How to Obtain Your Georgia Police Report After a Car Accident

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A car accident lawyer works at his office in Georgia. Having a police report is essential for making any insurance claim for injuries or vehicle damage after a car accident in Georgia. Insurers almost always require these reports as they provide evidence of the accident and can help determine fault.

Police reports also include information about the other driver, witnesses, and the location of the accident. Without a police report, your insurance claim may be denied or undervalued.

You can usually get the report at the scene if you call the police about the accident. If not, you can file one later with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

Filing a report on your own in Georgia is fairly straightforward, but you have to be precise and accurate when doing so. You will need to provide information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and any injuries sustained, by submitting the Personal Accident Report Form (also known as the SR-13 form).

The DOT will then review the incident and generate a report that includes details such as the drivers involved, witnesses, and damage to vehicles. Inaccuracies in the report can lead to disputes with your insurance company or other parties involved in the accident.

Because police reports are so valuable for a claim, it’s important to review the report carefully and ensure that all information is correct before submitting it as part of your claim. If you notice any errors, contact the police department or DOT immediately to request corrections.

If you have trouble getting the report or it seems inaccurate, a car accident lawyer can assist you. Our lawyers at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm can help you understand how to document your claim and fight for fair compensation, even if the initial report isn’t in your favor.

We can also review the police report and other evidence to determine fault and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

A lawyer’s role is to represent you throughout the claims process. Our experts at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm will help you gather all necessary information, including medical records, witness statements, and photographs of damage.

We can also prepare legal documents such as demand letters and settlement agreements. If negotiations with insurance companies fail, our lawyers may take your case to court to seek compensation for damages.

Methods of Acquiring a Georgia Car Accident Report

If you have been involved in a car accident in Atlanta, there are two main options for obtaining a copy of your accident report.

The first option is through the Georgia Department of Transportation website. You can fill out an online form and request that they mail the report to you for $5.

GDOT will charge an additional $2 if you need the report certified, which may be necessary if you plan on filing a lawsuit or pursuing legal action. However, GDOT only accepts money orders and cashier’s checks as payment methods.

The second option is through online vendors that GDOT contracts with. These vendors allow you to request your report directly from them if you prefer to pay by card or using another payment method.

To do this, you will need to provide your last name, the date of the accident, and at least one of the following: the accident report number, your driver’s license number, or the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of a vehicle involved in the crash.

It is important to note that while both options allow you to obtain a copy of your car accident report, there may be some differences in terms of pricing and payment methods. It is recommended to carefully review each option before making a decision on which one to choose.

Beyond these two main methods, you may also turn to the specific police precincts whose jurisdiction the accident occurred under. Police precincts typically offer several methods of acquiring a report: online, via mail, or in person.

Information Found on Georgia Police Reports

A Georgia police report will usually contain the following details:

  • Date and Time of Crash: Establishes when the accident happened, which is crucial for witness statements and alibi verification.
  • Location: Helps pinpoint the exact scene of the crash for investigation and potential reconstruction.
  • Driver Names & Licenses: Identifies the people involved and allows verification of their driving qualifications.
  • Vehicle Details (Make, Model, VIN): Helps identify the vehicles involved and gather information about their safety features and potential damage based on model/year. VIN is a unique identifier for each vehicle.
  • Road Conditions: Provides context about external factors that might have influenced the crash (e.g., slippery road due to rain).
  • First Harmful Event: Describes the initial impact type (e.g., side-swipe, rear-end collision), which helps understand the crash dynamics.
  • Contributing Factors: Explains the potential causes of the crash besides driver actions (e.g., mechanical failure, debris on the road).
  • Fault: Assigns blame to the party (or parties) believed to be responsible for the accident.
  • Injury Information: Documents any injuries sustained and if medical attention was required.
  • Insurance Information: Helps identify the responsible party’s insurance for potential claims.
  • Vehicle Maneuvers & Direction: Explains what the vehicles were doing before the crash (e.g., turning left, stopping at a light).
  • Occupant Information: Lists everyone in each vehicle involved in the crash.
  • Pedestrians & Others Affected: Documents any pedestrians, cyclists, or others involved in the accident.
  • Eyewitness Information: Captures statements from witnesses who might have seen the events leading to the crash.
  • Damage Estimates: Provides a preliminary assessment of the damage to the vehicles involved.
  • Area of Initial Contact: Identifies the specific point on each vehicle where the collision first occurred.
  • Citations Issued: Lists any tickets issued at the scene for traffic violations or other offenses related to the crash.

How Does a Crash Report Determine Fault?

Crash reports themselves don’t definitively determine fault. They serve as a starting point for insurance companies and legal proceedings by outlining the officer’s observations and initial understanding of the accident.

