A significant part of a crash is accident reporting. If you have suffered a crash in Atlanta, GA, you may be able to get compensation for your losses with help from a Georgia car accident lawyer. A vital piece of evidence for a car crash claim is the police report. This report is filed by the law enforcement officers who arrive at the scene of an accident after it is reported. When a crash is not reported in time, the police report may not be filed or much of the evidence required for the police report may get lost.
This is why it is important to report an accident when you are involved in one or when you witness one. In many instances, deliberately not reporting an accident can be treated as a criminal offense and you may face penalties.
When Are You Required to Report an Accident?
Under Georgia laws, you are required to report an accident when it meets one of the following criteria:
- The property damage caused by the crash is above $500
- The accident results in bodily injury or death of a person
- Reporting the crash is required by your insurance company in case you are involved
What if you don’t report an accident in Georgia?
If you meet the criterion for reporting an accident but you somehow deliberately or unintentionally don’t report it, you may face criminal charges. This is specifically the case when you are involved in the accident. In addition to possible criminal prosecution, you can also lose your claim to damages. This is because most insurance companies require you to report a crash right after it happens.
How To Report an Accident?
If you are in an accident in Atlanta, you just need to call 911 to report the accident to the police. Law enforcement officers, as well as first responders, will reach the crash scene. The officer will observe the situation and file a crash report.
You will be required to provide relevant details about the crash. These may include the names, license IDs, addresses, and contact information of the involved drivers. You may also be asked to provide a statement regarding how the crash occurred. It is typically advised not to blame anyone in this statement and instead narrate the facts as you saw them.
The Georgia Department of Driver’s Services also encourages the drivers involved in an accident to fill out a Personal Report of Accident Form.
What is a Police Report?
A police report is prepared by the law enforcement officers who arrive on a crash scene. It is also known as an incident report or crash report. Accident reporting is usually considered a vital piece of documentation when considering insurance claims. Although it can’t be used in a court of law, it gives a fair picture of how the crash happened and points at the at-fault party.
How to Find a Police Report?
If you have reported an accident, you should get a police report for your crash claim. You can get a police report in two ways.
By Directly Contacting the Police
You can get the report by directly contacting the police of that jurisdiction. It involves going personally to the concerned department and paying a small amount of fee, typically $5 or less. You can call the police to inquire about their office hours and tell them about the report you want.
Make sure you know which department filed the report before you go looking for one. For an Atlanta crash, the accident report may be filed by the Georgia Highway Patrol, Atlanta Police Department, or the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
Online Copy of the Report
Another way to get a copy of the report is to go online and get the report from BuyCrash by providing details like the date, place of the crash, and in some cases your vehicle’s identification number.
Find Reliable Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers
If you have suffered a crash in Atlanta, GA, it is important to consult a qualified Atlanta car wreck lawyer at the earliest. A good lawyer will help you meet the reporting requirements if you haven’t already reported the crash, and ensure that you have your copy of the police report. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we can get a crash report for you and negotiate for a fair settlement with the insurer using this report. Our aim is to enable you to get the maximum amount of compensation for your crash-related losses. Call us today to discuss your claim in detail.