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How To Read Your Police Accident Report

Our attorneys can set the record straight

If you have been in a car accident, the police officer investigating your crash fills out an accident report. In Massachusetts, this form is called the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Police Report. In Connecticut, it's the Connecticut Uniform Police Accident Report.

Understanding your accident report can be a challenge. There are so many different codes, symbols and abbreviations on your report. Knowing what each one means can be confusing. That's why our car accident lawyers created this guide to help you understand your accident report. We know you don't want excuses. You want answers.

Insurance companies use this form to process your car accident claim. That's why it's critical that you understand your accident report. Because if any of the information in your report is wrong, you might not be compensated for your crash.

Give your case an advantage - the Salomone Advantage. Contact us right now. We can help you understand your report and set the record straight if you disagree with any part of the report. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 and schedule your free case evaluation.

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How to read a Massachusetts Accident Report, Page 1

 

Location - Accident details recorded include date and time of crash, city/town, the number of vehicles involved and number of people injured in the accident. In addition, officers record whether an accident has occurred at an intersection, including the name of the closest landmark or intersecting street.

Vehicle 1 and Vehicle 2 - Information for all drivers and occupants involved in the accident are recorded, including the following: driver contact information, license number, vehicle make, vehicle registration number, and insurance carrier information.

The investigating officer also records each vehicle's travel direction, location of damage on vehicle, the sequence of events leading to the accident, driver contribution levels and (if applicable) citations issued at the accident scene.

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How to read a Massachusetts Accident Report, Page 2

Crash Diagram - Law enforcement officials draw a pictorial diagram of the accident scene, including vehicle direction and relative distance to intersections and fixed objects.

Crash Narrative - The officer describes how and why the accident occurred, including details that may reveal if a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted by a cell phone or driving recklessly moments before the accident.

Witnesses - Police officers record contact information for witnesses, including whether they've made an official statement to law enforcement officials.

Property Damage - If property damage was reported at the scene of the accident, the owner's contact information and a description of damaged property is included in the accident report.

Truck and Bus Information - If a truck or bus was involved in the accident, details regarding the vehicle are recorded here. This included registration number, vehicle weight and body type, driver credentials and contact information for the vehicle's carrier.

Click here to download a printable version of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Police Report.

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Type of Accident - The "R" box contains information about what type of accident occurred. The investigating officer can select one of 17 codes. These include some of the most common types of car accidents, including "09" for "Rear-end," "10"  for "Head-on," "13" for "Pedestrian" and "14" for "Jackknife" accident. Make sure the code entered here is correct. And contact us if you have any questions of any kind about your crash.

Accident Severity - The police officer investigating your car accident can choose from three answers to describe your accident: "Fatal," "Injury" and "PDO." PDO stands for property damage only. That means no one was injured in your accident. If you disagree, contact us. We can help set the record straight. Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to deny claims from people injured in accidents. They don't intimidate us. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and get clients the money they right fully deserve.

Verify Information - Details matter. Insurance companies carefully read every single line in an accident report, looking for inconsistencies and any reason to deny your claim. That's why it's critical you review even basic information, including your name, address and driver's license number.

Contributing Factor - The "W" box contains some of the most important information about your accident. The code entered here indicates the cause of your accident. The Investigating police officer can choose from 31 different codes number from 1 to 31.These codes include "02" for "Speed Too Fast for Conditions," "04" for "Under the Influence," "08" for "Following Too Closely" and "12" for "Fell Asleep." Many other factors often result in a collision. We can help no matter how the other driver caused your accident.

Hazardous Materials - This box is reserved for information about hazardous materials. Highway accidents involving tractor-trailers and commercial trucks sometimes involve hazardous materials. If hazardous materials were released, make sure you and anyone else involved in your accident was not exposed to dangerous chemicals.

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Accident Diagram - This section of the report contains space for the investigating officer to draw a picture of your accident. Make sure the officer's diagram of your accident is accurate. If you know that the vehicles were positioned differently, contact us. We can work with you and help set the record straight. Remember, insurance companies rely on this report to determine who was at fault in your accident.

Accident Narrative - This space provides room for the investigating officer to describe your accident. Insurance companies carefully scrutinize this section of your CT Uniform Police Accident Report. The precise words the officer uses to describe your accident can be the difference between your claim being accepted or denied. Don't allow insurance companies to dictate what happens to you. Fight back. Contact us. We can make sure your version of what happened becomes part of the official record. We're on your side.

Click here to download a printable version of the Connecticut Auto Accident Report.