What Every Car Accident Victim Needs to Know about Atlanta Accident Reports
Many families throughout Atlanta have their lives impacted by negligent drivers whose failure to exercise care and diligence causes severe car accidents. Although it may be tempting to presume that motor vehicle collisions only happen to others, there were six million people involved in crashes in Atlanta during a recent seven year period according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT). There were almost a million people injured and over 11,000 people who died in these traffic accidents. This data reveals that the prospect of being involved in an auto collision in Atlanta is much more than a mere theoretical possibility – it is a real and present risk.
While only certain accidents must be reported to law enforcement authorities to facilitate investigations and preparation of Atlanta Accident Reports, it may be advisable to summon the police to any accident so that an investigation can be conducted and evidence recorded. Because these reports will contain key factual information about the crash as well as witness statements, these reports can provide a valuable piece of information about the identity of the parties, as well as potentially evidence when negotiating with insurance companies.
Our Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates frequently receive questions about Atlanta Accident Reports so we have provided answers to frequently asked questions:
Am I legally required to summon the police so that an investigation can be conducted?
Georgia law requires that a car accident be reported to law enforcement authorities if there is property damage above $500, injury or a fatality. While the law does not require that the accident be reported if there are no apparent injuries and minimal property damage (e.g. under $500), there is a possibility that injuries may later appear so it is advisable to err on the side of caution.
How can I obtain a copy of the accident report prepared by police?
There are multiple ways to obtain copies of Atlanta Accident Reports:
• Appear at the police station that conducted the crash investigation and pay the cost of copying the report
• Visit the website www.BuyCrash.com which has partnered with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make reports available online. There is a nominal fee for this service.
Should Atlanta Accident Reports be brought to an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney?
The accident report is the most immediate account of the physical evidence, as well as potentially accident site photographs and witness observations regarding a collision. While the evidence and officer inferences in the report may be open to dispute, this is still the best starting point for a personal injury lawyer to evaluate a claim as well as potential challenges and defenses that may be raised by the other driver's insurance company.
What information about the report should I obtain at the scene of the accident?
If the officer does not provide a card with the officer's name and contact information, this information should be requested so that you know who to contact to follow up about obtaining the report and where to visit to obtain a copy. Atlanta Accident Reports also have identifying report numbers so this information should also be requested.
If you have questions about Atlanta Accident Reports, our Georgia motor vehicle accident lawyers have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.
Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.