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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Q:
How Do I Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Atlanta?

A:

How do I get a police report for a car accident in Atlanta?

Not everyone can get a copy of a police report for a car accident in Atlanta. Georgia law does not require the public disclosure of motor vehicle accident records unless you establish that you have a legal need for the document. The statute defines “need” as a person or legal entity who:

  • Has a business, personal, or professional connection to a party involved in the accident;
  • Witnessed the accident;
  • Suffered injuries in the accident;
  • Has an interest in property damaged in the accident;
  • Is allegedly liable for the accident;
  • Insures a party to the accident or property damaged in the accident;
  • Is a public law enforcement officer or a prosecutor;
  • Is a government official or entity seeking the report for a legitimate governmental function;
  • Is conducting research for the public interest;
  • Is researching for a news media organization, within permitted uses of these reports;
  • Is a lawyer requesting the report for a criminal case or for a claim of unsafe roads; or
  • Is a lawyer representing any of these people or entities.

If you fit within one of these categories, then you will have to complete the proper form and submit it to the correct authorities. The correct authority will be the law enforcement unit that responded to and investigated your accident. This unit could be the Georgia State Highway Patrol, the county sheriff, or municipal police.

Why would I need a copy of the police report?

Accident reports include critical evidence to prove your claim for damages after an accident. Some people will lie to get out of having to pay money for the harm they have caused. They may, for example, claim that a traffic light was green when it was actually red. They may lie about making an illegal turn or about failing to yield right-of-way. They may even lie about who was driving. The accident report will establish the truth to support your side of the story.

Accident reports contain important details relating to the crash, including:

  • The location of each vehicle;
  • The points of impact and damage to each vehicle;
  • All injuries noticed at the scene of the accident;
  • All traffic and safety laws broken;
  • The estimated speed of each vehicle;
  • What caused the accident;
  • All citations or tickets given by the responding officer;
  • The weather, time of day, and road conditions; and
  • Names of eyewitnesses.

When a person later denies a fact about the accident, the police report can often set the record straight. This can make the difference in whether you receive compensation for your claim.

How do I contact the Georgia State Highway Patrol?

If the Georgia State Highway Patrol investigated your accident, you should contact the Open Records Unit or a local State Patrol Post. You will have to complete a form to get your report and there may be a charge. For photographs or other records about the crash, contact:

                        Georgia Department of Public Safety

                        Attn: Open Records Unit

                        P. O. Box 1456

                        Atlanta, GA 30371

                        404-624-7591

You may also fax your request and completed form to 404-624-7529.           

Your request must include:

  • Your full name, mailing address, and telephone number;
  • The names of the people involved in the accident;
  • The records you are requesting;
  • The city or county in Georgia where the accident happened;
  • The date of the accident; and
  • The accident report number, if known.

What if I do not know where to get the report?

You can get some crash reports through the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Crash Reporting Unit. Online reports are available for a small fee. The Georgia DOT uses BuyCrash.com, a third-party vendor, to process these report requests. BuyCrash.com will require you to type in the last name of the involved party and the date of the accident, as well as either the VIN of one of the vehicles, the report number, or the driver’s license number of an involved party.

What if my accident occurred in Atlanta?

You can get an accident report for an accident that happened in the City of Atlanta through BuyCrash.com or by visiting the Central Records Unit between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., at:

                        Atlanta Public Safety Annex

                        3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW

                        Atlanta, GA 30331

                        404-546-7461

Where can I get a copy of an accident report in an Atlanta county?

Fulton, Gwinnett, and Clayton counties allow you to get your accident report online through BuyCrash.com. You can get your accident report in person or by other means from these metropolitan Atlanta counties:

Fulton County

Old National Precinct

5539 Old National Highway

College Park, GA 30349

404-613-3005

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
 

Records and Reports

141 Pryor Street

Atlanta, GA 30303

404-613-5700

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

DeKalb County

DeKalb County Police Dept. Central Records

1960 W. Exchange Place

2nd Floor Room 210

Tucker, GA 30084

770-724-7740

Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Gwinnett County

Police Headquarters

770 Hi Hope Road

Lawrenceville, GA 30044

770-513-5190

Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Cobb County

You may request your report online.

Clayton County

Records Unit

Clayton County Police Department

7911 N. McDonough St.

Jonesboro, GA 30236

770-477-3913

Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Thursdays and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Coweta County

You may contact a records custodian by email or request your report online. You may also visit:

Records Custodian

Coweta County Sheriff’s Office

560 Greison Trail

Newnan, GA 30263

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Douglas County

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

8470 Earl D. Lee Blvd.

Douglasville, GA 30134

770-942-2121

Fayette County

You may submit a request online or via mail, fax, or in person to:

Tameca White

Fayette County Board of Commissioners

140 Stonewall Avenue West, Suite 100

Fayetteville, GA 30214

770-305-5103 Phone

770-305-5224 Fax

Henry County

Henry County Sheriff’s Office

120 Henry Parkway

McDonough, GA 30253

770-288-7107

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Is there an easier way to get an accident report?

Law enforcement agencies allow attorneys to obtain accident reports on behalf of their clients. At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we can identify the law enforcement agency involved in your accident and request your accident report.

If you suffered injuries from a car accident that was not your fault, we can help. Call our attorneys today at 404-474-0804 to set up your free consultation.

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