Usually, when someone is involved in a car accident, the police prepare a police report with a description of it. However, there are cases where it may be necessary for you to file an accident report yourself, either to your insurance company or to the local department of motor vehicles. To write a car accident report, you must take the time to gather accurate information so that you can describe the incident in as much detail as possible.
Part 1 of 3: Gather Information
Step 1. Get the other driver's ID and insurance information
You and he should exchange your names and your insurance information regardless of which of you was at fault. You can get this information by copying it from the other driver's insurance card.
Get the other driver's license. Make a note of their name, their home address, their date of birth, and their gender. Likewise, it is important that you have the name of the state or province where the license was issued (if applicable), its number and its expiration date. You must also provide this information about yourself
Step 2. Make a note of the information related to the vehicles involved
In the accident report, you must take note of the year, make, model and color of each of the vehicles involved, as well as be able to make a general mention of the type of vehicle: car, truck, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle.
- Take note of the details regarding the location of the damage. For example, you might write: "The sedan has a broken bumper and a dent in the rear panel."
- Also write down the license plate number of all vehicles, as well as the name of the corresponding state or province (if applicable), and the chassis number for insurance company purposes.
Step 3. Request the identification and contact information of everyone at the scene of the accident
While it is not necessary to request the driver's license number of someone who was not involved in the accident, you should be able to contact these people later if they are willing to provide a testimonial statement.
If they give you a phone number, make a note of the best time to contact them that way
Step 4. Take pictures of the scene
If you have a camera or smartphone on hand, you should photograph as much as possible the scene of the accident and the damage to the vehicles. You should also take pictures of the remains on the track, if applicable.
- Photographs should be taken as soon as possible after the accident occurs. In this way, the lighting and climate conditions will be similar. If it can be done safely, you should take pictures from more than one angle.
- You may also want to photograph everyone who was involved in the accident, which will help you later in the event that one of them claims to have been injured despite appearing to be fine at the scene of the accident.
- In case you have been injured, you should photograph your injuries as soon as possible. Ideally, do this before receiving treatment from a medical professional.
Step 5. Request statements from witnesses (if any)
In case there are people who have witnessed the accident and are willing to provide an official statement about it, you should try to speak with them as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
- The most advisable thing is to obtain the testimony of the witnesses in the same place of the accident. You can then ask for their phone number in case you need to follow up later. They are likely to forget various details if you wait until you call them later to ask for their opening statement.
- Take note of the exact location where they were when the accident occurred. Photograph the scene from where witnesses have been stationed, if possible. In this way, you can have an image from their perspective. Also take note in case there is a sign, pole, tree or any other object that has obstructed their line of sight.
Part 2 of 3: Describe the Incident
Step 1. Make a list of the names and identifying information of everyone who has been involved
Among the first things to include in the accident report are your name, your address, your phone number, your driver's license, and your insurance information.
- You should also obtain this same information from the other drivers who were involved in the accident. You should also include the name, age and gender of the pedestrians or passengers who have been involved, if applicable.
- If possible, obtain the vehicle numbers from the first responder services and the names and badge numbers of the first responder services.
Step 2. Mention the conditions in which the accident occurred
Weather, lighting, and track conditions can all play a role in determining who is to blame for a vehicle accident, so if possible, you should take note of this information based on your memory or using your photographs. as reference.
- Your city, state, or province may provide a specific form that needs to be filled out and has spaces for particular details, such as weather, lighting, and track conditions.
- Leave them blank in case you can't remember the conditions and haven't been able to take pictures instead of trying to guess or look up an old weather report. It is necessary that you can attest to each of the details that appear in the report.
Step 3. Provide details about the scene of the accident
In the report, you must specify the precise place where the accident occurred, since the location of the accident and the type of road will determine the information that will appear in the report.
- For example, in the case of an accident that occurred on an interstate highway, it would be necessary to take note of the name and address of the highway, as well as the mileage markers or any exit before or after the place of the accident. accident. Also, make a note of an estimate of the distance to the closest marker.
- If the accident occurred on an urban street, you must include a reference point and describe the street, also mentioning if there is a sidewalk or bike lane.
- In case any other property was also involved, you should describe it and its location in relation to the street.
Step 4. Give an account of what happened in chronological order
In the main section of the vehicle accident report, you will explain what both you and the other driver were doing just before the accident. While you should include as much detail as possible, your tone should remain objective and you should stick to the facts.
