Georgia Accident Reports: The Basics


January 14, 2014

Whether you are a driver, passenger, bicyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian who is involved in a Georgia auto collision, the steps you take in the immediate aftermath of the crash can have a dramatic impact on your ability to obtain adequate financial compensation for your injuries. Because car accidents are traumatic unanticipated incidents, those who suffer injuries are understandably usually not focused on the most efficient way to preserve their rights to seek legal compensation in a personal injury action.

Accident victims often find that they must cope with chaos, confusion and physical pain so the value of a timely investigation of a collision by law enforcement crash investigators cannot be overstated. However, the benefits of Georgia Accident Reports can only be realized if officers are notified of the collision so that they can interview those on the scene and examine the vehicles and relevant physical evidence which may include visible injuries, vehicle damage, skid impressions on the roadway and more. While drivers may legally elect to simply exchange insurance and driver's license information if the vehicle damage does not exceed the minimum required reporting property damage threshold and no one suffered injury, this can mean that an opportunity to preserve critical evidence may be lost.

Although the accident report may be inadmissible as evidence, this report can be useful as a basic starting point in determining liability for a crash and can help preserve important evidence. Georgia Accident Reports will include a description of the accident based on witness statements, the relative position of the vehicles, observations of the scene by the officer, body damage of the vehicles and other details. Many reports will include an opinion regarding which party was "at-fault." This opinion generally will be based on careless or inattentive driving practices or the failure to obey traffic laws. The officer typically will refer to the evidence that supports his conclusion.

While the officer's opinion can be helpful when negotiating with the other driver's insurance, our personal injury lawyers sometimes find that the officer is mistaken or only partially correct regarding fault. While the factual evidence and witness statements that constitute part of Georgia Accident Reports will be the primary source of facts and observations used by insurance companies and attorneys in assessing the issue of fault, the facts often are susceptible to multiple interpretations, and witness accounts may conflict. While you observed that the traffic signal was green for you, the other driver may contend that he or she had the green light, which would mean that your light was red.

The bottom line is that these reports are important for gathering evidence, but their conclusions about fault might be less than conclusive. The opinions in these reports may be based on faulty witness perception or dishonest statements, anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident is invited to contact Montlick and Associates because we have extensive experience reviewing Georgia Accident Reports and representing personal injury victims. Even if the report indicates that you committed a traffic violation, drove unsafely or otherwise caused the collision, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot recover for your injuries.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years Experience to Work For You!

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, our Atlanta auto collision lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to 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.