Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Every accident is unique, but many clients have similar questions about personal injury law. Read some of the most commonly asked personal injury questions—and answers to those questions—here.
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  • Can A Slip And Fall Cause A Bulging Disc?

    Yes, a slip and fall accident can cause a bulging disc in your spine. In fact, a bulging or herniated disc is a common slip and fall injury.

    A series of individual vertebrae make up your spinal column. Between each one of these vertebrae is a spinal disc. Your discs contain a squishy substance and serve as shock absorbers, protecting your vertebrae and holding them in place as you go about your day. When portions of your back or neck move out of place because of an injury, your discs can bulge between vertebrae and rupture.

    Falling can directly damage the vertebrae or discs, especially if you land on your back or strike it in the process of tumbling down. The sudden, jerky motions people experience when falling can cause strains of deep muscles in the back, which can wrench a disc out of place.

    If you suffered a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may need extensive medical treatment to repair your bulging disc and manage the pain that comes along with this back injury.

    What Is The Treatment For A Bulging Or Herniated Disc?

    If your doctor suspects you have a bulging disc, he or she will first conduct a physical examination to evaluate your pain and look for weakness or changes in sensation or reflexes. Sometimes your doctor will order imaging tests, such as an x-ray, CAT scan, or MRI, before making a diagnosis.

    Depending on the level and severity of your injury, your doctor may prescribe a few days or weeks of rest, pain medication, and anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, you may need physical therapy or surgery to reduce back pain and return to your previous level of mobility.

    Most people recover from a herniated disc, but some do not. A bulging disc can cause long-term or permanent injury, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, a history of back problems, or your back injury is particularly severe. Even if you initially recuperate well from your spinal injury, 3 to 5 percent of patients experience a second rupture sometime later.

    Treating a bulging disc can mean you will face costly medical bills and significant time off work while you recuperate and undergo physical therapy. If you are facing a permanent disability, you may never earn the same income you did prior to your fall.

    How Can I Recoup My Losses After A Slip And Fall Accident?

    If your bulging disc occurred after a fall on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for compensation for your expenses. The premises liability attorneys with the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, can file a claim on your behalf to help you recover the costs you are facing because of your injury.

    Contact A Premises Liability Attorney

    We can calculate the value of your claim, including all of your medical expenses and lost wages. We will also consider the long-term impact of your injury and the costs you will face down the road. Then, we will negotiate directly with the property owner’s insurer to get you the full compensation you deserve.

    Our initial consultations are free, so call us today at 404-474-0804 to set up an appointment. 

  • What is a wrongful death settlement worth?

    Every wrongful death settlement is different. The amount of compensation you can recover for the wrongful death of a loved one will depend on the details of your particular case.

    What is the standard for compensation in a wrongful death case in Georgia?

    While there is no specific standard, the purpose of wrongful death damages in Georgia is to compensate for the “full value” of the decedent's life.

    What does "full value of the life" mean?

    Per Georgia Code § 51-4-1, full value of the life means “the full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.” Essentially, it is the contributions — both economic and noneconomic — the decedent would have made.

    Full value includes both economic and noneconomic losses. This means that if a surviving family member or personal representative brings an action, that party can recover compensation for:

    • Medical bills, funeral, and burial expenses
    • Any other necessary expenses
    • Lost earning capacity
    • Loss of employment benefits
    • Lost support and services (e.g., childcare)
    • Pain and suffering the decedent experienced from the time of the injury until death
    • Loss of companionship
    • Loss of advice and counsel
    • Loss of care

    The “full value” of one person’s life can vary significantly from that of someone else.

    Why is the “full value of the life” different from one person to another?

    While it is difficult to put a monetary value on a life, the courts must do so to determine how much you can receive for that death. This value rests on the contributions the decedent made and how the death will affect survivors.

    If, for example, a person works part time at a minimum wage job, that person will not contribute financially to the family as much as an individual who earns six figures. The more a person makes, the greater the financial loss to the household if the individual dies before his time.

    However, it is important to remember that the full value does not only consider the economic contributions your loved one made. We always ensure a settlement includes the value of your loved one’s advice and counsel, companionship, and taking care of the household, as well as other intangible losses, in addition to the amount of money he earned.                                 