Here’s how they influence fault determination:

  • Evidence Source: The report includes details about the accident scene, witness statements, and inferences the officer draws. This information can be crucial evidence for assigning fault. For example, if there were skid marks on the road leading up to the crash site, it could suggest that the driver who caused the accident was speeding or driving recklessly. Similarly, witness statements from people who saw the accident may provide valuable insight into what happened and who was at fault. Additionally, inferences drawn by the officer based on their observations of the scene can also be used as evidence to determine fault. For instance, if there were signs of distracted driving, such as a phone in hand or an open container of alcohol, it could suggest that the driver causing the accident was negligent and thus at fault.
  • Police Citations: If citations are issued for violations like speeding or reckless driving, it suggests the cited driver may have been negligent and thus at fault. For example, if a police officer issues a citation to a driver who was caught going 20 miles over the speed limit in a residential area, it could suggest that they were driving too fast for conditions and may have contributed to the accident. Similarly, if a driver is cited for reckless driving, such as tailgating or weaving through traffic, it suggests that they may not have been paying attention to the road and could have caused the accident. These citations can be used as evidence in court to determine fault and assign liability.

In most cases, fault in a car accident is determined through negotiations between the parties involved or through legal proceedings. These negotiations will still involve the crash report, but other evidence will also be considered.

If both parties agree on who was at fault, they can reach an agreement and settle their claim accordingly. However, parties do not always agree, as it is often against one’s best interest to pay a greater share of an accident.

If there is disagreement about who was responsible for the accident, it may be necessary to go to court to have a judge make a determination.

That said, police reports remain important pieces of evidence because they are considered objective accounts of the accident. This means that if a police report assigns blame to you, it can still hurt your injury claim.

Insurance companies and courts often rely on police reports as evidence when determining fault in an accident. If the police report places blame on you, it may be more difficult for you to recover damages for any injuries or property damage that occurred.

This is why it’s important to review the police report carefully and ensure that all information is accurate before submitting it as part of your claim.

If you have been involved in a car accident, a lawyer can assist you with fighting a citation, improving the report, or building your case to show that you are not at fault. A lawyer can review the police report and other evidence to determine fault and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

Can I Change or Correct Information on a Police Report?

It is important for law enforcement agencies to have accurate records of accidents, as these reports are used in legal proceedings and insurance claims. If a police accident report contains errors or omissions, it could lead to confusion and miscommunication between the parties involved.

Additionally, if the report is not corrected, it may be used as evidence in court, which could result in incorrect conclusions being drawn about the incident. If the report falsely accuses someone of being at fault for the accident, they may be held liable for damages even though they were not responsible.

Making corrections and amendments to an incorrect police accident report, therefore, can help ensure that all relevant information is accurately recorded. This can include correcting mistakes related to the location of the accident, the identity of the parties involved, or the nature of the injuries sustained.

By making these changes, law enforcement agencies can provide a more accurate picture of what happened and reduce the risk of confusion or miscommunication down the line. Corrections and amendments to a report also allow law enforcement agencies to help ensure that justice is served fairly and accurately.

There are two types of documents that can effect changes to an original crash report: amended crash reports and crash report supplements.

Amended Crash Reports

An amended crash report refers to a revised version of an original police accident report that has been corrected or updated in some way. This type of report may be created if there are errors or omissions in the initial report or if new information becomes available after the accident occurred.

For example, if it is discovered that the identity of one of the parties involved was incorrectly recorded in the original report, an amended version would need to be created to reflect the correct information.

Crash Report Supplements

On the other hand, a crash report supplement refers to additional information or details that are added to an existing police accident report after the fact. This type of report may include witness statements, medical records, or other evidence that was not available at the time of the original report.

Supplements can be useful in providing a more complete picture of what happened during an accident and can help support legal proceedings or insurance claims.

How Do I Request Changes to a Police Report?

If you want to request a change to a police report, you will need to contact the precinct where the officer who responded to the accident works. Schedule a meeting with the officer, and when you meet them, clearly explain the requested changes or additions with relevant information.

Keep in mind that you may need to present additional evidence if you would like to make major changes. Also, the officer will likely have to inform all parties involved that changes have been made and that new information has come to light.

Police officers prioritize correcting what are known as factual errors. These are errors that consist of typos and omissions with objective evidence to support it (that is to say, fact and not opinion).

They will be less likely to change subjective viewpoints, such as accounts of who caused an accident, without solid proof. Eyewitness statements are also unlikely to be altered.

How a Lawyer Can Help Make Amendments to Car Crash Reports

Having an attorney on your side can give you major advantages when attempting to correct or add to a crash report. Most notably, they can help you gather evidence that can potentially convince the responding officer to grant your request.

Your lawyer can also help make things easier on your end by scheduling and preparing for the meeting on your behalf. This is especially valuable when changes have to be made promptly in order for a claim to progress before the statute of limitations expires, but you are indisposed by injuries, your recovery plan, or other factors.

And, of course, in the event a critical change isn’t made, your lawyer can help you explore other options to help you achieve your goals for compensation.

Turn to the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for Help With Your Georgia Police Report

When you are in need of experts on your side to help you get your Georgia police report, call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. Our goal is to assist you in any way that can help your case, and that includes filing and acquiring a complete and accurate police report.

At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we offer a free, no-obligation case review to discuss your legal rights and how we can help you recover compensation. Our Georgia car accident law firm is committed to providing personalized service and support throughout the entire process, from start to finish.

We believe that every client deserves the best possible representation, which is why we work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and goals.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm today at (833) 254-2923 for a free consultation. Let us help you recover compensation and move forward after your accident.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

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If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.