The Role of Atlanta Auto Accident Reports in Personal Injury Claims


November 27, 2013

If you or a family member experiences serious injury or the loss of a loved one during a traffic collision in Georgia, the Atlanta Accident Reports prepared by the law enforcement officer can be very important because this will include the names and contact information for the parties and their insurance companies, an itemization of the evidence gathered during the investigation, information about witnesses and the basis for any officer's conclusions about fault. While the accident report is not dispositive on the issue of liability, the information contained in the report provides the foundation for an initial assessment about the cause of the accident.

The police accident report generally will indicate fault based on a traffic violation, such as speeding, unsafe turning or passing, failure to stop at a red light or traffic signal and similar forms of illegal driving practices. Even when the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident did not expressly violate the law, the officer may indicate that the other driver engaged in some other unsafe driving practice. While the Atlanta Accident Reports may indicate that a citation was issued or reference some other form of negligent driving practice, it does not necessarily have to provide a conclusion about which driver was at-fault.

A mistake that many drivers make when they are involved in an auto accident resulting in bodily injury is that they presume that the police report is the definitive word on fault. Although the police officer's investigation and report are an important starting point when analyzing how a car crash occurred, the report may be inaccurate or unreliable in a number of ways. In some cases, the officer simply misinterprets the available evidence to reach a conclusion that is merely one of several alternative explanations regarding the cause of the crash. In other cases, the officer may rely on witnesses that were mistaken or that made dishonest statements. While the frailties of human perception may explain some inaccurate witness statements, sometime family members or friends who are passengers in a vehicle will provide biased accounts of the events leading up to the collision.

Because Atlanta Accident Reports do not provide dispositive evidence of fault, those injured in collisions should seek legal advice from an experienced car crash lawyer. Because our auto accident lawyers review many police reports and accident scenarios, it is not uncommon for us to identify an alternate theory for why the accident occurred that supports a finding the other driver was at-fault.

Even in situations where the officer is correct that a driver committed a traffic violation, this does not preclude a situation where both drivers' conduct contribute to a crash. Our auto accident attorneys may use accident reconstruction experts, testimony from other witnesses and other evidence to establish that the other driver was a more significant factor in causing the collision. If  the other driver was more at fault, the plaintiff may still recover some measure of damages though it may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.

If you have questions about Atlanta Accident Reports, our Georgia auto accident attorneys 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.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.