    Is it possible to recover punitive damages in a Georgia wrongful death claim?

    Yes. If you can show that the wrongdoer acted intentionally or with conscious disregard for the consequences of his actions, the court may award punitive damages.

    Call Jason R. Schultz for help with your wrongful death case.

    Damages in wrongful death cases are different from other personal injury claims. Talk with Georgia wrongful death lawyer, Jason R. Schultz, for guidance on how to recover the compensation you need to live the best possible life after this tragedy in your family. You can call us at any time. We will always treat you with compassion and sensitivity. Set up your free consultation by calling 404-474-0804 today.

    Before our meeting, feel free to check out our wrongful death checklist to keep everything organized during this very trying time in your life. 

  • Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia?

    Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia depends on whether the person who died is a child or an adult.  

    When a child dies, who can file a wrongful death action in Georgia?

    When a child dies from something other than natural causes, Georgia law provides guidance on who has the legal authority to sue for the wrongful death. The people entitled to bring a wrongful death action for the passing of a child are:

    • The deceased party’s spouse
    • The parents/legal guardian of the deceased child
    • If there are no surviving parents of the deceased child, then the administrator or executor of the estate of the deceased child or his personal representative

    Does it matter if the parents are living together?

    No. If the parents are divorced, separated, or living apart, both parents have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If one of these parents is absent or refuses to go forward with the action, the other parent can file the lawsuit alone.

    Note: If one parent has abandoned or failed to provide support to the child, he may be unable to bring a claim.

    Who has the right to sue for the wrongful death of an adult?

    The following parties have the right to file suit for the wrongful death of an adult:

    • A surviving spouse (the primarily eligible party)
    • A child of the deceased person.
    • Parents (only if there is no surviving spouse or children, or if the spouse is the alleged negligent party)
    • Personal representative

    What can I recover in a Georgia wrongful death suit?

    What you can recover depends on your relationship to the deceased.

    If you are a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased, the damages are the full value of the life of the deceased. If you are a personal representative of the deceased, the damages available include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and all other necessary expenses that arose from the injury and death.

    Who are the possible beneficiaries of a wrongful death action?

    In a claim for the passing of a child, the surviving spouse or parents of the deceased child can be the beneficiaries. In cases where the parents are the beneficiaries, they both split the award, but the court can order a different distribution. If an absent parent does not appear within two years, the court can award that person’s share to the parent who brought the action.

    If one parent abandoned the child or failed to provide support, he may be unable to recover from the award.

    In a claim for the death of an adult, the surviving spouse and children can be the beneficiaries. Also, the estate can be the beneficiary, if the administrator or executor of the estate or the personal representative of the deceased adult brings an action.

    Call Jason R. Schultz for help filing a wrongful death claim.

    If a member of your immediate family has died due to a negligent or intentional act, call on Georgia wrongful death attorney Jason R. Schultz for help. Before our meeting, feel free to read through our wrongful death checklist for more information about the process you can expect to go through.

    Set up your free consultation today: 404-474-0804.

  • How do I choose a personal injury lawyer?

    Not everyone knows how to choose a personal injury lawyer. When considering prospective lawyers, make sure you ask about experience, testimonials, memberships, and the firm’s communication policy.

    What should I ask a potential lawyer about his experience?

    When you are vetting several attorneys, ask each one how long he has been practicing law, and in particular, personal injury law. How many cases has he handled, and what were the verdicts and settlements in those cases? Do not be afraid to ask for the dollar amounts from typical cases he has handled.

    Ask the lawyer for any reviews and testimonials his clients have left him. If he seems hesitant to produce those testimonials, consider moving on to the next lawyer on your list.

    What are important traits to look for in a personal injury attorney?

    You want a lawyer you can work with comfortably. You are going through a stressful time, and you do not need additional tension from your attorney’s office. When dealing with a personal injury lawyer, ask yourself these questions:

    • Does the firm treat me with courtesy and respect?
    • Does my legal team seem to care about me and the outcome of my case?
    • Are they honest with me?
    • Do I have a voice in how the legal team handles my case?
    • Is my overall feeling toward my lawyer’s office positive?
    • Does my lawyer explain things without talking down to me or talking over my head?
    • Does the representation agreement or fee agreement clearly lay out the entire financial arrangement, including litigation expenses and how much compensation my lawyer will receive?

