Being in a car accident in Georgia is a frightening experience. Even minor fender benders can ruin your day and affect your driving confidence. And in serious crashes, victims may be left with life-changing injuries.

What all crashes have in common, though, is that they may require a crash report from law enforcement. But how do you interpret GA accident reports? Below, our team walks you through the process.

What Is a GA Accident Report?

An accident report in GA is a legal record, or “snapshot”, of the circumstances around a car crash. It contains critical information about the accident, including:

  • Date, time, and location of the crash
  • Insurance details
  • Injuries and property damage
  • Parties involved in the crash

It is a valuable piece of evidence for any insurance or personal injury claim. Once you have your copy of your report, keep it somewhere safe.

Do You Need a Report After a Georgia Car Accident?

You don’t always need a crash report in Georgia. It depends on whether there are injuries and/or property damage. However, you do, by law, require an accident report if you have a crash and:

  • There are fatalities
  • Anyone is injured (even minor cuts and bruises)
  • There is property damage worth $500 or more

If you don’t report a crash to law enforcement when required, you could face license suspension or revocation. You may also face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident!

It’s hard to know how much property damage may be worth until it is valued. And some injuries take a while to manifest. So, it is good practice to simply report any crash to law enforcement. They will tell you if you need a report and if you need to tell the DMV about the accident, too.

Benefits of Having an Accident Report

While you may not need a crash report to file an insurance claim, here’s why your report matters.

  • Insurance companies typically expect to see crash reports. This helps them determine liability, and make a settlement offer, quicker.
  • A crash report can help your car accident lawyer settle your personal injury claim.
  • Crash reports contain vital information about the accident. They are highly valuable for your own record-keeping purposes.

Once you have your report, check it carefully for errors. Any error, however small, could jeopardize your claim.

Contents of an Accident Report in Georgia

Helpfully, GA crash reports follow a certain format. Although there are various sections, below are the six main sections that parties involved in a crash should know about.

1. Essential Accident Information

The report begins with critical information, including the exact date, time, and location of the crash. This could be, for example, a specific parking lot or a certain roadway.

There will also be confirmation of whether there are commercial vehicles involved. Commercial vehicle involvement can affect how claims are processed, and the deadline for filing claims. Check with your accident attorney for more information.

2. Driver(s) Details

Your report should contain the personal details of the driver(s) involved in the crash. This will include vehicle and insurance information for making the relevant claims.

If there are passengers or witnesses, their details will be included, too.

As above, double-check that your details are correct. This includes checking your insurance details, license information, and vehicle details. Contact law enforcement immediately if there are errors.

Male insurance agent signing document and holding toy car and key in palm of his left hand

3. Cause of Accident and Contributing Factors

It can be challenging to determine who – or what – caused a crash. However, law enforcement officers will attempt to identify contributing factors, such as:

  • Driver error
  • Driver fatigue
  • Breaking the “rules of the road”
  • Hazards e.g. dangerous roadways, poor lighting, icy patches

The officer will try to determine the first, and most “harmful”, event. This is the event that caused the crash or was at least most responsible for the crash. This could be, for example, a failure to yield, or it could be an unmarked construction zone that a driver swerves to avoid.

The police report will typically not be enough to prove the first or most harmful event. Other evidence is usually required; however, it is a compelling document.

4. Injuries and Property Damage

If there are injuries (even minor ones) or property damage, this will be noted and listed in the report.

Injuries or damage which come to light later can be proven with supplementary evidence. The report just confirms what law enforcement could identify at the scene.

5. Citations

Sometimes, officers will issue a citation at the accident scene. This could be for many reasons, but common citations include:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to observe traffic signals

Other notable citations include DUIs and failing to stop at the scene (“hit and runs”).

Citations all have codes attached to them. These are important for officials, but don’t worry if you don’t understand them. What’s crucial is that you know which citations (if any) are in the report.

6. Officer’s Narrative

The attending officer will write, in their own words, what appears to have caused the crash. They will describe the scene and how the accident appears to have unfolded. They may also include a diagram.

Unless the attending officer witnessed the crash, they can only proceed based on the information they are given. This means that, although the narrative is helpful, it’s only the officer’s version of events.

There may also be ancillary documents, such as pictures and medical records. These can be included with your crash report when you file a compensation claim.

How to Get a Copy of Your Georgia Crash Report

You have a few choices for obtaining your crash report if you don’t already have a copy. You can:

  • Attend the police department and request your report in person. This is not optimal because you may not approach the right department.
  • Ask your attorney to locate your GA accident report for you. This is time-consuming if you don’t already have an attorney. And even if you do have a lawyer, they may be unable to act on your request right away.
  • Contact us to locate your accident report online. We will quickly locate your report and explain how you can access it. You can then obtain a copy of the accident report whenever you wish!

The quickest and easiest way to access your report is to contact our team.

Access Your Accident Report in Georgia Now

Have you been in a GA car crash? Chances are, you want to move on sooner rather than later. At Auto Accident Records, we can help you move forward by quickly locating your accident report online. We’ll tell you exactly where to find your report so you can start the claims process.

It’s free to use our services. And if you wish to choose your own doctor or personal injury attorneys, you can. There’s no obligation to use our network!

So, don’t hesitate. Simply provide a few basic details and we’ll deliver the location of your report right to your inbox.

Get started now!