Here are some things to look for when you’re reading a police report:
- Start by reading the narrative section of the report. This will tell the ‘story’ of the accident in chronological order, and will include statements made by witnesses. The narrative will give you an overview of the accident (as seen by the police) and help you understand other parts of the report.
- At the end of the narrative the officer’s name, badge number, and department should be listed, along with the date of the report. If you believe that the report contains errors, start by contacting the officer who wrote the report to request corrections.
- At the end of the report there may be an addendum, which is a continuation of the narrative. This is where the police add information discovered after the original narrative section was completed.
- The cover page of the report will include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth of the parties involved in the accident. The cover page will also include the date, time, and location of the car accident. Insurance information should also be listed here.
- The section after the cover page will list details about the car accident like points of impact and tire impressions, and estimated speeds of the vehicle(s) involved.
Although you can get a police report yourself, your personal injury attorney can do this for you. Your attorney can also request corrections to any errors in the report.