This is an important document, and it’s helpful to know how to read car accident reports in Georgia. Once you’ve received your report, you can then start to take the next steps in the process, so how do you go about reading your report?
Why Is Your Georgia Accident Report Important?
Your Georgia accident report is important because it’s an official record of what happened in your accident. It’s filled out by the attending police officer at the scene of the crash and will be an important document for your insurance claim.
A Georgia Uniform Accident Report will become available 5-7 business days after your accident and can be an important document for you to understand.
These car accident reports aren’t always easy to understand though, so let’s take a look at the individual sections to better understand what they mean.
What Are the Different Sections of a Georgia Accident Report?
Georgia car accident reports can be a little complicated.
The attending police officer fills the form out at the scene of the accident, so they tend to use shorthand that’s not easy to decipher. The best way to understand your car accident report is to break it down into sections.
Basic Information – Top of Page 1
At the top of the first page of your Georgia accident report is basic information about the accident. One of the most important boxes on this sheet is the top left box titled “Agency Case Number,” which gives you your report number. This should match up with the number the police officer gave you at the scene of the accident.
The rest of this section lists basic information about the accident such as date, time, and location.
Parties Involved – Section 2, Page 1
The second section on page one shows all the parties involved in the accident.
This box is important because it will generally indicate which driver was found to be at fault. The person listed as driver number one is generally the at-fault person, and the following boxes list their personal details, including insurance details.
To start an insurance claim, you will need this information, so this is one of the most useful sections on the Georgia accident report.
Contributing Factors – Section 3, Page 1
The contributing factors are also very important if you’re making an insurance claim.
This section lists factors that may have contributed to an accident such as:
- Speed of the vehicles at the time of impact
- Direction of travel
- Travel flow
- Roadway conditions
- Vehicle maneuvers (were drivers moving or stopped)
- Vision obscured (maybe by signs or roadway debris)
- Vehicle type (passenger or commercial)
- Number of occupants in the car
- Area of contact
- Damage to vehicle
If you decide to make a personal injury claim, this is all information that will be taken into account and decide whether or not you have a good case.
At the bottom of this section, you will also see citation information which details whether or not any tickets were issued. This will be in the form of a code, which your attorney and the insurance adjuster will understand.
Narrative, Witnesses, and Occupants – Page 2
Car accident reports in Georgia contain two main pages, and the second is probably the most eye-catching. This is because the attending officer uses this section to describe the narrative of the accident.
The police officer will piece together the narrative by interviewing drivers, passengers, and witnesses to build a complete picture of what happened and determine which citations will be issued. This will then be summarized in the narrative and supplemented by a diagram.
This is important information, particularly later on in the process if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
The bottom of page two also lists contact details for witnesses and describes occupant information. If you were an occupant in one of the cars, then this is an important section for you, as it will describe details of any injuries and medical attention you received.
The last section on page two is an administrative box that tells you who the report was made by and whether any photos were taken.
Georgia accident reports tend to use a lot of short-hand. This is natural because the attending police officer has lots of statements to take and needs to make the process as efficient as possible.
The overlay is an important part of a Georgia car accident report because it explains what some of those codes mean. With the help of the overlay, the whole report should become much easier to understand and check for errors.
Fixing an Error On Your Georgia Accident Report
One of the reasons it’s important to know how to read car accident reports in Georgia is so you can make sure they’re correct.
Police officers are well-trained for these situations, but they’re humans and they do make errors from time to time. If there is an error with your car accident report, then you want to be able to spot it as soon as possible.
The courts and insurance adjusters look at these reports as fact, so it’s important to highlight errors as soon as they come out. The quicker you do this, the better chance you have of getting the errors fixed because the accident will be fresh in the police officer’s mind.
The more time that passes, the less likely they are to remember the details of the accident and be able to fix an error. This means it’s important to know how to read car accident reports in Georgia and make sure they’re accurate.
Acquiring Your Georgia Accident Report
An accident report is a vital piece of information, so we want to make it as accessible as possible for you. We’ll also be able to put you in contact with treatment professionals, and legal experts to help you through the process and ensure a smooth recovery. We can even instruct you all about the process with our blog articles.