Why Is the Police Report Important for Your Car Accident Claim?

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After you schedule your free case review with an Atlanta car accident attorney, you should prepare a folder of important documents necessary to evaluate your case. These documents include your ID, medical reports and bills, photos and videos you took at the accident scene, and the police report. The last one is one of the most important pieces of evidence an attorney will need to prove the other driver’s fault.

As we will explain in this article, the police report is one of the most valuable types of evidence, which no insurance adjuster can contest or doubt. As a Hispanic person, you are already facing the difficulty of communicating if you are not proficient in English.

Moreover, you are sadly faced with a bias and treated with less courtesy and dignity than a US-born accident victim. For this reason, you should hire an experienced Spanish-speaking Atlanta car accident attorney. Also, you should follow all the legal requirements after a car accident.

You Are Obliged to Report Most Car Accidents to the Police

According to the Uniform Rules of the Road included in the Official Code of Georgia, all the drivers involved in a traffic accident have a duty to report to the police any traffic accident resulting in:

  • Injury or death of a person
  • At least $500 in property damage.

It is important to remember that if you do not comply with this obligation, you may be convicted and very likely be denied any kind of compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

We stress this obligation because the at-fault driver may try to persuade you to settle the matter privately. They will offer you a sum of money and drive you to the nearest hospital and then leave without exchanging any contact or insurance information with you. As you will soon find out, your medical care costs alone exceed the amount of money you received.

The only way of protecting your rights is by reporting the accident and waiting at the crash scene until the law enforcement officers investigate it and prepare the police report.

What Kind of Useful Information Can Be Found in the Police Report?

Your Atlanta car accident attorney will rely on the police report to determine what exactly happened and which of the drivers involved is at fault. These are just a few of the valuable pieces of information found in this report:

1. Diagram of the Accident

Using a scheme, the police officers who investigate the crash will specify the position of the cars after the crash, the directions they were coming from, and the damaged areas on each vehicle.

This diagram is very useful if your Atlanta car accident attorney needs to hire accident reconstruction specialists to recreate the crash.

2. The Estimated Speed of Each Vehicle

Law enforcement officers are experienced in estimating the speed at which each vehicle was traveling at the moment of the impact. The speedometer getting stuck at the moment of the crash is mostly a Hollywood myth and not a reliable source of information.

The officer’s estimation included in the police report will be definitely more reliable and will allow your attorney to point out whether the other driver was speeding over the limit.

the police investigation of the car accident scene is important for your case

3. Analysis of Skid Marks

To the trained eye, skid marks at an accident scene tell a lot of things. Police officers will be able to establish whether one of the drivers applied the brakes suddenly as they realized they were about to crash into another car.

Likewise, the absence of skid marks will disprove the other driver’s claim that they did their best to avoid hitting your car.

4. Validity of the Drivers’ Insurance Policies

The other driver may tell you to have no worries because they are insured. However, they may be just trying to buy time until they leave the accident scene. If you insist on waiting until the police arrive to investigate the crash, the officers can check the validity of both insurance policies in real-time.

And if the other driver leaves the scene as soon as you notify the crash to the police, they will be charged not only with (likely) driving uninsured but also with the serious crime of hit and run.

5. Road Conditions

Road conditions play an important role in causing traffic accidents. In certain situations, an Atlanta car accident attorney will use the road conditions information included in the police report to file a claim against local government authorities in charge of road maintenance.

This is not easy, but an experienced attorney can prove that neither of the drivers could have avoided the crash due to potholes, debris on the road or other obstacles.

6. Eyewitness Contact Details

In some cases, you are so badly injured that you are unable to take down the names and contact details of eyewitnesses. However, this information will be included in the police report.

The law enforcement officers will talk to all the people present at the accident scene, asking them to describe what they saw and heard. Your Atlanta car accident attorney will contact these eyewitnesses and ask them to give a signed testimony. In some cases, people remember details that did not seem important moments after the accident.

7. Photos and Videos

The law enforcement officers will also take photos and videos of the accident scene and attach them to the police report. They can be very valuable in case your mobile phone is badly damaged in the crash and you are unable to collect your own evidence.

How to Obtain a Copy of the Police Report

All accident reports are prepared and kept by the Fulton County police department. You will have to pay an affordable fee and then you will be able to collect the police report from:

  • The Records and Reports: 141 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta GA, 30303
  • Police Headquarters: 4701 Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW, Atlanta GA, 30336
  • Online at www.buycrash.com.

Once you hire an Atlanta car accident attorney, they can take care of this issue if you suffered severe injuries and need to spend a long time in the hospital.

Let a Spanish-Speaking Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Help You!

At Diaz & Gaeta law firm, we know how to look for evidence supporting your case and prepare an accurate insurance claim. We will use the police report and other pieces of evidence to prove to the insurance company that their client was negligent. Thus, they should pay for all your eligible damages.

We advise you to refrain from discussing your case with anyone but an experienced Spanish-speaking Atlanta car accident attorney. Insurance adjusters will do their best to undermine your case and convince you to give up filing a claim.

Bring all the relevant evidence, including the police report, to your free case review appointment with a seasoned attorney. Call our Atlanta injury lawyers today!