So, you have been in a car or truck accident. How do you obtain the police report? Assuming that your wreck occurred on public property, an officer has investigated the collision, made findings, assigned fault and provided you with a business card as to where/when/how you can retrieve your report after it has been finalized by the supervising officer. In the past, the report could be ready in three to five days by physically driving to the investigating police station, paying anywhere from 50 cents per page to a flat fee of $5.00, and providing your name, date of collision and site of collision to the records department. Usually the report was picked up by the at-fault and innocent parties, and perhaps their attorney and/or auto insurance company.
Nowadays, the process of obtaining an accident report has dramatically changed. And, the parties involved in that process are new–and determined to make a profit. Specifically, about four years ago, the Georgia Department of Transportation entered into a contract to sell crash reports to a for-profit, foreign corporation based in Kentucky identified as Appriss. This company operates and runs Buycrash.com.
Accident reports through Buycrash.com sell for $11.00 per report. Although state law limits the cost of such reports to the actual price of preparing the report. However, I find it hard to believe that the cost of preparing the report is more than twice the price than it was in the past. But, there are more players involved at each step of the process than gets a cut of this $11.00 buy: Georgia Department of Transportation, the specific investigating police entity and Appriss. Reports continue to arise that Georgia motorists and passengers feel they are misled as who exactly makes money from this site. The exact procedure of how the $11.00 is carved amongst these three (3) entities is unknown; however, it has been reported that local referring police agency to the website receives a sum of $2-$5 per report downloaded at Buycrash.com.
Prior to Buycrash.com, Georgia taxpayers were spending approximately $900,000.00 on an annual basis for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to prepare, manage and make over 380,000 reports available. Since the public-private contract with Appriss, Georgia has eliminated about 20 associated jobs at the GDOT.
To use Buycrash.com effectively, the user must fit within a certain class such as: 1) an individual with a personal, professional or business connection to the party to the car/truck accident; 2) an owner or leasor of the property damaged in the accident; 3) a person injured or allegedly injured in the accident; 4) a witness to the accident; 5) the insurance company that insured the party to the wreck or the property damaged in the crash; 6) a prosecutor or law enforcement officer; 7) a person allegedly liable to a person for causing the accident; 8) an attorney investigating a criminal aspect of the accident or an investigation into a roadway, railroad crossing or unsafe intersection or 9) a representative of a news media organization.
If you fit within the class of users described above, then you still need to know certain information about the accident to input into the website to actually find the report. The information required is the last name of the party/parties to the wreck, the date of the collision and the identify of the investigating police organization (e.g. Clayton County Police Department; Georgia State Patrol Post 48). Once the correct identifying information is keyed into the website, Buycrash.com will pull the desired report for purchase by credit/debit card and present you with a high quality document to print and/or save to your computer.
However, it is illegal to use Buycrash.com if you are a “runner”, a non-attorney who obtains car accident reports for the sole purpose to solicit and contact accident victims in order to steer such victims to particular personal injury attorneys/law firms for cash compensation. Although illegal runners are not the topic of this blog, runners are a sure bet to lower the value of your injury claim and possibly make your claim the subject of scrutiny or investigation by the adverse insurance company. So, please contact a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney to investigate your car crash injury claim, secure important evidence and establish effective communication with the insurance company to obtain the highest possible settlement for you.
The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford have over twenty years of experience in handling the claims of Georgia car accident victims, and if you or your loved ones have been the victims of an auto or truck accident in Georgia, we can help you, too. Contact us today, to speak to an attorney right away. As always, the consultation is free, and there is no obligation. Call us, or use the online form. We are available to answer all your questions and if desired, can come to you. Don’t delay and call today!