Accident reports, also known as collision reports or crash reports, are detailed records of automobile accidents. Accident reports are written by police officers who respond to the scene of a motor vehicle crash and contain extensive details and a general account of what led up to the collision.

How an Accident Report Can Help After a Motor Vehicle Collision

There are many reasons why law enforcement agencies keep detailed records of car crashes. These reports can be used to open an investigation if criminal activity was involved (DWI, stolen vehicle). Additionally, keeping records of auto accidents can provide helpful information that can be used to deter future criminal activity or accidents.

Collision reports can also be used by insurance companies and injured parties who file personal injury claims and want to pursue compensation for accident-related damages.

Is an Accident Report the Same Thing as a Police Report?

Police reports and accident reports are similar, but they are not the same. A police report is filed if a crime has been committed. For example, a police report would be used if an automobile accident involved a death or a motorist who was driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

A police report and other types of collision reports are vital documents that can provide a trustworthy, reliable account of an accident. Crash reports are often used when an insurance company is determining liability. A personal injury lawyer will also use an accident report if they are building a case against the other motorist or during settlement negotiations with an insurance company. 

What Information is Found in a Collision Report?

The information in a crash report can vary by state and law enforcement agency.

In most cases, it will include the following information:

  • Reporting law enforcement agency
  • The names, phone numbers, and addresses of all parties involved
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Vehicle identification numbers (VIN)
  • Witness statements
  • Driver and passenger statements
  • The location, time, and date of the crash
  • A description of any injuries sustained in the auto accident
  • A diagram of the accident scene
  • A description of each vehicle
  • A description of any injuries
  • Any traffic violations or arrests made

Do I Have to Get a Copy of My Traffic Accident Report to File an Insurance Claim?

You are not required by law to get a copy of your accident report, but doing so can help strengthen your insurance claim. The insurance company will obtain a copy of the report to determine liability and can deny a personal injury claim based on the information in the report.

By getting a copy of the report you or your personal injury attorney can use the information to prove the other driver was at-fault and should be held accountable for your automobile accident-related damages.

We have helped thousands of accident victims find their reports, along with legal and medical assistance with trusted professionals.

Our resources are free & open to the public for sharing with friends and family members who have recently been in an accident.

If you are asking yourself “how do I obtain my crash report” from your recent car accident, click here and get started.

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