We always advise people to call 911 after a car accident in the Valdosta area. A police report may be required when filing an insurance claim, and can be especially helpful if the other driver disputes the facts of what happened. But up in Atlanta, the police have announced that they will no longer respond to all calls about auto wrecks.

The Atlanta Police Department says the change is temporary and applies to situations when nobody apparently was hurt. It’s a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, to help “protect the health and safety of our staff and customers,” a department spokesperson said. For now, after getting into a “minor” crash in Atlanta, you are supposed to visit the Atlanta 311 website and search for a form called SR-13.

The department did not do very much to publicize this change, according to a local personal injury attorney, besides posting a message on its Facebook page. So the number of 911 calls to report car accidents may not go down much, at least at first.

Will public safety be served?

Another potential issue with this new policy is public safety. Trying to limit the spread of the coronavirus is noble, but not every injury caused in an accident is immediately apparent. Just because you don’t think you need emergency medical attention in the first few minutes after impact does not mean you are definitely safe. Without the option to call 911, you might not get to the hospital until your injuries have progressed significantly.

Your injuries matter. Handle your case properly.

So far, Valdosta police are still responding to all 911 calls from car accident victims. And personal injury attorneys are prepared to help you pursue a claim for your serious injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills and other damages. These cases can be complicated and choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you can make a significant difference in how much you receive when your case is finished.