Tips on How to Review an Accident Report

Consider the following scenario: You’re cautiously driving along. Upon approaching the entrance of a shopping center, a car suddenly darts out into the street. You stomp on the brakes, which causes the tires to spin underneath just as your car slams into that other car. Immediately, you put your car in park, switch on your emergency flashers and call 911. After an officer arrives and gathers pertinent information, he presents a card containing his name and the report number. The officer advises the accident report will be available online in up to seven business days.

Identifying these three key areas on your accident report is crucial!

Is your name listed? This is particularly important for passengers. If your name is not listed on the police report, there is no proof you were in the vehicle at the time of the accident. This could present an issue for individuals who sustained injuries as a result of the accident.

What is the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company and policy number? Whether your vehicle has damage or you’re pursuing compensation for a personal injury, you must have accurate insurance information in order to start an insurance claim. Use Google to locate a claims telephone number. Call and set up a claim as soon as possible.

Read the narrative carefully. This paragraph summary is typically located on the 2nd to last page of the report. It contains details regarding how the accident happened. Make sure the facts are accurate based on how the vehicles are numbered.

If your accident report reveals incomplete or inaccurate information in either of these areas, immediately contact the law enforcement agency responsible. As a citizen you have a right to request the responding officer amend the error or omission. Remember it is best to request an amendment as soon as possible. Oftentimes, officers are more likely to modify reports when amendments are requested in a timely fashion.