Truck accidents can be traumatic, complicated, and cause tremendous damage and injury. As a result, the police report becomes one of the most important pieces of information used to determine what actually happened. The report isn’t a final judgement of what happened or who’s at fault, but the officer’s opinion can weigh heavily on the outcome of a potential legal case.
How Do I Obtain My Police Report?
Each state has laws to help ensure you have access to your accident report. If you live in Georgia, the Georgia Law Enforcement and Open Records Act supports this right. To obtain your accident report, you’ll need the date and location of the accident, your vehicle’s VIN number, and names of those involved. The cost of the report will vary.
You can collect your report after it’s been filed (usually within 7-10 days) at one of the following:
- Online at https://www.buycrash.com/
- The local police unit’s records department
- The Department of Transportation
- By a truck accident attorney on your behalf
What’s in the Police Report?
- Drivers’ license, license plate, and vehicle registration numbers of those involved
- Location of vehicles, points of impact and damage
- Apparent injuries
- Laws broken, citations given
- Estimated speed of vehicles, weather, time of day, and road conditions
- Eyewitness information and statements
- Officer’s opinion on what happened
What Does My Truck Accident Report Mean?
Police reports can be confusing, to say the least. They have notes, diagrams, summaries, and other information which may seem foreign to a civilian. If you’re not sure what your accident report means, it’s best to contact an experienced truck accident attorney to help explain the results. An accurate interpretation of the report may help you decide whether or not to take action against a negligent truck driver to recover your losses.
How Soon Should I Get My Accident Report?
It’s important to obtain your crash report as soon as possible if the accident involved a commercial truck, such as:
- Trash or towing truck
- Big rig
Trucks of this magnitude are often owned by companies with powerful attorneys and insurers that will quickly obtain a copy of the report. If the truck driver was negligent, the insurance company will most likely contact you to negotiate a quick settlement that is well below the cost of your damages. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to meet with an attorney before speaking to the other party’s insurance company regarding a settlement.
Should I Still Get a Report If I Was At Fault?
Even if you feel you may be at fault, obtaining the police report is still essential. Fault is not always obvious and you should never admit or assume fault for the collision. A detailed police report, along with a thorough investigation by an experienced legal team, can help determine fault based on the accident facts. If it’s determined that you’re partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys to Begin Your Investigation
At Fried Goldberg LLC, 95 percent of our practice is devoted to handling truck accidents. We understand firsthand how to build the strongest case on your behalf. Whether the accident occurred in Georgia or another state, we represent victims of trucking accidents all over the nation. Please contact us at (404) 591-1800 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your potential claim.