- When the police respond to the scene of a crash, an accident report must be completed by a responding officer.
- Police accident reports contain essential details and accounts that can help draw a picture of how and why a car accident occurred.
- An accident report can help you file a claim with an insurance agency, as it acts as an eye-witness account from a respected and reliable source.
- You can obtain an accident report through the agency that responded to your accident or from the online website BuyCrash.com.
Police Reports Can Impact Georgia Car Accident Legal Claims
When trying to obtain compensation after a car accident, any evidence that explains how and why the accident took place can help with your case. An accident report from a police agency can be extremely valuable when making a legal claim because it acts as an eye-witness account from a respected and reliable source.
Police must complete an accident report using the Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident ReportingForm, a standardized document that provides all the details regarding a crash. Fields on the form are typically consistent throughout the state of Georgia so that all accident documentation is the same, no matter where the accident took place. Additionally, there are overlay forms containing multiple-choice codes that help streamline the paperwork for law enforcement officers.
Here’s why an accident report is crucial for a car accident claim.
Georgia Police Accident Reports Provide Critical Information
Depending on where your crash happened and which agency responded to the scene, the accident report will be completed by either local, county, or state law enforcement authorities.
The accident reporting form has several pages that allow officers to provide precise specific details about the drivers, the environment, and what took place at the scene of the crash.
The following fields are included in all accident reports:
- The time, date, and location
- Descriptions of the vehicles involved
- Details about all drivers involved, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers
- Witness contact information, if available
- Insurance information for all vehicles
- Driving and traffic conditions at the time of the accident
- Weather conditions, if weather was a factor in the crash
- Any traffic tickets issued
- A write up of the officer’s account
- A drawn diagram of the accident
All the information within the accident report is helpful in making a legal claim as it can alleviate “he said-she said” differences among involved drivers. Having the official police report is often critically important in proving liability in a case or court.
Accident Reports Differ from Criminal Reports
If the responding officer determines that a criminal act has been committed, a separate criminal report will be filed, and arrests may be made. For example, a criminal report may be filed if a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the crash.
Criminal police reports contain the details of individual acts that violate Georgia laws, which may be anything from trespassing to driving while intoxicated.
Where to Get Accident Reports
If you are considering legal action, it’s helpful to have the accident report with you during your initial consultation. To obtain the official police report, you may request a copy from the reporting agency. There may be a small copy fee for this service.
The following websites explain how to obtain a copy from various departments or online resources:
- The Georgia State Patrol / Georgia Department of Public Safety
- Fulton County Police Department – How to get your police report
- Clayton County Police Department – How to get a report
- City of Atlanta Police Traffic Reports (Central Records Unit)
- Gwinnett County, Georgia Accident Reports – how to get yours
- Cobb County, Georgia Police Traffic Crash Reports
- Dekalb County Police Reports
- Douglas County, GA Accident Reports
- Henry County, Georgia Traffic Accident Reports
If you do not have a copy of your accident report during your initial consultation and you decide to retain a lawyer, they can help you get a hold of a report for your case.
Call Us If You Have Questions
Insurance companies often try to pay victims less than what they should rightfully be awarded, as this is how they make their profits.
At The Millar Law Firm, we have spent three decades supporting and assisting accident victims as they pursue their insurance claims. We work on car accident cases every day and are familiar with insurance company tactics that attempt to pay you less than you deserve. With our help, you’ll be better positioned to receive a full and fair settlement for your claim.
We offer a free first consultation to help you understand your rights and the steps to take to protect yourself and your family.
Call us today for your free appointment. 770-400-0000