How to Get a Police Report After a Car Accident in Roswell, GA

Police reports are helpful when building your case, but getting a copy of the police report from your case can be confusing.  Simply Googling how to get a police report is a challenge, as many of the results are about submitting reports or they’re from law firms that do not get to the point.

Both the Roswell, GA government website and the Roswell PD’s website link you to a third-party website called Police2Citizen that has a form set up just for Roswell accident report requests.  Getting a copy this way costs $5 and is the simplest way to get a copy of the police report, but it is important to understand whether you need a report and what you can do with it in your car accident case.

Contact the Roswell, GA car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (470) 287-3070 for help getting a copy of your report and for help with your case.

Getting a Copy of a Police Report Online in Roswell, GA

If the Roswell Police Department handled your crash, then you can get a copy of the report from the Police2Citizen portal linked above.  This is technically a third-party website, but the Roswell government has partnered with them to provide reports directly through that portal.

Using that site costs $5, and you can pay right online as you finish up the process of ordering a copy of the report.  Then you can print it straight from your computer, and the job is finished.

Other Ways to Get a Car Accident Report in Roswell, GA

If you are not very comfortable getting a police report online or you do not trust that website, you can usually contact the police department directly to request a copy.  This might mean having to go in person or to mail in forms to make your request, but the State of Georgia does have a strong Open Records Act that should allow multiple pathways to getting copies of reports, such as a police report from your crash.

If you are having trouble getting a report and do not want to get it online, our car accident lawyers can also help you get a copy by retrieving it for you.

Getting Police Reports from Other Departments for Car Crashes Around Roswell

As noted, this is where Roswell PD makes its reports available, but other cities, towns, and counties across the state use other third-party systems to store their reports.  If the Georgia State Patrol or another police department handled your accident, check their websites to see if they have links to their partners in police report hosting or if you can contact them directly for a police report.

Do I Need a Police Report for My Crash in Roswell, GA?

In many cases, you do not need to worry about getting a report for your personal records.  However, if you want to file a claim with an insurance company or in a court of law, having a copy of your report will be helpful.

If you are using first-party insurance, such as medpay coverage through your own insurance policy, the insurance company will usually retrieve a copy of your police report on their own.  This means you do not have to worry about it.  However, this kind of claim usually will not cover your accident in full.

If you are filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or you want to take them to court, having a copy of the report for your crash will help build the case.  The report will explain who was involved in the accident so that you can make sure you have the right person to bring the case against.  If you got their name and contact info at the scene of the crash, getting a report might not be necessary for this stage of the case, but if either one of you had to go to the ER after the crash, you might not have had a chance to exchange info and will want a copy of the report.

Other evidence and information in the report can also be helpful for finding witnesses, confirming your recollection of what happened, getting the responding officer’s contact info, and for filing a claim with insurance.  Often, insurance companies will use a police report as adequate proof of what happened, even if it cannot be entered into evidence in court.

Using Police Reports as Evidence in Court for a Car Accident Lawsuit in Roswell, GA

Usually, police reports would be considered hearsay and blocked from being evidence in a court case.  Hearsay is any statement made outside the courtroom – like a written statement in a report – that is being entered into evidence as proof that what the statement is saying is true.  This is a complex definition, but an example might help: if the police report says the other driver ran a red light and hit you since that statement was made outside of court, you cannot use the report as proof that the driver ran a red light or hit you.

However, there is an exception in Georgia law specifically for “public records.”  This means that the report can come in as evidence, but it still has to be trustworthy.  Since the report is usually written based on things the police officer heard secondhand from other witnesses, it might be hearsay within hearsay, and things like the narrative section of the report might not be usable as evidence.  However, parts that the officer prepared based on what they saw with their own eyes – e.g., a write-up about the damages and injuries sustained, the location of the cars after the accident, the road conditions, and more – can all be introduced as evidence if appropriate in your case.

You can also use a police report in court to help the officer – or anyone else – remember what happened, or you can use it to challenge statements made on the stand as inconsistent with statements the witness told the officer after the crash.

Call Our Roswell Car Accident Attorneys Today

For a free review of your car accident case, call (470) 287-3070 to speak with Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ Roswell, GA personal injury attorneys.