How to Read Your Indiana Auto Accident Report
Advice you can use from experienced Indiana attorneys
When Indiana police respond to a car accident, the responding officer fills out an Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report. This report becomes a critical piece of evidence in your injury claim. Insurance companies use the report as part of their determination of fault for the accident. While the report itself is usually not used as evidence in legal proceedings, if the officer is called to testify in a deposition or at trial (which may be months or years later), that testimony will most likely be based on the report.
Reading this 3-page-long document can be quite confusing, especially if you have never been in a motor vehicle accident in Indiana before. The experienced accident attorneys at Hocker Law, LLC know what your report means and can explain it to you. We can work with you to develop a plan to address all the legal issues associated with your accident.
You need to know what your report says – and what to do with it. We’ve prepared this guide to help you read and understand your Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report.
The Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report
This first page is an overview of the accident, including the time and location, the number of vehicles involved, the contributing circumstances and road conditions, and any non-motorists involved. Remember that when the investigating officer chooses a “primary cause,” that is the officer’s professional opinion, not the final word on liability. Further investigation may tell a different story.
Review the second page carefully, paying close attention to the drawing of the accident. Are the vehicles positioned correctly? Does the narrative tell the story of what happened accurately? Closely reading the narrative is important because officers often use it as a “catch-all” for any details that don’t fit elsewhere in the report.
A “unit” is a vehicle involved in the crash – so one copy of this page will be used for each vehicle involved. Remember that only the most severe injury to each driver is documented in the report, and not all injuries may be immediately known when the report is written, so this is not the final say on injuries. We may need to cross-reference information on this page with other information elsewhere in the report to get the full picture of what happened.
Click here to download a printable PDF of How to Read Your Indiana Auto Accident Report.