How Do I Read My Accident Report?
If you have been injured in a car accident in the state of Louisiana, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for your losses. However, it is important that you maintain the necessary records that will serve as evidence in your case so that you are able to recover the full compensation you deserve. One of the most vital documents in any car accident claim is the accident report that the responding officer fills out, known officially as the Uniform Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Report.
When you obtain your own copy of the report, it is vital that you read through it carefully so that you can ensure that it contains no factual errors. Here’s how to read your accident report, page by page.
The first section of the accident report provides an overview of the key facts of the accident. This includes:
- The date and time of the crash
- The parish and city or town in which the crash took place
- The roadway on which the accident occurred, as well as the nearest milepost
- The number of vehicles involved in the incident
The second section of page one contains an overview of the road, weather, and lighting conditions as they existed at the time of the crash. This section will also contain the police officer’s opinion of what the primary and secondary factors in the crash were, but this opinion is not necessarily the final word on this matter.
Toward the bottom of the page, the officer will note whether anyone has received any emergency medical attention as a result of the crash. The bottom of the page is also where you will find the identifying information belonging to the officer who responded to the accident.
The top half of page two contains a narrative that the officer has written describing the sequence of events in the accident. This narrative is based on what the parties involved reported to the officer, as well as on what the officer observed at the site of the crash. When re-reading the report, it is important to pay close attention to this narrative, as it can often contain details that you will not be able to find elsewhere in the report.
The bottom half of page two will contain a sketched diagram of the crash. This will include the position and direction of travel of each vehicle. It will also show the layout of the road, skid marks from the accident, and any other visible evidence of note.
On this page, you will find a description of a single vehicle or pedestrian that was involved in the accident. For vehicles, the first section will include information, such as the vehicle identification number and license plate, as well as the company if it is a commercial vehicle.
The second section provides the name and contact information of the vehicle’s driver or of the pedestrian, as well as any known injuries.
The remaining sections name the vehicle’s owner, the insurance policy, and any passengers.
The final page of the accident report contains a detailed look at the responding officer’s understanding of the factors that contributed to the accident. This is where the officer will have noted whether the driver was exceeding the speed limit, using a cell phone, or failing to yield when the crash occurred. This page also contains information about whether a driver was suspected of driving while intoxicated and whether a test was performed to make such a determination.
The bottom of this page contains information about whether any citations were given in association with the crash.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a car accident in Louisiana and the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your losses. You can file a claim to pursue compensation that can help you pay for medical expenses, recover lost wages due to missed time at work, and address the physical and mental pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the accident.
The experienced Louisiana car accident attorneys of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC have the knowledge and skill you need to help make your claim go as smoothly and successfully as possible. We will assist you with all the legal procedures in your claim, including correcting any mistakes there may be in your accident report. Contact a member of our legal team today by calling 337-800-8800 or by filling out our online form for a free consultation.