While a car accident is a stressful event, there is a very clear process in place to obtain a car accident report in Georgia. The first thing that you should do after a car accident is to call the police and report the accident. The police report will be a vital piece of evidence for your personal injury claim. If you file a personal injury claim with an automobile insurance company, the insurer will most certainly ask whether an accident report was filed and then ask for access to it.
What Is a Car Accident Report?
A car accident report is a document that the responding police officers fill out while at the scene of the accident. It captures essential information about the who, what, when, where, and how of the accident. Specifically, this includes:
- The names, addresses, contact number, and insurance information for those involved in the accident — this includes the drivers and passengers in both vehicles
- Vehicle damage
- The date of the accident
- The time of the accident
- The location of the accident
- Contact information for any witnesses to the accident
- Any injuries
- Additional notes on behavior or circumstances surround the accident
How Do You Obtain a Car Accident Report?
There are usually two ways that you can obtain a copy of the police report: paid or free. If you do not want to spend any money, then after you file a claim with your insurance company, you can ask if they can obtain a free copy for you. If you decide to take the paid route, you will use the receipt number that the responding police officer provided to you at the scene of the accident and contact the traffic division of the police department to request a copy.
You will be required to pay a fee, but it is usually nominal. You can also access most Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports at the website https://www.buycrash.com.
If you do not have the police report receipt from the responding officer, you can still get a paid copy from the traffic division by providing specific details of the accident as well as your name.
Usually a letter with the following language will be sufficient to obtain the accident report and other publically available evidence you may need: “Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 & 50-18-71), I am requesting a complete copy of the original motor vehicle accident reports, photographs, dash cam videos, and any additional documentation you may have regarding an automobile wreck I was involved in on [INSERT DATE OF YOUR WRECK] in [INSERT COUNTY] at [INSERT ROAD NAME WHERE THE WRECK OCCURRED].”
How Is a Car Accident Report Used in a Lawsuit or Settlement?
Prior to trial, a police report is extremely useful during settlement negotiations with the automobile insurance company. Unfortunately, the complete police report is usually not admissible evidence if your personal injury case ends up going to trial. Some portions of the report may be admissible while other portions are not.
For More Information, Contact Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers
Obtaining a car accident report is pretty straightforward and painless — which is a good thing considering how important it is to your Georgia car crash case. If you have recently been in a car accident in Georgia and think that you may want to file a personal injury claim, it’s best to seek out an experienced legal professional. Contact Williams Elleby to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.