How to Get a Police Report After a Traffic Collision
Obtaining a police report after a car accident in Georgia is important. A police crash report will outline how the accident happened and point to who was at fault. That information will play a role in your accident claim as you establish that another driver caused your crash due to negligence.
You can obtain an accident report from the local police, sheriff station or Georgia Highway Patrol that handled your crash. You can also obtain it online or simply ask an attorney at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC to acquire one for you. One of our car accident lawyers can help you throughout the accident claims process and pursue all compensation that you are entitled to receive. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.
How Does an Accident Report Get Created?
An accident report can be created in two different ways. First, if a police officer came to the accident scene to move vehicles from the road, assist in getting accident victims appropriate medical treatment and to provide other help, the officer will likely create a report. When the officer returns to the police station, the officer will then write and file the report. So, you should be able to visit the station afterwards and receive a copy of the report.
If the police do not arrive at the scene of the accident, you will have to take steps in order to create a report. Georgia law states that individuals involved in a crash must report the accident if it resulted in $500 or more in property damage. The law states that you must report the crash immediately, although it does not specifically state how many days you have to report it.
Generally speaking, you should not wait more than a day or so to report the accident. After you report the accident, the police at the station you reported it to will create the report and file it. Again, you can go directly to this law enforcement agency in order to request a copy of the report.
What Does the Police Accident Report Contain?
The police accident report will contain the most important information about the crash that caused you to suffer injuries. It will describe the location of the accident and the vehicles involved in it. The accident report will also estimate the amount of damage sustained by the vehicles involved, and the part of the vehicle that was damaged. The report also has a section for the day and time of the crash and the weather conditions.
The accident report also has a section that asks about the auto insurance for each vehicle. You must check whether the vehicle has liability insurance, which all drivers are required to carry in the state. If so, there is also a space to enter the auto insurance number. The report will also ask for the information of the drivers involved, including their full name, birth date, occupation and driver’s license number.
How Do You Order a Copy of the Crash Report?
The most common way of obtaining a crash report is to visit the police department, sheriff station or Georgia Highway Patrol unit that responded to the crash. You must do this even if the station is located in a different county or city that you live in because that station will have the report.
Prior to visiting the police department, you should call the general number, which you can likely find online, and ask where you should go to obtain the report and what hours it will be available. You will likely be directed to the Records Unit. You should also ask how much it costs to receive a copy of the accident report. It is usually five dollars or less. It is important to make sure that the station has a copy of your accident report available. Usually, it will take a few days after the car accident before the report is available for pick up.
Some people find that it is more convenient to order the accident report online, particularly if the crash occurred a significant distance from where they live. When this is the case, you can order it online at BuyCrash.com for a small fee. You will need to provide some information, such as your name, date and your vehicle identification number (VIN).
If you are working with a lawyer at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, that is going to help you to file a motor vehicle accident claim, the lawyer will also be familiar with acquiring accident reports and able to do it for you. Of course, an attorney will also guide you through the process of filing your accident claim so you can secure the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
What Role Can an Accident Report Play in Your Car Accident Claim?
The accident report is important for any car accident claim you file. Most insurance companies will require a copy of it when you report the accident to them. Even though Georgia is a fault state for car accidents, you will likely still have to notify your own insurer of the crash, and the insurer will probably ask for a copy of the report when you do. Although the report can help with the insurance company, it will be inadmissible if the case goes to trial unless the officer that arrived on the scene testifies in court.
The car accident report is also important because it can greatly help with the investigation of the crash. The report will provide the basics of what happened and act as a good starting point for the investigation by your attorney.
Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
If you have been in a car accident, call our personal injury attorneys in Norcross and Athens at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. We can help you obtain the police report, guide you through the claims process and work closely with you to pursue the full amount of compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.
Kevin Adamson is a former college baseball player who brings a competitive spirit to personal injury trials and settlement negotiations. Kevin played baseball at LaGrange College and went on to earn his MBA from Lynchburg College and his J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Since 2001, he has focused on personal injury law and secured numerous six- and seven-figure results for his clients. He is also a registered arbitrator and mediator with extensive experience handling contract negotiations for a variety of professional services, including athletic contracts. Kevin also owns his own airplane and makes frequent use of it for his law practice, which has taken him to 18 states.