    What is the firm’s communication policy?

    Lawyers are very busy; however, that does not mean that your lawyer should leave you hanging for days at a time.

    Before you sign on with a lawyer, ask what the firm’s communication policy is. Consider asking the following:

    • Will you receive updates each week or only if something happens in your case?
    • How long will it take for the lawyer to get back to you?
    • Will you be in touch with the lawyer directly or with a paralegal?
    • Is it best to contact the firm through email or over the phone?

    You want a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable. You should be able to sit down with your lawyer and ask any question about your case. It is better to ask a question than to worry about things. Communication is necessary for the attorney-client relationship to work best. We welcome your questions and any input you may have about your personal injury claim.

    Are there other benchmarks of a good personal injury lawyer?

    Yes. A highly qualified personal injury lawyer often has these accomplishments:

    Are there online resources for finding a personal injury lawyer?

    Yes. In addition to directories like Martindale-Hubbell and associations like Georgia Super Lawyers, there are other helpful online resources for finding a personal injury lawyer:

    Armed with all the information in this FAQ, you should now be better prepared to find and choose the right lawyer to handle your personal injury case. But do not stop reading yet. We have one more resource for you.

    The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. will send you our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Injury Cases in Georgia – The Truth about Your Injury Case, for FREE. Our guide is an easy read that will help you understand the claims process and will warn you about pitfalls to avoid.

    Schedule a free consultation with Jason R. Schultz today.

    If another party’s negligence caused your injuries in Georgia, do not delay. There are time limits for bringing claims for personal injury claims. The compassionate personal injury team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is standing by to speak with you. Contact us at any time. You can either live chat with our team or call us at 404-474-0804 to set up your free consultation.

  • Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable in Georgia?

    Is my personal injury settlement taxable?

    In Georgia, portions of your settlement may be taxable. Often, part of the proceeds from your personal injury settlement will be taxable, while other parts will not.

    Which part of my settlement is not taxable?

    The portion of your settlement that the court awarded for your physical injuries or physical sickness is usually not taxable.

    This changes, however, if you deducted the cost of your medical treatments on a prior year’s tax return. If that deduction gave you a tax benefit, you will have to report that amount as taxable income.

    Are my lost wages taxable?

    Any payment the court awarded for your lost wages is taxable income to the IRS. This is because this portion of your settlement is replacing wages that would have been taxable. The IRS will use the same Social Security and Medicare tax rates for the year you received your settlement to determine your tax obligation.

    What about the amount I received for emotional distress or mental anguish?

    The IRS will not tax settlement proceeds for emotional distress or mental anguish, as long as that distress occurred due to a physical injury or sickness.

    If this was not true in your case, this part of your settlement is taxable. However, you can reduce the amount you need to report by doing the following:

    • Deduct any medical expenses you paid as treatment for your emotional distress; and
    • If you deducted these costs on a prior year’s tax return but did not receive a tax benefit, deduct them from your total amount.

    I got punitive damages in my personal injury settlement. Are they taxable?

    Yes, punitive damages are taxable even if they were directly for personal physical injuries or physical sickness. You will report them as "Other Income" on line 21 of your federal Form 1040.

    Is the interest on my personal injury settlement taxable?

    The general rule is that interest on any type of settlement is taxable. You will report it as "interest income" on line 8a of your Form 1040.

    Do I have to pay Georgia state income taxes on my settlement?

    If a portion of your settlement was taxable on your federal return, it is also taxable on your Georgia state return. This is because Georgia uses your Federal adjusted gross income from your federal return on your state income tax return. Whatever is not taxable on your federal return is not taxable on your Georgia state taxes.

    Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You Understand Your Settlement.

    The personal injury attorneys at Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, will help you navigate your claim and settlement. Call us today at 404-474-0804 or fill out a contact form here to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.

  • What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?

    What is the purpose of damages in a wrongful death claim?

    Wrongful death damages offer compensation to loved ones for the full value of the decedent’s life. Any living expenses the decedent would have had if he had lived do not reduce this amount.

    It is impossible to put a price on the value of a person’s life. While no amount of money can stop the suffering when a life ends because of a wrongful act, the courts have developed standard approaches to calculate how much compensation the survivors should receive. For help with your wrongful death claim, contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804.

