Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | September 14, 2022
Once a car wreck happens in Georgia, it often falls on local law enforcement to investigate the cause of the crash. An officer will arrive on the scene, speak with witnesses, and record the presence, placement, and functionality of any signs or lights. They may take photographs of your vehicle, the other vehicle, and road conditions.
At the conclusion of this process, the officer will prepare a Georgia accident report. However, the significance of this report, or even where to get it, may not be immediately apparent.
Frequently Asked Questions About Georgia Crash Reports
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning Georgia car accident reports and records:
Do All Accidents Get Reported to Law Enforcement?
You are encouraged to report all car accidents to law enforcement. Reports are completed if any person involved is injured or if it appears there is at least $500 in damage. You may also complete a Personal Report of Accident form, which can be given to your insurance company if requested.
Which Law Enforcement Agency Should Be Contacted After a Crash?
The appropriate law enforcement agency to contact will depend on where the crash occurs. If the accident occurs outside of a town or city, the highway patrol will typically respond. If the crash occurs inside city limits, then that city’s or town’s local agency will usually respond.
You can always dial 911 and provide the dispatcher with the location of your accident. The dispatcher will then notify the appropriate agency.
Can Car Accident Reports Be Used in Court?
In Georgia, car accident reports filed with the Georgia Department of Transportation cannot be used in a civil case to establish negligence. In other words, if you believe the other driver is at fault and you seek to recover damages through a lawsuit, you will have to present evidence other than the accident report to sustain your case in a court of law.
Such evidence might include your testimony, the testimony of witnesses, and the opinion of an accident reconstructionist. However, the Georgia Department of Transportation’s report, actions the department took against the other driver’s license, or the reasons for such actions would not be admissible evidence.
The above notwithstanding, your car accident report could still prove useful in settlement negotiations.
What Information Can Be Found in a Georgia Accident Report?
A car crash report will contain most of the information you or a lawyer working on your behalf might need. It will include the names and insurance information of all involved parties. The report will also indicate whether citations were issued to any driver.
Subsequent pages of the report will include the investigating officer’s narration of the accident. Also included will be details about any passengers involved in the wreck and information concerning any damaged property.
Can a Car Accident Report Be Changed After It Is Submitted?
If you obtain a copy of your car accident report and note errors, you may request that the investigating law enforcement agency amend their report. Note, though, that not all information can be amended. You cannot request an amendment as a way of objecting to a citation issued to you.
How Do You Get a Copy of Your Crash Report?
If you need a copy of your Georgia car accident report, there are several avenues by which you can request it. The responding law enforcement agency should have a copy of your report that can be provided after a few days. You may also request a copy of your report directly from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Although having law enforcement respond to your accident may seem like a hassle, Georgia makes the preparation, submission, and receipt of accident reports fairly painless. It is often worth any extra time or trouble to call law enforcement following a crash and request an officer come and investigate.
Contact the Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
For more information, please contact the Atlanta car accident law firm of Hasner Law P.C. at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas:
Hasner Law PC – Atlanta Law Office
2839 Paces Ferry Rd SE #1050
Atlanta, GA 30339
Hasner Law PC – Savannah Law Office
221 W York St
Savannah, GA 31401