§40-6-278: The commissioner of Transportation shall prescribe, by rule, uniform motor vehicle Crash reports and reporting procedures which shall be used by all police officers, whether state, county, or municipal.
In Georgia, every police officer is required to use the same form to report a motor vehicle accident. This form contains vital information about the facts of a vehicle collision and information about both you and anyone else involved in the crash.
Although the form is widely used, it is difficult to read and understand for someone who has not seen it before. Knowing the information that the form should contain and how it is filled out can be very helpful if you are considering starting a legal claim after a car accident.
What are the essential parts of the Motor Vehicle Accident Report in Georgia?
Every Accident Report contains four necessary parts. These include:
- The front of the crash report. This portion contains some of the most vital information about the crash.
- The back of the crash report. Although the back of the report often contains less information, it is still important because it allows the reporting officer to give a narrative account of what happened just before, during, and after the accident. It also includes information that the drivers shared with the officer and the officer’s opinion about what caused the crash. It even allows a space for the officer to draw a diagram of the accident. Information on specific property damage is also included on this back page.
- The overlay. The overlay provides information about the various codes and data fields that are found on the crash report. It used as a “key” to correctly read the report.
- Continuation sheet or supplemental report form. In some situations, the officer needs more space to accurately report all of the information gathered as part of their investigation. Continuation sheets or supplement forms allow the officer to include all of the information that they think is important or necessary.
The State of Georgia uses electronic means to create and submit Accident Reports. That means that an officer does not have to physically write out an Accident Report. The information is provided to a computer program so that it is easier to read and complete data is provided.
What information is on the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report?
Some of the Accident Report is very easy to read. For example, you can easily see where all of the parties’ names are listed on the report. Other basic information includes:
- Date and time of the accident
- A description of the vehicles involved
- Driver conditions and actions
- Information regarding insurance and driver’s license data
- Data required for commercial motor vehicles
There is also critical information included in the report—but you may not realize it at first glance. That is because police officers use codes to show information about the crash. These codes are represented as numbers listed in each informational box. The overlay provides a helpful key for interpreting this information. The codes are used to describe information such as:
- The first or most harmful event
- Contributing factors to the accident (both with the vehicle and the driver)
- Roadway conditions
- Direction of travel and traffic flow information
- Vehicle maneuvers
- Maneuvers of other parties (such as pedestrians or workers)
- Vehicle class and type
- Where the collision occurred on the car or which part of the vehicle was affected by the crash
- Types of injuries
- Airbag function
You can actually find a great deal of helpful information about the collision by deciphering the codes the officer used to describe the crash. Information regarding how the accident happened, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries are particularly helpful to your case.
Although all of this information is based on the opinion of the particular officer investigating your claim, it can be beneficial in a car accident claim. Investigating officers see hundreds of accidents every year. They have unique experience and know-how when determining the cause and results of accidents. Having an experienced officer’s opinion reflected in an Accident Report can be vital to prove your car accident case.
Using an accident Report in Your Car Accident Case
John Foy & Associates can help you read and understand your accident report. We can also help you use that information as part of your car accident case. We offer a free consultation to discuss car accident claims. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.