After an automobile accident occurs, there may be a myriad of emergency vehicles that rush to the scene. Depending on the severity of the accident, the scene may get a little confusing and intense. Whether the accident involves major property damage and injuries, or it is simply a fender bender, the police officer on the scene must fill out a vehicle accident report.
A vehicle accident report is a detailed account of the accident. Depending on the state where the accident occurred may determine what information is needed in the report. For the most part, however, the general content of the vehicle report is the same. The police may use the report if there are criminal charges involved. The insurance companies may also need access to the report in order to determine settlement for damages.
While many people have had the unfortunate experience of being in a car accident, most are still not aware of the contents of the vehicle accident report. This comprehensive report not only subjectively describes the accident from the viewpoints of the parties involved, it also objectively describes the property damage that was inflicted, and other personal information from the drivers involved. Knowing the contents of a vehicle accident report may help you to stay better informed of the process that is involved when filling one out.
There are many details included in the accident report. If you have ever been involved in an wreck, you may be aware of the time it takes for the police officer to fill out their report. There are even situations where a police officer is not called, and the responsibility falls on the drivers to fill out the vehicle report and return it to the proper authorities. Here are some of the basic topics that are covered in most vehicle accident reports:
Not only does the report require the personal information from all of the parties involved, but there are other details that are needed as well:
- The names of the parties involved, as well as their home addresses, dates of birth and sex. Ethnicities may also be included.
- The driver’s license information is gathered from each of the parties.
- Vehicle information, such as make, model, year, license plate number, and issuing state is recorded.
- The information of the investigator responding to the accident.
- Current insurance information, including policy number, insurance agent, and phone number.
- If there were any witnesses present, it is helpful to get their personal information, as well as a statement about what they saw during the accident.
A detailed account of the accident is needed for the report, including:
- The date and time that the accident occurred. Be sure to include the time of day stating whether it was dawn, daytime, dark, or dusk.
- The roadway information describing where the accident occurred. It is important to map out the exact location of the incident using road names and landmarks. The more specific the location, the better.
- A sequence of events recreating the accident. This is usually obtained from each of the involved parties so a comparison can be made.
- The factors and conditions of roadway. This includes the weather condition at the time of the accident, such as raining, blizzard, or clear. Also, the lighting present during the time of the accident is considered. The condition of the road is also noted.
- Were charges filed on anyone involved? This may happen if one of the parties was intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs.
- When commercial vehicles are involved, information must be obtained about their company, and the contents of their trucks. This is to ensure that no hazardous material is involved.
- A narrative and diagram must be included from each of the parties involved.
An estimated cost of damage is required in order to assess the accident. It is stated on the report if the damages exceed $1,000. Note whether the vehicle is totaled, drivable, or inoperable.
Damage of any property other than the vehicles involved is described. Whether it is a fence, or a mailbox, the damaged property is assessed, and the approximate cost of repairs is determined. If the property belonged to an individual homeowner, be sure to get the homeowners information, address, name, and phone number.
Occurrences of injuries are notated. If there are any injuries, it must be stated how severe they are, and details must be given on the specifics of the injury.
Safety devices utilized – Were the parties involved wearing their helmets or seat belts?
People taken to the hospital – If any individuals were driven to the hospital by ambulance, whether injured or deceased, it must be noted which hospital they were taken to.
If a pedestrian or bystander was injured during the accident, their personal information is required. Be sure to include the pedestrian in your recreation diagram of the accident. Also state what the bystander was doing, such as jogging, or playing in the street. Note where they were in relation to the vehicles involved.
Accounting for all of the details during the accident is crucial in assisting the police officer to fill out an accurate portrayal of the scene. By knowing the information included in a vehicle accident report ahead of time, you may be more aware of small details after an accident occurred. Not only will these small details help the police officer fill out their vehicle accident report, but they could even help you to receive the correct reimbursement from the insurance company.