After a motor vehicle collision occurs, the first hurdle the parties need to clear before claims can proceed will be obtaining a copy of the police report for the collision. It is important to recognize at the outset that there will always be some delay between the occurrence of the wreck, and the accident report being available. This allows for processing and a supervisory review for completeness before release of the final report. The usual delay will only be 3 or 4 days, but sometimes it can be longer. This is especially true when people need to download their reports, as the upload process can cause additional delay.
Because Georgia has many small municipalities, it is important to know what department has jurisdiction over your wreck. Typically the officers responding to the crash will provide a reference number to the driver of each vehicle. Frequently this information will be on a small blue business card which identifies the officer and provides contact information for their department as well. If you receive such a card, put it in a safe place so that you can find it later if necessary.
Knowing the right department is crucial – without that information, tracking down your report will be far more difficult. If you know the department, look at its website to find out how to get reports. You can also use the links below to visit the police websites for each of the 5 counties in Metro Atlanta, as well as Atlanta Police. It is also important to remember that the Georgia State Patrol has jurisdiction over collisions on Georgia’s interstate highways.
The easiest way to learn how you can obtain a copy of the report from your accident is always going to be by reaching out to the police department responsible for investigating the collision. Most departments post this information online. Those who lack internet access, or who aren’t technologically inclined, can still obtain this information by call the non-emergency phone number for the applicable police department. NEVER CALL 911 TO ASK ABOUT A POLICE REPORT.
The parties to a collision will almost always be able to obtain a copy of the applicable report at the central records office of the investigating department. Parties who obtain reports through this channel will need to pay a nominal copying fee. Alternatively, electronic copies of reports are frequently available for purchase and download online through the BuyCrash.com web portal.
BuyCrash is generally a reliable, reasonably fast way to obtain copies of a report. There can be a delay between completion of the report, and the release of the report online, however. BuyCrash also offers an e-mail notification service that lets users know when a particular report becomes available. If time is a factor, it will almost always be faster, wherever practical, to pick up a copy from the investigating department in person.