A motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic and tumultuous experience, but when the dust settles, you will need to obtain a copy of the accident report. But a Georgia uniform motor vehicle accident report may be terribly confusing, especially for the uninitiated.
The police officers drafting motor accident reports have been trained to use arcane symbols, and coded numbers and words to convey lots of information about the accident in just a few pages. The purpose of these reports is to provide information in a standard format — not the easy-to-read type for a layperson.
But most Georgia accident reports give a comprehensive story of what really happened ina motor accident. You only need to know where to look.
Essential parts of the motor vehicle accident report in Georgia
Every car accident report contains four essential parts which you need to look out for to understand its contents. These parts are as follows:
- The front: Contains the most essential information about the crash
- The back: Gives a narrative account of what happened before, during, and after the crash
- The overlay: Contains information on the codes and data fields on the accident report
- Continuation sheet or supplemental report form: Gives room for the reporting officer to add all other relevant information about the accident
Contents of the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report
Some of the details on the accident are easy to read and comprehend, such as the names of the parties involved, description of the vehicles, driver conditions and actions, and the data required for commercial cars.
But more critical details won’t be apparent to you because the officers involved use codes to represent vital information about the motor accident. The overlay gives a helpful key of the codes used to represent different types of crash information. The codes represent the following information:
1. The first or most harmful event
The reporting officer records the first event of the accident, such as reversing or overtaking, or the most harmful event, such as the collision itself. This information will help you plan for your case accordingly, as you will pass it to your lawyer for scrutiny.
2. Contributory factors
The officer notes down any contributory factors to the accident which may help determine liability. These factors include the condition of the vehicle and the driver. Information detailing the results of the drug or alcohol tests of the driver is essential in this section, and so do other contributing factors, such as speed, condition of the road, and the weather.
3. Roadway conditions
Certain road conditions may contribute to a crash. The reporting police in Georgia also takes note of these factors. They include the width of the road, condition of the road surface, bends or blind spots along the road, and any other details that may be relevant to the accident report.
4. Direction of travel and traffic flow
The Georgia accident report gives details of the direction in which the vehicle was traveling, and the flow of traffic. It is necessary, for example, to know whether the vehicle was moving according to the flow of traffic, or was maneuvering on the wrong side of the road.
5. Vehicle maneuvers
It indicates whether the vehicle was reversing into the street, making a U-turn, braking suddenly, or attempting to overtake multiple vehicles in the road. Such vehicle maneuvers help determine whether the driver was at fault due to carelessness or negligence.
6. Maneuvers of other parties
The maneuvers of the other parties also come into play when determining the cause and liability for the accident in Georgia. It’s not always that the driver who hit another party would be at fault. If the other party braked suddenly, reversed without warning, or attempted a sudden U-turn, it would give the oncoming vehicle no time to react.
In the case of a pedestrian, the officer must give details of their maneuvers too. They would indicate if the pedestrian walked into the path of the vehicle, tried to dash across the road, or walking distractedly.
7. Vehicle class and type
The Georgia uniform accident report also gives details of the vehicle class and type. Some vehicle types are common in Georgia, while others are not so common. You probably know that certain vehicles cause accidents more often than others.
Common types of motor vehicles you will see on Georgian roads include flatbeds, vans, buses, tow trucks or auto carriers, garbage trucks. Others include hoppers, concrete mixers, cargo tankers, pole trailers, and others.
8. Part of the vehicle affected by the crash
The crash report will also tell you the part of the vehicle directly affected by the accident. It will indicate whether it was the front, side, or back of the car that collided with the other party. This is a clear indication that the report can be as comprehensive as possible to capture all the details of the crash.
9. Types of injuries
If the accident resulted in injuries to passengers or occupants of the vehicles involved, the reporting officer will give details of the injuries in the crash report. Common injuries include head injuries, injuries to the limbs, and other body parts. The officer may also make note of any internal injuries, which may be evident through nasal or mouth bleeding.
10. Airbag function
The report also notes the behavior of the individual airbags in the vehicle. It assigns every occupant an airbag note, indicating whether the airbag deployed, or didn’t deploy, and the direction in which it deployed.
Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports can be complicated for the layman because the police use codes to represent all the information of the crash. But you can still understand the report if you know what to look for. You may not need to decipher all the codes, but a general knowledge of the information included in the reports can be useful to your reading of the report.
We at Cambre & Associates LLC can help you read the report and understand it so as to make a clear case for the accident. If you need more information, please contact us.