No matter how careful you are, you can still become involved in a car accident. And as the population in many urban areas in Georgia continues to grow, so do your chances of being involved in a crash. Knowing what to do before an accident happens can take away some of the stress and uncertainty. After you have called the police and exchanged information with the other driver, you need to become familiar with the basics of Georgia car accident reports.
How to File a Car Crash Report in Georgia
This chart provides a summary of Georgia laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.
|State Accident Statutes|
|When to Report an Accident||
Note: Laws are subject to change. It's important to verify the information you read about by conducting your own research or consulting with a Georgia attorney.
Do the Police Always File an Accident Report?
Georgia defines an "accident" as the collision of any motor vehicle with another vehicle or object, or the involvement of a motor vehicle in any manner where a person is killed or injured, or where a person suffers more than $500 in property damage.
It is the Department of Public Safety's policy that an officer will immediately respond to the scene when notified of a car crash. The officer will complete a crash report if there is apparent property damage of $500 or more, injury to any person, or when requested by either driver. A copy of the accident report can be purchase on line or obtained for free at your local police station.
Completing a Personal Accident Report in Georgia
Since Georgia law encourages all drivers to call 911 immediately after a crash (as defined above) occurs, there are no other reporting requirements. The Georgia Department of Driver's Services encourages drivers involved in an accident to fill out the Personal Report of Accident form. Although this report is not to be filed with the police or any state agency, it is a good tool for recording the essential information of a crash. You may also be able to provide this report to your insurance company.
Georgia Accident Reports Cannot be Used in Court
You may be concerned that if you file an accident report it could be used against you if the claim goes to court. However, the law is clear on this point. No accident report filed with the Department of Transportation, or any action taken by the Department of Driver Services, or the findings of the department upon which such action is based, can be used as evidence of negligence (or lack of negligence) in any action to recover damages.
Questions About Georgia Car Accident Reports? Speak to a Lawyer
Georgia is a "fault" car insurance state. This can lead to a lot of finger pointing when it comes time to assign blame for the accident. If you're involved in a crash that caused physical injuries or serious property damage, it's in your best interest to speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Georgia. Your attorney can help you navigate the claim process and ensure a fair settlement is reached.
Contact a qualified attorney.