You may already know the first steps to take after an auto accident in Atlanta, Ga. But where do you find the information to start moving forward with a personal injury claim after the accident? All the information you’ll need is on the police report. In Georgia, every officer uses the same form to report a motor vehicle accident. On the form, you’ll find all the pertinent information regarding the collision such as:
- the other driver’s contact information
- the other driver’s insurance information
- a narrative from the reporting officer
- citation information
Although this form is widely used, it may be difficult to read if you have limited experience in auto accidents. Knowing the information that the form should contain and how it is filled out can be helpful when starting a legal claim after an accident.
Each accident report has four essential parts:
- The first page tells you about the other driver involved, their insurance, and any citations given.
- The second page includes the officer’s narrative of the crash. This page may also have a diagram of the accident and information on property damage.
- The supplemental report contains information on the other parties involved. If there are passengers in the vehicles this information will be here. It will also detail if the airbags deployed, seatbelts were used, and if passengers were extracted from the vehicle.
- The overlay page is the last page in the report. Some county police departments use codes to show information about the crash. The codes are shown as numbers throughout the report and the overlay provides a key for understanding this information.
What other information can I find on a Georgia accident report?
The first page of the report can be easily read. The party names are clear but there is more basic information you can get from this first page.
- Date and time of the accident
- A description of the vehicles involved
- Driver conditions and actions
- Information required for commercial motor vehicles
Take special note of the driver’s name of the vehicle versus the owner’s name of the vehicle. If these are different, this could imply multiple levels of coverage.
The overlay codes are used to help police officers write reports quickly and accurately. Using this tool, the officer doesn’t physically write the report but instead codes the report. The codes describe information like:
- The first or most harmful event
- Contributing factors to the accident (both with the vehicle and the driver)
- Roadway conditions
- The direction of travel and traffic flow information
- Vehicle maneuvers
- Maneuvers of other parties (such as pedestrians or workers)
- Vehicle class and type
- Where the collision occurred on the car or which part of the vehicle was affected by the crash
- Types of injuries
- Airbag function
How Can an Accident Report Affect My Claim?
In the past, clients have expressed hesitation on involving the police department, especially in minor accidents. Consider it this way: police officers see hundreds of accidents every year. The amount of experience they bring to the scene of the accident can prove to be vital to a case. It’s their responsibility to assess: the statements given by the drivers, road conditions, the damage to your vehicle, and the injuries you complain of following the accident.
What if my report is inaccurate?
If you notice a mistake on your accident report, it’s important to get it amended. The only people who can request an amended report are those who were there at the scene of the accident. Unfortunately, this is one of the few things a lawyer cannot do on your behalf. You can request a report be amended in person at the police station or by calling the reporting officer to give a statement. When pursuing a claim, it’s important that the report accurately affect the sequence of events and the people present. The insurance agencies will use the report to make decisions of liability so it’s worth your time to get one corrected.
How do I get a copy of my accident report?
There are a couple of different ways you can get your accident report. Depending on the department it may be one of three ways:
- Pick up a copy from the reporting police department
- Order a copy online via third-party websites such as buycrash.com
- Send a request for a copy of the report via mail
If you are an involved party, you can get a copy of the report for free when you visit the police department in person. If you are unable to go in person, you can pay a small fee by using a third-party website. Please note that it may take 3-5 business days after an accident for a report to be ready.
Get a Consultation Today
If you’ve been in an accident that you believe was caused by another’s careless and negligent actions, consult with an attorney today. You may be entitled to compensation that will help you manage the effects of your injury, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will pursue your claim on contingency, which means you do not owe legal fees unless we recover compensation. Call and speak to one of our Intake Specialists today.