Understanding the Motor Vehicle Accident report

For most car accidents, the police officer responding will take the information and prepare a Motor Vehicle Accident report.  The report details the parties in the accident and provides an short description of what happened.  There are a number of codes that are filled out in the report.  These codes provide a lot of information including road conditions, the weather, how the drivers were driving and the condition of the vehicles in the accident.  There will also be a diagram depicting the accident and details of charges if any.  Usually the first driver listed in the police report is considered to be the at fault party.    Where there are very serious injuries sustained by a person involved in the accident, or a fatality, then the police will expand the investigating team to include accident reconstruction specialist to provide a more detailed and comprehensive report examining the accident and determining liability for the accident.  This report will provide a detailed review of skid marks, car damage, where the cars have ended up following the accident and other evidence of the accident.  The accident reconstruction specialist will be able to provide an estimate of speed from reviewing the car damage and other markings at the scene. They will also be able to provide what the sequences of events were that led to the accident.   It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer as the assessment of liability is a crucial step in a personal injury claim.  The personal injury lawyer will obtain a copy of the police investigation report as soon as it is available.  In addition, a personal injury lawyer will consider bringing in an accident reconstruction specialist to critique the police report and prepare an independent report providing for a reconstruction of the car accident.

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