When you have a “fender bender” in Georgia, and it seems like nobody is hurt, you may be tempted to skip waiting around for the police to show up. However, our car accident attorneys believe it’s worth the wait to get an official document completed at the accident scene. There may be injuries that are not obvious right after the crash because you are in shock. There may even be vehicle damage that doesn’t come to light until later. It will also prevent the other party from saying that additional damage occurred in the accident when it did not. For these reasons, our car accident lawyers strongly recommend that you wait for the police.
When Am I Required to Report a Car Accident in Georgia?
There are also circumstances under which you are required to call the police and file a report in Georgia. If you are involved in an accident and any of the following situations occur, you must get an official accounting of events.
If there is a fatality at the accident site, you must remain at the scene until the police have completed their report, or until they say it’s okay to leave.
- Personal Injury
If there are any cases of injury at the accident site, you must call the police and stay there to assist with the police report. Make sure that all injuries are documented accurately.
- Property Damage Over $500
It might not seem like that much damage to you, but do not take the risk. Get an evaluation at the scene. You may be surprised to find out how expensive car repairs can be after an accident, and you don’t want to pay for it later!
What Information is in the Police Report?
The police report is quite thorough and will provide all the facts relating to the accident. It is a two-page form (front and back) called the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report. Aside from the accident facts, it will record the names and contact information of any witnesses involved in the crash.
It will record road conditions and include driver impairment information. It will also state if any traffic laws were violated. This information will be valuable to your car accident lawyer as they work on your claim for reimbursement.
How Do I Get a Copy of the Police Report from my Accident?
According to Georgia’s Open Records Act, you should be able to obtain a copy of the crash report from the Georgia Department of Public Safety website. This is the way to go if the Georgia State Patrol took the report. If your report was taken by an Atlanta Police Officer, you can pick the report up from Central Records in Atlanta, or purchase it online at www.buycrash.com.
Obtain a copy of the police report before your first meeting with your car accident lawyer, and keep it organized with your other records. The police report is always the first document your car accident lawyer will need to review. Your lawyer will need this document along with any pictures or other evidence collected at the accident scene. This information will also make your claim easier to review. So, the next time you get into a minor car accident, remember to call the police and wait at the accident site for an official police report.