HOW TO READ A CO CAR CRASH REPORT
If police are called after a crash and they respond to the accident scene, they will investigate the wreck and write up an official police report. This report contains key information regarding the crash. Consequently, knowing what details to look for and how to read the report can be critical to:
- Determining who may be at fault and liable for the crash
- Identifying important witnesses
- Finding other essential evidence to support a future car accident case.
Accordingly, the following explains how to read a Colorado car accident report, revealing the crucial details to review.
If you need assistance obtaining and reading a car crash report – or if you are ready for insights regarding a potential car accident case, simply contact Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Wm Andrew “Drew” Wills II. He has more than 30 years’ experience helping accident victims secure the compensation they deserve, and he is ready to help you successfully navigate the recovery process.
Call (719) 358-2762 or Email Us for a Free, No Obligations Case Review
Colorado Car Accident Reports: Brief Background
The crash reports completed by Colorado law enforcement officers are typically 3 pages long. This blank crash report form shows how these reports are set up.
Car crash reports generally take about 90 days (from the date of a crash) to complete and be submitted to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Once submitted to the DMV, the Department will retain the report for 7 years.
You can request a copy of a crash report by completing DMV Form DR 2489 and mailing it (with the required $9 fee) to the DMV’s Records Department at:
1881 Pierce St.
Lakewood, CO 80214
How to Read Page 1 of Your Car Crash Report
Page 1 contains 18 different sections, labeled A to T (skipping I and O). These fields are divided into two columns, with A through J on the left side of the page and K through T on the right side. These sections contain the following information:
- A & K, at the top of the page, detail the date and time of the accident, the case number assigned to the crash and the responding officer’s name and badge number.
- B, L, M & N include details about where the crash occurred, the number of people injured in or killed by the crash and the date the report was issued. These sections also contain information regarding the total number of vehicles involved, as well as the name(s), drivers’ license number(s) and contact information for all of the parties involved in the wreck.
- C, D, E, P & Q include information regarding any traffic violations committed by any of the involved motorists (including whether any party was cited for drunk driving). These sections also detail the license plate number(s), vehicle identification number(s) and vehicle owner(s) of the involved vehicle(s), as well as whether any vehicles were towed after the crash (and, if so, the name of the towing company and the location to where they were towed).
- F, G, H, J & R explain the nature of the damage sustained by each of the vehicles involved in the crash. These sections also include details regarding the insurance provider and policy number for each involved motorist.
- S & T contain details regarding each of the accident victims, explaining the position each was in after the crash, whether anyone was ejected from a vehicle during the accident, whether airbags deployed and the severity of the injuries each victim sustained. This section also provides details regarding the age and gender of each victim and whether each has any restrictions associated with his or her driver’s license (like, for example, having to wear eyeglasses when driving).
How to Read Page 2 of Your Car Crash Report
Page 2 contains 13 different sections, labeled AA through NN (and, again, skipping II). These sections contain the following information:
- AA, BB, CC, HH & JJ feature a detailed description of the accident. These sections can include statements made by the involved parties and/or any witnesses to the crash. They may also contain the officer’s own observations, findings and/or conclusions regarding the wreck.
- DD, EE, FF, KK, LL & MM comprise a large grid that takes up most of Page 2. This space provides an area for the officer to sketch the accident scene, showing the position of vehicles, the points of impact and more.
- GG & NN provide fields for motor carrier information if the crash involved a commercial truck. If so, these sections will contain the carrier name, address and official Department of Transportation (DOT) number associated with the carrier.
How to Read Page 3 of Your Car Crash Report
Page 3 contains 6 different sections, which are not labeled by letter like the previous pages. These sections contain the following information:
- The first 5 sections, at the top of the page, explain whether any of the involved motorists tried to avoid the accident (like via braking or steering) and whether any hazardous materials were involved in the crash. They also detail the time emergency medical responders arrived at the scene (and then the hospital) and the nature of the roadway on which the accident occurred (like whether it took place on a road with a median, the number of traffic lanes on that road and whether traffic signals were working at the time of the collision).
- The final section, at the bottom half of the page, provides more details about the status of each party involved in the crash. Specifically, this region explains the precise position of each victim in the vehicle, the ejection path (if the victim was thrown from the vehicle), whether alcohol or drug impairment was suspected and, if so, the nature and results of any chemical testing performed at the scene. This area will also explain whether any victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Confidently Navigate the Path to Recovery: Contact a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer at Wills Law, P.C.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car crash, you need an experienced attorney on your side now. You need a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Drew Wills II.
Call (719) 633-8500 or email the firm to schedule a free, no obligations consultation and find out more about your legal options.
Skilled at protecting and advocating his clients’ rights, Drew Wills II is purposefully selective about the cases that he accepts. This is so that he can provide personal attention and the highest quality service to each of his clients.
When you partner with Attorney Drew Wills II, you can be confident that you have a highly competent attorney on your side who listens, treats you with respect and keeps you informed about your case. You can also expect professionalism, trust, confidence and integrity while Drew works diligently to bring your case to the best outcome possible.
From offices in Colorado Springs, Attorney Drew Wills II represents car crash victims and families throughout El Paso County and Colorado.