When you are involved in a car accident, you are legally required file accident reports with the authorities. There are some exceptions to this legal obligation. For instance, if the accident involved no injuries and very little property damage, you may be exempt from reporting it. In all other cases, the local police or other law enforcement agencies must be notified. In general, it is always a good idea to report an accident just to be on the safe side.
For most accidents, the local authorities will reach the scene of the crash. The law officers who arrive will then proceed to get the facts and statements from the parties involved. They will then compile an accident report, more popularly known as a police report.
Importance of the Accident Report
The accident report is the official confirmation that an accident occurred. It also includes vital facts of the incident, such as the vehicles and drivers that were involved, the date, time and location of the crash, and the damages or injuries sustained. In this way, an accident report essentially contains all the important facts of the crash.
When you file a claim for compensatory damages, or take your claim to a court of law, the accident report plays an important role. It is the go-to documentation for gleaning the basic facts of the crash. If the claim is filed with an insurer, the insurance company will carefully consider the police report. In many cases, the insurer will decide the settlement amount based on the details of the report.
For instance, if the facts of the report show that the other driver was likely at fault, the other driver’s insurer will be more likely to settle instead of disputing your claim.
Who Files the Crash Report?
The accident report is typically filed by a law enforcement officer who arrives on the scene of the crash. This officer may belong to the local police department, county sheriff’s office, or the state patrol. For instance, if an accident occurs in Atlanta, GA, officers from one of the four agencies are likely to respond. These include the Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, or the Georgia State Patrol.
Officers from either of these agencies can investigate the crash scene and then file the accident report. To make sure you don’t have to search in vain for the report, make sure you get the contact info of the responding officer. This will allow you to later get in touch with the officer and waste no time in getting a copy of the report.
Why Should You Get a Copy of the Police Report?
As noted above, getting your copy of the police crash report is important for a variety of reasons. You will need the copy when dealing with the insurance adjusters. You will also want to have this copy with you when you discuss your claim with an Atlanta car accident lawyer. Whether your claim is settled or goes to a trial, the copy of the accident report will be a most vital piece of documentation.
Getting Traffic Accident Reports
The precise process for obtaining accident reports varies from one agency to another. However, it is possible to order your copy online in the case of all the agencies. Below is a quick rundown of how you can apply for a copy of the report from all four agencies that may respond to an Atlanta car crash:
Atlanta Police Department: If your accident report was filed by APD, you can use this link to get information from the department.
DeKalb County Police Department: If the DCSO deputies filed the crash report, you can visit the office in person, mail in your request, or purchase the report online. For accident reports, DSCO charges a nominal fee of $5.
Fulton County Police Department: If the FCPD filed the incident report for your crash, you can use this link to get the relevant details.
Georgia State Patrol: If GSP troopers filed the accident report, you can fill out the Georgia Department of Transportation Crash Report Request form.
In all cases, you also have the option of going to BuyCrash and submitting a report request online by proving the relevant details.
Hiring a Reliable Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered a car crash in Atlanta, GA, it is best to hire a good Atlanta car accident lawyer. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we have highly experienced in-house lawyers who can help you file crash reports, get your copy of the report, file a claim, and see the claim through. We work with you to maximize your payout. Call us today to book a free session with our lawyers.