Reading a police accident report doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s true that there is a ton of information on the typical 2-page police accident report. However, once you understand how to read them, they are a wealth of information—rather than a confusing jumble.
What happens at an accident scene?
When an accident is reported to the police, an officer will assess the scene. They will record how the scene looks, speak with all parties involved and may speak with any witnesses on the scene.
As the officer collects this information, they will record it on an accident report that you will be able to obtain a copy of in 5-7 business days after the accident.
What’s actually on a Georgia vehicle accident report
A Georgia vehicle accident report is 2 pages and is a generic form all officers carry.
Let’s examine these pages in depth.
The first page of the accident report has 3 main parts. The information in Part 1 is basic information about the accident. You’ll also find the report number in this section. The report number will be given to all parties and can be used to obtain a copy of the report once it’s completed. Next, you’ll find the date, location and time the accident occurred.
The second section of page 1 has the information of the parties involved in the accident. This information includes:
- Drivers’ names
- Drivers’ addresses
- Drivers’ phone numbers
- Insurance information on all vehicles
- Vehicle information (make, model, VIN)
Part 3 of page 1 has information about which factors contributed to the accident. Contributing factors can include:
- Area of contact
- Vehicle speed
- Flow of travel
- Conditions on the road
- Direction vehicle(s) were traveling
- Vehicle maneuvers
- Type of vehicle
- Vehicle occupants
- Vehicle damage
- Whether vision was obscured
In the last part of section 3, you’ll find information about any citations any drivers have been issued. It also includes officer information, whether an ambulance responded to the scene and if anyone was hurt in the accident, it will also have the hospital they were transported to.
Page 2 of the accident report is just as important as page 1. Here you’ll find the following:
- Citations issued
- A diagram showing what happened during the accident
- Vehicle occupants
- A written narrative of what happening during the accident
The written narrative is composed of the information given to the officer by all involved in the accident—including drivers, passengers and witnesses. If the officer doesn’t issue any citations, this section will also detail why Driver 1 caused the accident.
The diagram section shows a basic map of the area to help provide a complete picture of the events leading up to the accident.
If you are still overwhelmed by the information found on your Georgia accident report or if you feel a mistake has been made on your report, contact a knowledgeable accident attorney in your area.