How to Read Your Massachusetts Car Accident Crash Report

Being in a car accident is never fun. If the police came to the accident location in Massachusetts, it is likely a Motor Vehicle Crash Police Report was created by the Police Officer at the scene laying out the details of your accident.

Unfortunately, Motor Vehicle Crash Police Reports can be it is difficult to understand the exact terms, descriptions and code numbers used by the officer, and you are wondering how to read your Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Report.

At Cava Law Firm, our experienced attorneys will help you understand how to read your Massachusetts car accident crash report by identifying the important aspects of it and explaining what everything means..

For more information, call us today at (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282) for a free consultation.

How Do I Get a Police Report in Massachusetts?

Before you can get a police report, you inform the authorities that the accident occurred. If you are involved in a minor accident, this is not required. But if your car accident involved any of the following, you must report it within five days of the crash:

  • A death
  • Any meaningful injury
  • Property or vehicle damage over $1,000.

The last point is that you should report almost any accident, even if it doesn’t seem particularly serious. Almost any amount of damage will cost at least $1,000. If two cars are involved, it only takes $500 worth of damage on each car to pass that threshold since there is no way to accurately determine the value of the damage to either vehicle.

Meanwhile, at the scene of the accident, it is better to assume that the total value of the damage is over $1,000 and report the crash.

The easiest way to report the crash is to call 911 and request a police officer at the scene of the accident. You must provide your contact information and basic details about the accident along with your insurance company to the other party before leaving the accident scene.

Once you have spoken to the officer, ask them, “When will the report be ready, and how do I get a copy of this motor vehicle crash police report from your police department?” A Springfield motorcycle accident lawyer can often assist with this process if you encounter any difficulties. They should be able to give you information about where the local precinct is and what times are best for collecting that document. Sometimes the way to get a copy of this report is different depending on the city or town.

Sometimes, however, police will not arrive at the accident scene. If this is the case, you can still report the crash using the online system on the official Massachusetts website. At Cava Law Firm, we can assist you with this process. The most important information your need to file a report is the other vehicle drivers name, owner of vehicle name (if different from the driver), license plate number, car description and insurance company. If you cannot write everything down at the scene, take pictures of the car, license plate, and the other drivers’ license.

Filing the report is free, and the website answers your question, “How do I get a police report in Massachusetts?” The site has a page where you can request a crash report online by providing some basic information and paying a small fee.

How to Read Your Massachusetts Car Accident Report

First Page: Basic Information

The document starts by collecting basic information about the accident’s time, date, and location. That information is all recorded in the upper left-hand portion of the report and is easy to understand.

Underneath that is precise location information for the crash. The left or right side should be filled in, but not both, depending on whether the crash occurred at an intersection or not. Read this section carefully and ascertain whether this matches your memory of the accident. If it does not, report this error as soon as possible.

First Page: Vehicle and Damage Information

The next section includes details about the cars being driven, who was driving them, and what damage the vehicles sustained. You should easily be able to confirm your name, vehicle information, and the corresponding information for the other driver.

One of the more obscure lines in which you should take special interest is labeled “Citation # (If Issued).” This line, along with the information listed in the “Driver Contributing Code” box, will usually be used by the insurance company to determine fault in the accident.

Codes definitions are available online. At Cava Law Firm, we will help you go over the codes and what they mean to you being involved in an accident. These codes can help support your claim as to fault of the accident as interpreted by the Police Officer at the scene. Sometimes the officer is not always right, and we have had to dispute the interpretation in court.

The passenger information at the bottom of the page reiterates some of the previous details about operators and lists any injuries anyone suffered in the car. It is very important to verify all passengers in your vehicle. Sometimes Police Officers do not include all passengers of a vehicle, and this can lead to issues down the road with the insurance companies and making claims for their injuries.

Second Page: Crash Description

The top half of the second page is a detailed description of how your accident occurred. The Police Officer at the accident scene will have drawn a rough diagram of the crash and described it in words. If you do not understand how to read your police accident report diagram, do not worry, we can help to explain it to you

The written narrative should be straightforward and explain the events of the crash as best the investigator could put them together. Compare that description to your recollection to determine whether the report needs to be corrected.

Second Page: Witnesses, Property Damage, and Commercial Information

These sections are only filled out if there were witnesses, non-vehicle property damage, or if a commercial vehicle was involved in the crash. The details of the above information will be listed in this area.

Third Page

The final page of the document duplicates the majority of the information found on the initial page. This page exists so a police officer could provide it to you if they created the report while at the scene of the accident. This means that you immediately have some of the information in the report and can update or contest it if it needs modifications.

If you have been handed this page while you are still at the accident scene, you should ask to compare it to the first page of the report to ensure that the information on it was properly duplicated. If there are any mistakes, point them out before the officer leaves.

Additionally, this page also provides you with instructions on how to request an official copy of the police report once it has been filed. While this information is available online, having a physical copy for your records is helpful.

It may be quite a bit of time before you can access a digital copy of this information, and this document will help your lawyer. Since you are keeping this for your records, you should also ask the police officer who wrote the report to write their name and badge number on the page to ensure that you have that information if you need it later.

Why Choose Us

If you have been involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, you could be suffering from major medical bills and high vehicle repair costs. In addition to guiding you towards the right providers to get your vehicle back on the road with a reputable repair shop, our experienced staff, including a Springfield medical malpractice lawyer, can assist if you’re dealing with any medical malpractices related to your accident injuries.

Our Springfield car accident lawyer is particularly skilled in handling cases in the Springfield area, where “Winning is NO Accident!” We know how to read your police accident report and will use that information to prove that you are owed compensation for the harm you suffered in the crash. Do not delay after being in a car accident in Massachusetts.

Call our winning team of lawyers immediately at (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282) to schedule a free consultation about your auto accident case, including guidance on collision and comprehensive auto insurance claims. We ensures you receive the support and advice necessary to navigate the complexities of your situation.

Attorney Jennifer L. Cava-Foreman

Attorney Jennifer L. Cava-Foreman would like to take the guesswork out of choosing a lawyer by letting the facts and her winning verdicts speak for themselves. Attorney Cava-Foreman is known in the local courts and has firsthand experience with many types of cases ranging from personal injury to criminal defense. Attorney Cava-Foreman understands that every case and every client is different. Whether a client is injured or mixed up in a criminal matter, she will provide the legal advice needed and stand up for her client in court. [ Attorney Bio ]

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