Following any car accident in the state of Georgia, you will want to obtain a copy of the police report, which is also called a crash report or incident report. This formal document is something that is filed by the police after they respond to the crash, where they provide all of the details that they observed while at the scene of the crash and they describe what occurred. Since usually, the police are an impartial party, these reports are trusted as being a more reliable information source than what you as the driver says occurred.
There are three different ways to obtain your police report:
- Go to the police department (or another law enforcement agency) that were the responders to your accident and pick it up,
- Order it over the internet, or Allow your car accident attorney to handle the issue for you.
- Most people choose to pick them up on their own. That involves going in and pay a small fee (usually $5 or less) and pick up the paperwork. To get your police report, you usually need to go into the Records Unit. You can call the general number of the police station to ask where to go and what hours they are open. Make sure you let them know you are wanting to get a copy of your incident report and then confirm you know what the right location is.
You also need to be aware that:
- You need to go to the Georgia Highway Patrol post, sheriff station, or the police department that handled your car accident – even if it is in a different country or city where you live.
- It might take several days following the car accident before your police report is available for you to pick up.
How can I obtain a copy of my police report online?
It can be a hassle to go in person to the police station, and that is why many people prefer getting theirs online. You can do this by going to the Georgia Public Records department and submit an open records request. Click here to request your report.
Another method is to go to buycrash.com and pay $5 for the report. The Georgia Public Records department only has access to accidents that were investigated by the Georgia State Patrol, but buycrash.com can access cases investigated by anyone.
To look up your report, you will need to have some basic information:
- The date the accident occurred
- Where the accident took place
- In some cases, the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
Or if you have a personal injury attorney, you can ask them to obtain your police report. They have legal assistants on their staff who can do this for you efficiently and quickly without you needing to waste your time. Car accidents attorneys do this on a regular basis as part of their process for gathering evidence for your case.
What do you do if you don’t which law enforcement agency was the one that responded to your car crash?
This commonly happens when somebody is shaken up following an accident. It is very easy for the whole experience to become a complete blur. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot obtain your report.
If you would like to track the agency down, it will either be the Highway Patrol, sheriff, or police for the location where your crash occurred. You can contact each of the three agencies and ask and can usually find out which one has your report in one hour or less. Or you can use the above website to search for your report by VIN number, date, and location. The website doesn’t require you to know which of the law enforcement agencies responded.
If I did not call the police can I still get a copy of my accident report?
No. If the police didn’t respond to the incident, then they will not and cannot make an accident report. That can complicate things with the insurance company and might try blaming you for your accident. But you can create a personal accident report on your own, which might be helpful. That is basically a formal way of documenting everything that occurred as you witnessed it, as soon after your accident as you can. Give your completed report to your attorney and they might be able to use it when dealing with an insurance company. (The personal report will not be accepted by the government agencies but it can be useful evidence when dealing with an insurance company.)
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