    What are economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim?

    Economic and non-economic damages are the two types of compensatory damages available in a wrongful death claim. These damages offer compensation to the decedent’s loved ones so they can recover.

    Economic damages can include:

    • Medical bills from the injury or illness until death;
    • Funeral and burial expenses;
    • Loss of income and future financial support; and
    • Loss of services within the family, such as housekeeping, raising the children, and maintaining the house and yard.

    Non-economic damages may involve:

    • The decedent’s physical and mental pain and suffering from the time of the injury or illness until the moment of death;
    • Mental anguish of the survivors;
    • Loss of companionship; and
    • Loss of a parent or child’s society, advice, and counsel.

    Can I get interest on my wrongful death claim?

    All judgments in Georgia carry interest at the Federal Reserve prime rate plus 3%, until paid. Post-judgment interest is automatic, so the judgment does not have to specifically mention interest.

    It is also possible to get pre-judgment interest. If, on your behalf, we make a written offer by registered or certified mail with a demand for your unliquidated damages and the court awards an amount of damages equal to or greater than the amount of the demand, you are eligible for pre-judgment interest if the wrongdoer does not pay within 30 days. Pre-judgment interest is the same amount as post-judgment interest—prime rate plus 3%.

    What are punitive damages?

    Georgia law provides that punitive damages, also known as vindictive or exemplary damages, may be appropriate when there are aggravating circumstances in a wrongful death case. Courts do not order these damages as compensation to the injured party. Instead, punitive damages are strictly to punish, penalize, or deter the wrongdoer. With that in mind, the courts place certain limitations on the amount of punitive damages recoverable in some wrongful death actions.

    To prove that punitive damages are appropriate, we must prove that the wrongdoer’s actions showed:

    • Malice;
    • Willful misconduct;
    • Wantonness;
    • Fraud;
    • Oppression; or
    • An indifference to the consequences of their actions.

    Depending on the specifics of your case, a portion of any punitive damages the courts award may go toward the state. If a defective product caused the wrongful death, for example, 75% of the punitive damages—minus the litigation costs and attorney fees—will go to the treasury of the state of Georgia.

    How can I prove the damages in my wrongful death claim?

    While making arrangements after the death of your loved one, keep in mind that your wrongful death claim will require evidence to prove. For help gathering this evidence, contact our wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible.

    An autopsy may be necessary to prove a link between your loved one’s death and the wrongful act. An autopsy can provide essential evidence to prove wrongful death, while ruling out other medical conditions or events the negligent party may claim were the cause of death. If your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, we recommend scheduling an independent autopsy, rather than relying on the hospital’s autopsy.

    Police reports can provide evidence in wrongful death cases that arise out of motor vehicle accidents or violent acts. We can use expert witnesses to prove causation in wrongful death cases involving defective products, hazardous conditions, or toxic substances.

    Employment records will give the data we need to calculate the decedent’s lost income and to extrapolate the loss of future earnings. Expert witnesses often prepare reports and testify on income and earning damages.

    We can also use bills from the doctors, hospital, and pharmacy to establish the cost of medical expenses, while statements from the funeral home will show the funeral and burial expenses.

    Note that only medical bills relating to final illness or injury are recoverable as damages in a wrongful death action. You cannot recover for medical bills for a condition the decedent had before the wrongful act occurred.

    At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we can help.

    The wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC will show you the compassion and respect you deserve. We will discuss how the tragic loss of your loved one has impacted you and your family and evaluate your claim for damages. Call us today at 404-474-0804 for your free consultation. 

  • What does 'mitigate damages' mean?

    What does “mitigate damages” mean?

    Georgia law requires that when a person suffers injury because of the negligence of someone else, the injured person must mitigate his damages to the extent that is practical. What does the word mitigate mean? According to Black's Law Dictionary, to mitigate means to reduce or lessen.

    How far do I have to go to mitigate my damages?

    You do not have to take extraordinary measures to mitigate your damages. Georgia law merely requires you to lessen your damages by using ordinary care and diligence. If you take the steps that a reasonable person would do under the circumstances, you have exercised ordinary care and diligence.

    What steps can I take to mitigate my damages?

    Get medical treatment.

