How To Respond If Your Accident Report Is Incorrect
In Georgia, police officers must complete a crash report whenever a motor vehicle accident has caused at least $500 in property damage or any bodily injury, including death, to at least one person. Any driver involved in the accident may also request that a crash report be completed. This report, known as the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report, can be hard to understand. However, it is the official “police report” the insurance companies will request, so it is essential that the report’s contents are completely accurate.
How Do I Request a Copy of My Crash Report?
After you are involved in a car crash and have called 911 to report it, police officers will be at the scene quickly to begin investigating the accident. The first thing the responding officer will do is to assign an agency case number. You can use this number to look up a copy of your report online after it has been reviewed by the officer’s supervisor and then released.
What Information Is Contained in a Crash Report?
The accident report lists the most basic pieces of information first:
- Date, time, and specific location of the accident
- Number of vehicles involved, number of injured persons, and number of fatalities
The report contains information about all individuals and vehicles involved:
- Name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information
- Whether the person was a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or a bicyclist
- Each vehicle’s make, model, year, and color
- Whether the individuals were tested for drugs and/or alcohol and the results, if known
Next, the report details the events of the accident:
- The first and most harmful event that occurred to each person involved (e.g., the vehicle overturned or struck a pedestrian)
- The condition of each person involved
- Contributing factors (e.g., the driver’s actions, vehicle problems, or roadway conditions)
- Direction of travel
- How the vehicle and any non-motorists were moving at the time
- Area of contact and damage to the vehicle
The report contains additional details:
- Whether the incident was a hit-and-run
- Which party or parties the responding officer suspects to be at fault
- The weather at the time of the accident
- Road conditions
- Visibility issues
Finally, the crash report includes an area where the responding officer can sketch a diagram of the scene of the accident.
Correcting Inaccurate Information in Your Report
After receiving a copy of your official accident report and thoroughly reviewing it, it is critical to report any inaccuracies as soon as possible. To do so, you should contact the responding officer and request that they supplement the original report. The officer’s name and contact information are included in the report.
Some errors will be easier to correct than others.
- Factual errors – This type of error is the easiest to correct. For instance, it is easy to prove that an objective fact is inaccurate. This might include the make or model of your car, your driver’s license number, or the name of the street the accident took place.
- Transcription errors – Officers take notes at the scene. Many times, they are under pressure to observe as many details as possible. Later, they complete the full report. Sometimes it can be difficult to make sense of their own notes hours or even days later.
- Errors of omission – This error happens when an important fact is left out of the report. For example, if you told the officer that you felt dizzy or nauseous after the accident, that information needs to be included in the report. If this detail were left out of the report but your symptoms worsened days later, it would be harder to prove the accident is to blame for your condition.
- Disputed subjective information – It can be quite challenging to get the report changed when you don’t agree with something in the report that is subjective. For instance, if you disagree with a witness’s statement regarding how the accident occurred, you will need proof to support your claim. This might mean asking the officer to review security or traffic camera footage from the time of the accident or providing photos that were taken immediately following the accident.
Contact a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Today
While some factual errors in an accident report may be simple enough to correct on your own, it can frequently be confusing and frustrating to correct critical details. The team of experienced Augusta car accident attorneys of Chris Hudson Law Group is here for you. Whether you need assistance obtaining your accident report, understanding its contents, or disputing its contents, call us at (706) 690-4613. We have the experience dealing with incorrect accident reports that you need. Let us get to work for you today.