What is the Importance of Police Reports in an Accident?
Our Gwinnett County car accident attorney explains how police reports can help you in filing a personal injury claim.
Car accidents in Gwinnett County can leave you suffering potentially devastating personal injuries. When another driver is at fault, you have the right to hold them liable for the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you suffer. One of the first steps you should take when any type of crash or collision occurs is to notify law enforcement. Our Gwinnett County car accident attorney explains how police reports play an important part in filing a personal injury claim.
Why You Need to File a Police Report After a Car Accident in Georgia
Under the Georgia Vehicle Code (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273), drivers are required to report any type of car accident resulting in personal injuries or property damages. Immediately after an accident happens, stop as close as possible to the accident scene, and call local police or state highway patrol.
Once the officer arrives on the scene, they will begin gathering information. Details recorded during this time will be used later in filing either an insurance claim or a car accident lawsuit. This includes:
- The exact time and location where your car accident happened;
- The names of all drivers involved and their contact information, driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration numbers;
- A description of the accident scene and the damages to each vehicle;
- Observations by the officer on what may have caused/contributed to the crash, such as skid marks on the road or the smell of alcohol on one of the drivers; and
- Who was at fault.
Information in Police Reports Can Help in Filing a Georgia Car Accident Claim
The Georgia Department of Transportation provides standard formatting that must be used in all police motor vehicle accident reports. It ensures uniform reporting and provides key information that can be used in determining exactly how and why a car accident happened. This includes:
- The area of the initial impact: Rear-end collisions, side-impact or T-bone crashes, and head-on car accidents in Georgia are all common. The area of initial impact provides clues as to the causes and who is to blame.
- Vehicle maneuvers: When the accident happened, such as while making a turn, going around a curve, or navigating an intersection, it can also provide clues in determining fault.
- Operator contributing factors: These are actions by the driver that may have contributed to the accident, such as speeding, running red lights, improper lane changes, or driving while distracted.
- Vehicle operator condition: This includes whether either driver appeared excessively tired, confused, or impaired, as well as the results of any breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) testing conducted at the scene.
Speak With Our Experienced Gwinnett County Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Zimmerman & Associates, we use police reports and other evidence to help you get the compensation you need to recover from car accident injuries. To speak with our experienced Gwinnett County car accident attorneys about your case, call or contact our office online and request a free consultation today.