    If you have an injury, you should seek professional medical attention right away. For example, if you suffered large cuts in a car accident, you should go to an urgent care center, an emergency room, or a doctor's office to get the cuts properly cleaned and dressed. If you fail to do so and the wounds become infected, you have not mitigated your damages. A reasonable person would have gotten the cuts cleaned and dressed to prevent the injuries from getting worse.

    Complete your treatment.

    If your doctor prescribes three months of physical therapy to treat your injury, you should complete the full three months unless there is a sound medical reason to do otherwise. If you go to one therapy session and do not return or fail to perform the exercises your therapist directed you to do at home, you have not exercised ordinary care and diligence to restore function to your injured area and have not mitigated your damages.

    Follow medical advice.

    If your doctor prescribes painkillers and directs you not to drive a vehicle while taking the medication, you should follow this advice. If you drive your car and crash, the party at fault in your original car accident will not be liable for your new injuries.

    Do not do anything that makes your injuries worse.

    If you broke your leg because of a dangerous condition on a property and then rode a motorcycle with your leg in the cast, the jarring impact could cause your bones to shift out of alignment and not heal properly. Since your actions worsened your injuries, the party at fault in the original premises liability accident will not be liable for the additional damage.

    Take reasonable steps to get better.

    Get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, get moderate exercise as approved by your doctor, and avoid harmful behaviors during your recuperation. Use common sense to get well.

    You can exercise ordinary care and diligence by attending all of your doctor appointments, taking your medication as directed, and focusing on getting well. Avoid complicating your injuries.

    What can happen if I do not mitigate my damages?

    It can reduce the amount of financial compensation you will receive if you do not mitigate your damages or if you worsen them. The reasoning behind this is that the person at fault in your accident should only be responsible for the damages he caused. He has no control over whether you make a good-faith effort to recuperate or whether you exercise ordinary care and diligence.

    Contact an injury attorny to leanr more about mitigating damages

    If you need help with your negligence claim, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What is the difference between complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries?

    What is the difference between complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries?

    There are two main categories of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete.

    A complete spinal cord injury is a worst-case scenario. A person who suffers a complete spinal cord injury will have no physical capabilities and no sensation below the point of the injury. Before modern advances in medicine, complete spinal cord injuries had a high fatality rate.

    A complete spinal cord injury can happen at any level of the spine and will equally affect both sides of the body.

    What is an incomplete spinal cord injury?

    With an incomplete injury, a person still has some function below the level of the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury can happen at any level of the spine.

    A patient with an incomplete spinal cord injury may:

    • Retain movement in one limb but not the other;
    • Experience movement in one limb more than the other;
    • Have more function on one side of the body than the other; or
    • Retain feeling in parts of the body.

    Does it matter where the injury occurs on the spine?

    The higher up the level of the injury is to the spinal cord, the more severe the impact for the patient. For example, if you suffered an injury in the lower part of your spine, or lumbar area, it may affect your muscle and nerve control to your legs, bladder, and bowels, but it will not affect your arms. If your injury occurred at the neck, or cervical, level, you may lose nerve and muscle control to your arms, legs, bladder, bowels, and respiratory muscles.

    How can a spinal cord injury affect my life?

    Depending on the location of your spinal cord injury and whether it is complete or incomplete, the daily impact to your life will vary. The victim of a high, complete spinal cord injury will be unable to move or feel sensation and will require lifelong assistance with bowel and bladder function, breathing, and feeding.

    Lower, incomplete injuries may allow the victim some independence, but there will still be impacts to sensation, mobility, and self-care. Many spinal cord injury victims require a wheelchair to get from one place to another and will need help performing daily tasks for the rest of their lives.

    What are my damages for my spinal cord injury?

    You may be able to recover significant compensation after a catastrophic injury like spinal cord damage. Several factors will determine your damages, including:

    • The severity of your injury;
    • Whether it is a complete or an incomplete spinal cord injury;
    • The level of the spine at which the injury occurred; and
    • How much residual function and sensation you have after recuperation.

    Your initial medical bills will be significant, as spinal cord injury patients often spend time in the intensive care unit, both for respiratory issues and to protect them from further injury to the spine. After the initial trauma care, you may spend months in the hospital or spinal cord injury rehabilitation center.

