Knowing what to do after a car accident is vital. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, Evans County, GA, had 160 crashes in 2020 alone. 

When you’re involved in a car accident in Georgia, it’s important to file and keep a copy of the accident report. You’ll need this paperwork to file an insurance claim.

When Do I Need to File a Car Accident Report in Georgia?

For any accident that causes physical injuries or property damage over $500, drivers in Georgia are required by law to file a police report immediately. In most cases, it’s a good idea to file a report regardless of the apparent damage.

Even If it seems like a minor accident, it’s hard to evaluate the extent of damage at the scene. And not all physical injuries are easy to see. To be on the safe side, call the police and report the accident. That will help in case the other driver comes back with a claim against you or if you need to make a claim.

How Do I Get a Copy of the Police Report?

If the police responded to your accident, you can also request a copy of the police report, which can be helpful when you want to file an insurance claim.

You can pick up a copy of a finalized police report at the police department, request a copy of the police report electronically through BuyCrash, or visit the Georgia DOT website to request a copy.

Getting a Car Accident Report from the Police Department

The first step in getting a car accident report is to call the police after an accident. An officer will arrive on the scene, take statements from any witnesses, and help to facilitate the exchange of insurance information. 

Everything that the police officer records will become a part of the official police report. Once they have finished gathering all of the information needed, the officer will issue each driver a report number. That number can be used to retrieve a copy of the finalized police report at a later date.

Accessing a Report Through the BuyCrash System

Georgia also offers an online system from Lexis Nexis known as the BuyCrash System. This portal provides a way to order and access your accident reports online. Keep in mind, however, that it may take several days for the responding officer to finish and file their report.

Requesting an Accident Report from the Georgia Department of Transportation Website

The Georgia DOT provides a request form that can be printed, filled out, and mailed or faxed along with payment. Georgia law restricts access to accident reports—they’re not available to members of the general public. But if you were involved in the accident, you are entitled to a copy of the report.

The Importance of a Car Accident Report

Accident reports are helpful when you’re trying to file an insurance claim. They’ll have essential details about the vehicles involved and the circumstances of the crash.

An accident report is also vital when you need to provide proof of damages in a personal injury lawsuit. 

Occasionally, there may be details in an accident report that you do not agree with. When this happens, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney to help you set the record straight. 

A legal professional can help you to request a copy of your police report, along with any witness statements, and submit a claim to your insurance for damages. They can also negotiate with insurers to determine a fair settlement or take your case to court, if necessary.