- A Georgia car accident crash report, also known as an incident report, is filled out by police officers or state troopers to document what happened at the scene of a crash.
- You can obtain a copy of your Georgia car accident report at the local police department, at the Georgia State Highway Patrol (GSP) or through BuyCrash.com.
- There are legal and personal reasons you are likely to need an incident report after a car accident anywhere in Georgia.
When you are involved in a serious car accident, treating your injuries is only the beginning of your recovery process. You will usually want to get a copy of the police report as soon as possible. As an informed consumer and as someone hurt in a car accident, you may be able to help your case by finding a copy of your Georgia car accident report and having it handy when you begin addressing your property damage and medical concerns. You may also request or allow your car accident lawyer’s office get the report for you.
When is a car accident report required by law in Georgia?
Under the law of Georgia you must call 911 to report a car accident when the crash happened in a city or county that has a local ordinance requiring that a report is made, when anyone involved in the accident has been hurt or killed, when the vehicle or other property damage is more than $500.00 and when a report is required for reporting to an insurance company.
How to get your police report at a local law enforcement agency
The report is usually available a few days after the crash at the local police or sheriff’s department (or other law enforcement agency) that worked the wreck, at the GA State Patrol office nearest the accident scene, or online at a website called BuyCrash.com, a service that contracts with the Georgia Department of Transportation.
There will be a small charge to get the report when you pick it up in person, it is usually $5.00 for the report.
How to Use BuyCrash.com to get your police report online
On the BuyCrash website, you begin by selecting the state of Georgia, where your accident occurred. Then the service will ask why you need access to the report. Among your options are “I was injured in the accident” or “I have a personal connection to the accident”. Choose the option that best fits your situation. There will be a charge for the report, so you will need to be ready to enter payment information.
Once you’ve submitted your reason for requesting the report, you will be able to search the database by name. If you were a driver, enter your name and the date of collision. The report will be filed by the names of the drivers involved. Occasionally, officers will make mistakes in spelling the drivers’ names. If you cannot locate the report by name, call the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident to get the report number.
How to request an accident report using the Georgia Open Records Act
The State of Georgia allows you to use the Georgia Open Records Act to obtain a traffic crash report. The Open Records Act is found at O.C.G.A. 50-18-72. To make an open records request for the traffic report, you may submit a request form to a local State Patrol Post or yo may make a request to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, DPS Open Records Unit. In your request you must include: your name, address, telephone number, persons involved, the type of record being requested, the Georgia City or County where the accident happened, the date of the accident and the crash report or incident report number if you know what it is.
Understanding the Georgia Accident Crash Incident Report
If you want to delve deeper into the content of the report, you can look at the various codes. The “accident report overlay” lists the various codes and what they mean. Pay particular attention to codes that indicate who or what factors may have caused the accident. Driver condition, vehicle condition, and vision obscured by are just a few of these.
The narrative and diagram sections of the report will generally contain a summary of the police officer’s findings about the accident, including what the drivers and witnesses had to say about the crash.
Perhaps one of the most important boxes on the entire report is the one labeled “contributing factors”. This is where the officer will make a call about what caused the accident, whether it was speeding, following too closely, mechanical or vehicle failure, driving too fast for conditions, or drunken driving.
Even in determining who is to blame for an accident, police officers don’t always get it right. But, the accident report will be considered carefully by the insurance companies involved.
Accident reports are complex documents made more confusing when there are mistakes or misleading information. Our lawyers can help you sort through the confusion and potentially help rectify any mistakes present.
How to Get A Report When You Don’t Know Which Police Department Responded to Your Wreck?
In the confusion after a car accident it is not unusual to not know or not remember which Agency worked the accident. In Georgia, it will likely be one of three law enforcement agencies: the local policy department (city or county), the local sheriff’s department, or the Georgia State Patrol (GSP). If you are able to call these agencies and provide your name, vehicle identification number (VIN), and the date, time and location of the collision, one of these agencies should have the report.
Can you have a Georgia police report made after the accident if the police did not respond?
In some cases it may be a good idea to have a police report made for insurance purposes if the police did not respond to the scene, such as when the accident was very minor (less than $500) or your car was damaged in a hit and run while parked. In this case, call your local police department and ask that an officer be dispatched to make a report.
What is a Georgia Personal Report of Accident Form?
Georgia’s Department of Driver’s Services provides a personal report of accident form that can be filled out by drivers to preserve information about a crash. Often this is used for insurance purposes. It is not required by law.
Why you want to have a Georgia accident report made
After an accident you may need to recover financial compensation for medical bills, lost income from being unable to work and earn money, and damages for pain, trauma and disfigurement. It is generally not a good idea, and is against the law if there is an injury or the damage exceeds $500 for a driver to leave the scene, to fail to have a police investigation and report made. Although the report itself may not be admissible in evidence (parts of the report may be admissible in a civil case) you will want to have the police report made to document what happened at the accident scene, what the officers findings were, the locations and condition of the vehicles, witnesses, insurance information, driver contact information, and a variety of other useful information.
Helpful Information: How to get police accident reports from Atlanta area law enforcement agencies
Hurt in a car accident?
The Atlanta car accident lawyers of The Millar Law Firm can help you get your police report and your injury claim started today. Call our Atlanta or South Atlanta car accident lawyers today and we can start your case today.