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How Can I Understand the Crash Report from My Car Accident in Phoenix, Arizona?

When one is involved in a car accident in Phoenix, Arizona, the law enforcement officials who respond to the incident will fill out a series of documents and forms known as a crash report. It is a written record of the incident from the official’s point of view and serves as a key document that insurance providers use to make decisions about the injured person’s case or insurance claim. A crash report may be baffling if one is not accustomed to the structure and vocabulary. Below, we discuss the key elements of the car accident report.

A Preliminary Report on a Car Accident in Phoenix, Arizona

When police officers respond to a vehicle collision, they must fill out an Accident Information Exchange Form prior to the crash report. This is a preliminary report that has an incident number on the lower left-hand side of the form along with the information of the responding officer.

This form further lists basic information regarding the incident, such as the location, the names of those involved, the model, make, and license plate numbers of the cars involved, where the vehicles have been towed to, and whether or not the car accident involved any injuries.

Basic Information Included in the Crash Report

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The crash report in Arizona is divided into several sections.

  • Section One

Section 1 comprises basic identifying information regarding the crash. It has space for the date and hour of the incident and lists a National Crime Information Center number that can be used to identify the cars involved in the collision.

Section 1 also includes the officer’s ID number and an Agency Report Number. This is an important number as it helps one locate all the paperwork related to the incident.

  • Section Two

In section 2, one will find a basic summary of the car accident, such as the number of vehicles involved, and the total injuries and fatalities that occurred as a result of the car accident in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Section Three

Section 3 covers the general location of the incident.

  • Section Four

This section lists the cars involved in the accident. The responding law enforcement official will assign a number to each car. The numbers serve as shorthand for the officer’s use in writing the accident narrative, which is an important part of the crash report. For each car, the report will list:

  • Driver and ownership details
  • Model, make and VIN number
  • Insurance information

This section will also note if a driver was injured, along with the estimate of injury severity, and the posted speed limit and official estimated speed.

  • Section Five

Section 5 of the crash report lists any passengers who were involved in the incident and assigns them a numerical seating position in the vehicle.

  • Section Six

This section lists any property damage that occurred other than the damage to the cars.

  • Section Seven

This is where one will find the police officer’s badge number, name, and agency.

Page Two of the Arizona Crash Report

On page two, the officer will list witnesses and their contact details, as well as any related charges and any car that was mentioned under a provision of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Blocks 10 through 24 on page two of the report are a series of small boxes that list relevant accident-related information. There are sections for:

  • Manner of the crash impact
  • Light condition
  • Weather conditions
  • Direction that the car was travelling
  • Road surface condition
  • Road grade
  • Contributing circumstances
  • Violations
  • Car action or maneuver and the location of pedestrians

Page Three of the Car Accident Report

The final page of the report contains the following sections that are filled out by the officer:

  • Areas of the vehicle that were damaged
  • Diagrams for the official to identify the damage caused to the cars
  • Information about lane configuration, roadway alignment, any extrication or ejections
  • The sequence of events that led up to the moment of impact in the crash. This section has pre-assigned numbers for certain events, such as fire or explosion, rollover, turnover, cargo loss, or jackknife.
  • Example sequences of the crash and how the corresponding numbers show what happened during a car crash

The Crash Diagram and Accident Narrative

The report for a car accident in Phoenix, Arizona, will also have a summary of the crash, including important information such as:

  • When the crash occurred
  • Who was involved in the crash
  • A summary of witness statements
  • Tests performed by the law enforcement officer

The description is written like a narrative, or story, from the point of view of the attending officer. If one disagrees with the narrative, one may be able to request that the officer files a supplement to the narrative so as to correct the inaccurate information. Often, the police officer may decline to amend the report. It is a good idea to have a car accident attorney readily available, to help fight such battles.

As part of the accident description, police officers may take further measurements of the scene of the collision – especially if the incident involved major injuries, fatalities, or even drugs. In addition to skid mark and tire analysis, the law enforcement official may draw a diagram of the accident that will depict the location of the cars involved in the crash on the road as well as the sequence of events that led up to the incident.

Furthermore, the crash report may contain any relevant traffic incident witness statements, which may even be filled out by the witnesses and not the police officer. In the witness statements, the witnesses record their contact details, explain what they were doing just before the incident, how their attention was called to the collision, and exactly what they saw when they witnessed the crash.

Discuss Your Phoenix Car Accident with an Experienced Attorney

When one is involved in a car accident in Phoenix, Arizona, details like crash reports and injury claims can be daunting. A dedicated car accident attorney from Warnock MacKinlay Law can help. Book a consultation today.

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