After a car accident happens in Atlanta or any other Georgia city, the police department that investigated the accident will publish a Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident Report on the incident a few days after.
These accident reports contain a lot of crucial information about an accident. If you are planning to pursue an insurance claim for damages after a car accident, there are several reasons you’ll want to access the report for your accident. This and contacting an Atlanta car accident lawyer are two of the most important steps you can take after being injured in an accident. Below, you’ll learn what this report covers, why it matters, and the two best ways to access it.
What a Car Accident Report Contains in Georgia
There are many key pieces of information in an Atlanta car accident report that are helpful to your accident claim. Those include:
- Basic accident information like the date, time, and location of the car accident
- Identifying information, including an insurance company and policy number, for you and the at-fault driver
- Whether or not a DUI test was given and if the results were negative
- A “Contributing Factors” section that details what the at-fault driver did to cause or help lead to the accident
- The responding officer’s notes and comments about his observations and conversations with the involved drivers
- A diagram where the officer can show how the accident happened
- Whether or not a ticket was given and why
Why These Details Matter
Getting a copy of your accident report is an important step in the claims process because it contains crucial information about the accident.
The insurance information for the at-fault driver is especially helpful, since you’ll need to file your claim for financial recovery to that insurance company. Plus, remarks from the responding officer about the accident and any recorded witness statements can be very helpful in proving what happened and who was at fault.
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How to Access Your Atlanta Car Accident Report
If you hire an Atlanta car accident lawyer, they can help you get a copy of your accident report. But if you want to access an Atlanta car accident report yourself before speaking to an attorney—or just want to understand the process—there are two main ways to do so:
1. Through the Local Police Department
Many times, the officer who responded to your accident will give you a card with the accident report number plus instructions on requesting a copy. The Atlanta Police Department also has instruction on their website:
- All reports created by Atlanta police officers are stored at their Central Records Unit, which is located at 3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW, Atlanta, GA 30331
- You can pick up a copy of your accident report at this location Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- You can also call the Central Records Unit about a copy at 404-546-7461
Keep in mind that it can take a few days for the report to be finished and issued—typically up to five business days. You might also have to pay a small fee, usually less than $10, for a copy of the report.
If you were in a car accident in the Atlanta metro area but in a different city or county, you’ll need to look up the specific police department for that area. Their website will usually include information on ways to access your Atlanta car accident report.
2. Through paid accident report sites
The other way to access your accident report is through paid websites like BuyCrash.com.
Important: the only reason to use sites like this is if you’re willing to pay extra for convenience. You’ll typically pay less if you take the time to get it from the government.
If you prefer to do it this way, go to the site and select ‘Georgia’ from the state list dropdown on the homepage. This will take you to a page where you’ll enter your:
- Last name
- Date of your accident
- And either your vehicle’s VIN number, accident report number, or your driver’s license number
After entering this information, if your report is already available, you’ll be able to download it for around $11. If the report is still not available yet, you’ll get an email when it is.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free — With or Without Your Accident Report
Getting your car accident report is very important, but it’s just one step in the process. A car accident lawyer can help you use the details in that report for your case—with the goal of getting you the best financial recovery possible to cover your costs from the accident.
The aftermath of an Atlanta car accident can be overwhelming. Getting access to your car accident report is just one step. If you’re looking for a car accident lawyer with decades of experience working on this type of case, contact us at John Foy & Associates. We have more than 20 years of experience helping car accident victims get paid what they deserve—and we can help you with every stage of the insurance claim process, including getting your accident report. For a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys, call us today at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to the right to get started.