- For example, imagine that the other driver continued to move through an intersection and hit the side of your car when you had the right hand. In this case, you could mention that you had the preference, since this is a fact, but saying "the other driver was not paying attention" would be an opinion.
- In case there are blank spaces in your memory or you do not remember specific details, you should mention in the report that you do not remember them. This will allow you to fill in the details later if it refreshes your memory.
- You should describe what pedestrians were doing if they were involved. For example, it could be that a pedestrian has been crossing the street on the sidewalk or has run onto the track to pick up something.
Step 5. Identify the witnesses (if any)
In the event that someone witnessed the accident and provided you with a statement or their contact information at the scene of the accident, your report should include information about this person. You should mention as much of her as possible and include her name, age, and gender.
You could also describe the location of these people in relation to the scene of the accident, as well as what they witnessed. For example, at the time of the accident, the person may have been standing on the corner waiting to cross or approached afterwards
Step 6. Discuss what happened after the accident
You should describe in as much detail as possible everything that happened after the impact, including information on whether the vehicles were working or whether they were moved to the side of the track.
- If you or someone else called the local emergency number, you should include the approximate time the call was made and describe who came to the scene of the accident.
- In case paramedics have shown up, you should mention if someone was treated at the scene of the accident or if they were transferred to a hospital for further treatment.
Step 7. List in detail any injury or property damage
In the event that you or someone else was injured in the accident, you need to describe the injuries in detail, including treatment plans (if applicable). You should also include similar details regarding the damage to the vehicles and any other property from the accident.
- Roughly estimate the damage to property or vehicles involved in the accident, specifically mentioning whether you believe that the damage to a vehicle caused it to be a total loss.
- In case the accident has caused any death, you should include it in a separate list. Mention the name, age, and gender of anyone who has been injured, ranking as best you can the severity of the injuries. Describe where the injury was located on the body and what role this person played in the accident. Include the name of the hospital in case you were transferred there immediately.
Part 3 of 3: Diagram the Scene
Step 1. Make a sketch of the streets
On most accident report forms, you will find a space where you can make a diagram of how the accident occurred. If you took pictures of the scene, you can guide yourself through them to make sure you get the most accurate drawing possible.
- You should stick to the specific street or any other area where the accident occurred, but it is not necessary to include adjoining blocks or side streets if the accident did not directly involve them.
- Be careful to record the correct number of lanes and to correctly mark the traffic lights or signs.
Step 2. Orient the drawing
The drawing does not need to be to scale, but you will need to indicate in which direction they were all moving. Determine where north is based on your street drawing and mark the four directions on it.
For example, imagine the accident occurred at an intersection where you were heading north and the other car heading west. In this case, you must draw arrows for each car indicating in which direction they were traveling and write down each of these directions on the four sides of the drawing
Step 3. Position the cars on the road
After you sketch the streets, you should draw boxes that represent both your car and the others involved in the accident. You must put numbers on the cars and label yours as number 1 because you are the one who made the drawing.
If you wish, you can include boxes that represent other cars nearby but that were not involved in the accident, if that is the case, although you should not worry about including too many details. Other cars are only important to the extent that they have affected your or the other driver's ability to prevent the accident
Step 4. Mention information about the impact
It is necessary to show in the diagram how the cars collided with each other or with another property. You should include the point of impact and the speed at which approximately all the cars were traveling.
You should take note in the report if the speed at which the cars were moving is in dispute, but remain objective as to the facts you report. In case you consider that the other driver was traveling at a higher speed than he claims, you can simply say that he appeared to be traveling at one speed but claims he was traveling at another
Step 5. Make a note of the location of the witnesses (if any)
In case you have spoken with witnesses at the scene and they have agreed to provide a testimonial statement, you should place an X in the diagram where they were located and write their names and the word "witness" next to it.
- If the witnesses were in another vehicle that was not involved in the accident, draw a box representing this vehicle and place the X inside it. You should make a note of whether the witness was a passenger or the driver of the vehicle and also where they were seated.
- If the witness's view has been partially obstructed, you should include in the diagram what has obstructed it.
Step 6. Sign the accident report and include the date
Once you have finished the report, you should review it carefully to make sure that everything you have included is true and objective, as well as that it has been as detailed as possible.
- Once you sign the report and date it, you should make a copy of it for your records and then present it to the relevant authorities.
- Generally, the accident report should be submitted as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Find out if there is a deadline for this by consulting with the company or department where you should file the report.