How to Read an Accident Report
Posted on Saturday, August 20th, 2022 at 5:56 pm
If you’ve been in a traffic accident in Georgia that wasn’t your fault, in addition to getting treatment for your injuries, you might already have been dealing with a significant amount of paperwork. It can be confusing to understand the documents you’ve been sent, that you must obtain, and that you’re reviewing.
You may already be aware of an accident report that will be available following the crash. Due to the large amount of information this document contains, it can be overwhelming to comprehend what it all means. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the implications of your accident report and whether you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses.
What Is an Accident Report?
An accident report is an official document issued by a law enforcement agency after a traffic accident. The Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report follows a standard template that contains information relevant to the accident. This is a comprehensive document that includes a high level of detail.
At the scene of the accident, you may have received some information from the responding law enforcement officer. This may include their contact information and a case number. You will need this number to request your crash report once it is complete and available.
Sections of the Report
The Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report is generally divided into several main portions. These include:
- General accident information, such as location, date, time, and number of injuries
- Personal and vehicle information for both drivers, including insurance information
- Which driver is suspected to be at fault
- Results of any alcohol or drug tests performed
- Description of the harmful events that occurred
- Any citations issued
- Driving conditions at the time of the accident, such as weather, road surface, and light
- A narrative description of the accident
- A diagram sketch of the accident
- Property damage information
- Witness information
- Occupant information
- Administrative information, such as the officer’s name and whether any photos were taken
If either vehicle involved in the crash was a commercial vehicle, there would be additional information listed. This may include whether the driver had a commercial driver’s license, whether the vehicle contained any hazardous materials, and whether any cargo was lost.
Understanding Your Report
The accident report contains a significant amount of information that is packed into one document. This is a standard form, and many of the fields generally have only a limited number of options for the data they may contain. Because of this, the report uses a coding system for much of the information.
In order to understand the various codes, the Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Overlay is necessary. This document lists the numbering system for the fields that the report contains, along with the corresponding meaning for each number. For example, the field “Damage to Vehicle” may contain a number between one and four. That means:
- 1 — No Damage
- 2 — Minor Damage
- 3 — Functional Damage
- 4 — Disabling Damage
By pairing the overlay with your accident report, you will be able to read the meaning of the code numbers used.
What Should I Do If My Report Contains an Error?
If you discover a mistake on your accident report, there’s no need to panic. Depending on the type of error, you may be able to prove the correct information. The simplest type of error is a factual error. This means that a piece of information is just listed incorrectly.
This could include information about your insurance, your vehicle, or your address. It’s relatively easy to get this type of error corrected. Proving the error usually only involves submitting the supporting documentation that shows the correct information.
If you disagree with some of the information that the report contains, such as the narrative description of the accident, this may not be as simple. There is no guarantee that your request for such a modification will be granted. You can certainly state your case and present it to the officer who completed the report.
To request a correction, contact the agency that issued the report. You can also contact the officer directly if you already have their contact information. You should act quickly and make any request for correction kindly and courteously.
Call Us Today
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Georgia that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. You need to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.
We can help. Call the Georgia car accident attorneys of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at (770) 205-8827 to speak with one of our compassionate lawyers today. We are prepared to handle your case and guide you through this painful time.
We have lawyers who specialize in car accidents at our offices in Atlanta, Fayetteville, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Carrolton and have helped thousands of satisfied clients recover millions in compensation for their accident.
Contact us now for a free consultation.