How do I read a car accident police report?

I just received a report about my car accident from the police department, and it looks like gibberish to me. How can I read and understand what’s written in a car accident police report?

Reading police reports can be tricky when you don’t know what to look for. But police reports are much easier to read when you understand the sections it includes. Here are the main sections you’ll find in every police report:
  • Date and Location of Incident: This section can help you understand how long you have to file a claim after the accident took place. Plus, knowing the location is critical for adjusters and attorneys to determine what exactly happened.
  • Personal Information of Both Parties: This information should minimally list the names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information for both parties.
  • Photographs of the Incident: If you see any photos on the report, they’re likely images from the scene of the accidents. These pictures can help adjusters and attorneys determine fault.
  • Collision Factors: This is the space where officers will note which laws or codes were violated in the accident. If you aren’t familiar with a term or code, you should be able to find it online!
  • Witness and Passenger Statements: This section should include short statements from any on-scene witnesses.
For the most part, you shouldn’t need to deal with the police report. But you should always review it just to make sure there isn’t any inaccurate information.
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Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Nov 24, 2021

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