If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident in Atlanta, then you’ve probably handled a Georgia Uniform Vehicle Accident Report (GUVAR). Atlanta mandates drivers of vehicles involved in automobile crashes to file a police report in some situations. That’s especially when there was property damage, bodily injury or if someone died in the accident. When the police officers arrive, they’d assess the crash scene and input the information they gather in the GUVAR.
The GUVAR is important for many reasons. First, it contains information like the accident date and time, vehicles involved, drivers’ information, etc. So, if you’d need some data on the accident subsequently, you can always refer to the GUVAR. Also, the accident report can serve as evidence to help prove your case in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
You can get a copy of your accident report from the reporting police department or online through third-party websites. However, these reports aren’t so easy to read. Most times, you’d need the help of an injury attorney to decipher the codes and data fields in them.
What Are the Important Sections of the Accident Report?
The GUVAR is divided into the following essential sections:
The First Page
The first page of the incident report contains some of the most crucial information about the accident. It includes the accident date, location and time, the contact details of the drivers involved, and their insurance information. The first page also documents vehicle information like the vehicles’ VIN, year, model and make, etc. It may also contain information about citations given.
The Second Page
The second page of the GUVAR usually contains less information than the first page. However, this page is also important because it includes the police officer’s narration of the accident. Also, the second page of the accident report may contain information that other drivers shared with the police officer at the scene.
If you need information on any property damage in the crash, you will find it on the second page. Most times, this page contains a space for a diagram of the accident scene. The diagram gives a clear picture of the events that took place in each location of the accident.
Another essential section in a Georgia Uniform Vehicle Accident Report is the overlay. It’s important because it contains information about the codes and data fields in the report. Officers use codes (represented as numbers) to document certain essential information in the GUVAR.
If you don’t know what the codes represent, it may be difficult to understand certain data in the report. The overlay page provides the key to understanding such codes. This page is usually broken down into 21 categories which include:
Direction of Travel
This reveals the vehicle’s travel direction on the road before the accident happened. That is, the direction the vehicle was headed before the crash. For example, it could be represented as north, south, east, and west. This information helps to determine the events that led to the crash.
Alcohol/Drug Test Category
This stipulates whether a drug test was done after the accident occurred. This is necessary if the police officers suspect drunk driving as a probable cause of the accident. Information on whether there was a drug test would usually be ‘yes, ‘no,’ or ‘refused.’
First/Most Harmful Event
The first harmful event shows the initial happenings that caused the accident. The most harmful event shows the event that caused the most damage. The first/most harmful events are usually represented by number codes.
This gives information about the injured driver, pedestrian, or passenger in the accident. It also shows the severity of the injuries by representing them as not injured, serious, killed, visible, or complaint.
Contributing factors explain the actions of the driver that caused the accident. This may include tailgating, DUI, speeding, loss of control, etc. It’s possible, in some cases, that there were no contributing factors.
The Supplemental Report
Also called the continuation sheet, the supplemental report is an extra sheet that enables the officer to give detailed accident reports.
What Happens When There’s a Mistake in the Report?
The information on the accident report must be as accurate as possible. However, police officers are humans and can make errors in the report now and again. If you notice such a mistake, you can request an amendment at the police station.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Now!
Understanding an accident report can be very difficult. Luckily, our personal injury attorneys at The Weinstein Firm can help. Also, we are experts at ensuring justice for injured accident victims in Atlanta. So give us a call today to schedule an appointment.