    When you get home, your costs will continue to accumulate. These expenses can include the cost of:

    • Medical equipment and mobility devices;
    • Long-term physical and occupation therapy;
    • Frequent medical care;
    • In-home healthcare and daily assistive care;
    • Adaptive equipment and modifications to the home;
    • Special transportation vehicles;
    • Lift equipment and physical therapy equipment in the home; and
    • Adaptive clothing, feeding devices, bladder and bowel program supplies, and special self-care items.

    How can I get help collecting damages for my injury?  

    The lifetime costs following a spinal cord injury, whether complete or incomplete, can be astronomical. If you have suffered a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury, you need to talk with one of our experienced spinal cord injury lawyers. At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we will evaluate your case and fight to get you the compensation you need. Call us today to set up your free consultation at 404-474-0804.

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

    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


    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, a third-party vendor, to process these report requests. 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 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


    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 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


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

    Records and Reports

    141 Pryor Street

    Atlanta, GA 30303


    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


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

    Gwinnett County

    Police Headquarters

    770 Hi Hope Road

    Lawrenceville, GA 30044


    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


    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


    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


    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.

  • How long do I have to report a car accident in Georgia?

    In Georgia, you must report a car accident that involves any of the following to police immediately:

    • Injury
    • Death
    • At least $500 in property damage

    If you do not report the accident, you could face hit-and-run charges or end up paying for the accident yourself if the other driver later decides to file a report.

    What will happen once I report the accident?

    If you report the accident from the scene, an officer will come out and write out a report of his observations and opinions on how the accident occurred. The accident report might also include any citations issued.

    Does reporting an accident to police help me?

    Yes. Sometimes, you do not recognize an injury at the scene of the accident. If you do not call police to the scene, report an accident, or seek immediate medical care, but later develop injuries, the insurer will likely deny your claim, arguing that there is no record of the accident.

    It is also helpful in proving fault as the officer writes his opinion of who is at fault right on the report.

    What should I do if a law enforcement officer did not come to the scene?

    If no law enforcement officer came to the scene of the accident, you should file an accident report with the nearest law enforcement agency and write a Personal Report of Accident. In both reports, you will likely need to note the following:

    • The date, day of the week, and time of the accident
    • What the weather was at the time of the accident. The location where the accident occurred, including city and county. If outside of the city, note the distance to the nearest town.
    • The year, make, and type of each vehicle involved, as well as the license plate number.
    • The full name and street address of each driver (or the owner of the vehicle), as well as the driver’s occupation, driver’s license number and state, birth date, age, and gender.
    • The names of the insurance companies for all vehicles and drivers. If available, include the name and address of the insurance agents.
    • Whether the cars are drivable.
    • The name, address, age, and gender of every person injured in the accident. Identify which vehicle each injured person occupied. Designate whether the injured person was a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or other.
    • Light conditions, e.g., daylight, dawn or dusk, and darkness.
    • If any pedestrians were involved, the direction they were going (e.g., North, South, East, or West), and what they were doing at the time of the collision (e.g., crossing or entering at intersection, crossing or entering not at intersection, getting on or off vehicle, standing in roadway, walking in roadway with traffic, etc.)
    • What all involved drivers were doing, e.g., going straight ahead, overtaking and passing, making a right turn, making a left turn, making a U-turn, starting in traffic
    • Your recollection of what happened (Note: We recommend you fill this part out first to give a better, truer account of what happened.)

    The Personal Report of Accident is for your personal use. Do not mail it to the Department of Transportation, as it will destroy the report upon receipt.

    Why should I complete a Personal Report of Accident?

    The Personal Report of Accident could be of great value to your lawyer if you have an injury claim arising from the accident and there was no police officer called to the scene. This will serve as a report of the accident to prove that one did, in fact, occur. It also gives your lawyer the opportunity to contact eyewitnesses for their account of what happened.

    Call Jason R. Schultz for help after a car accident in Geogrgia.

    Injuries from a car accident can be stressful. We can help, regardless of whether you called the police to the scene. And we do not charge to talk with you about your accident, so your consultation is truly risk-free. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz today at 404-474-0804, or fill out a contact form on our site to schedule your consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer.

    Remember, there is also a statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Georgia so call us soon.