million dollars in a variety of Macon personal injury cases. Jarome’s reputation for client focus and case success has led to other lawyers requesting his assistance with complex personal injury litigation. What drives Jarome every day is his strong belief that the amount of money someone has should not dictate the justice they receive. It is for this reason that he has never worked for corporations, insurance companies, or other interest groups. Instead, he thrives on helping the people who need it most- people who have suffered at the hands of others and deserve compensation.