Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers – Reading Your Accident Report

Our attorneys build strong cases to help you recover compensation

If you were hurt in a car accident in Pittsburgh or anywhere in western Pennsylvania that was caused by negligence, you deserve financial compensation. Recovering compensation can be complicated. Negligent drivers deny doing anything wrong and insurance companies are not on your side. That’s why you need an experienced and aggressive car accident attorney to fight for you.

At Romanow Law Group, we know the challenges and obstacles that injury victims face after a car accident. The insurance company has its own version of what happened and will try to use that against you. They may even blame you for what happened. That’s why our legal team investigates your accident to get the facts.

One of the most important things we look at is the crash report that police filled out after responding to your accident. An officer will record many details about your crash. This is valuable information as we build a case to help you recover financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.

The accident report will include information about:

  • Accident details
    The report will include basic information about the crash, such as the time and location where it occurred, as well as road and weather conditions. An officer will also note if there were any traffic signals or posted speed limits. There will also be a narrative and diagram that gives an account of how the accident happened, as understood by the officer.
  • The Other Driver
    The other driver’s name, address, contact information, and license number will be included. There will also be information about the car that was involved, including make, model, and year, as well as the license plate number and VIN. The report will also note whether distraction or alcohol use was a factor in the accident.
  • Injuries
    The report will note whether drivers and passengers were injured and the hospital that they were taken to for medical attention.
    Contact the police department that responded to your accident to get a copy of the report. There will be a fee. Review the report carefully. If you disagree with anything in it, or if there are errors, let us know immediately.

Our experienced car accident attorneys are ready to go through your accident report carefully for information that can help your claim. We also gather evidence and interview witnesses. If needed, we consult accident reconstruction experts and other specialists who can help us understand how your crash happened.

We use the information we gather from the accident report and other sources to build a strong case that holds the negligent driver accountable. We then demand compensation for the injuries you have suffered. If the insurance company won’t negotiate a settlement that meets your need, we are ready to fight for you in court.

Learn more about how we can help your case. Call 1-844-GET-MORE or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers. We can review your accident report, go over your legal options and answer any questions you have.

How to read your Pennsylvania accident report

Page 1 (AA 500 1)

In the top block, you’ll find the name of the investigating officer, as well as the dispatch time and arrival time.

Block 2 will list details about the accident, including location, the number of traffic units involved (including vehicles and other road users) and the number of people involved. The officer will also list the number of injuries and fatalities.

On the rest of this page, the officer will provide additional information about the crash location. This includes street names, landmarks, and GPS coordinates. There will also be information about any traffic control measures or lane closures.

Reading Your Accident Report page 1

Unit Page (AA 500 2)

This page is used to record information for one unit involved in the accident. (A unit is a vehicle or other road user.) The unit type will be recorded in Block 10 at the top of the page.

In Block 11, there will be more information about the operator of the unit. For example, the officer will record the driver’s name, contact information and license number. The officer will include the result of an alcohol test, if one was given. There will also be information about the driver’s physical condition – for example, whether the driver was fatigued or seemed to have been drinking or on medication.

Block 12 includes information about the vehicle. This includes the license plate number, VIN and insurance information. There will also be information about the vehicle’s direction of travel and position at the time of the crash, and any damage that was sustained.

Reading Your Accident Report page 2

Person Page (AA 500 3)

In Block 13, the officer will note the EMS agency and medical facility that provided treatment if there were injuries.

Block 14 provides information about each person who was involved in the accident. This includes drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Their names, date of birth and contact information will be provided. The officer will also note whether the person was transported by emergency medical services to a hospital. Additional information will include injury severity, seat position, safety equipment use, and whether a person was ejected from or trapped in the vehicle.

Reading Your Accident Report page 3

Page Five (AA 500 4)

In Block 15, the officer will describe the crash, indicating whether it was a rear-end or other type of accident, and provide information about the road and weather conditions.

In Blocks 16 and 17, the officer will provide a sequence of events that led to the collision. The officer will also note the first harmful event as well as the most harmful event.

Blocks 18 and 19 note actions and other factors that may have caused the crash. These include environmental and road conditions and vehicle failures. The officer will also note driver actions, such as running a red light, tailgating, speeding and careless passing or lane change.

Reading Your Accident Report page 4

Diagram & Narrative (AA 500 5)

In Block 20, the officer will include a diagram of the crash, noting the position of all vehicles and the directions they were traveling.

In Block 21, the officer will write down the names and contact information of any witnesses. Below, the officer will provide a narrative of how the crash happened.

Reading Your Accident Report page 5

Click here to download a printable version of the "How to Read Your Pennsylvania Accident Report" infographic.