How to Read Your Massachusetts Car Accident Report
Foxborough auto accident attorney Deborah G. Kohl delivers results, one case at a time
When car accidents happen in Massachusetts, the investigating police officer will fill out an official Motor Vehicle Accident Report. The findings printed on this 2-page-long report can make a dramatic difference in how much money you receive for your accident.
Understanding your accident report can sometimes be a challenge. There are so many unfamiliar codes, terms and abbreviations. As a special service, we created the free guide below to help you and other people dealing with a serious auto accident.
We know that you want answers, not excuses. That's why we aggressively investigate every accident we handle at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl. We can review your accident report free of charge and help you decide the best course of action. Expect more. Call (508) 677-4900 and schedule a free case evaluation today.
Receiving fair compensation for an injury caused by an accident can be difficult. One of the problems is insurance companies sometimes question whether the person was actually hurt in an accident. This confusion can start if the police officer investigating your accident does not include you among the number of people injured in an accident listed in this box. Make sure the information on this document matches what actually happened in your accident.
Driver Contributing Code
Many accidents are not really accidents. One driver often does something wrong that results in a collision. Some of the most common causes of car accidents can be found here among the various codes entered in Box 24. These include 2 for "Exceeded authorized speed limit," 3 for "Disregarded traffic signs, signals, road markings," 10 for "Operating vehicle in erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive manner," 19 for "Inattention," 20 for "Distracted" and 23 for "Cellular telephone."
Make sure you verify every detail on your accident report, including personal information like your name, address and date of birth. The slightest mistake could jeopardize your ability to be fairly compensated. This also includes your "Injury Status" listed under column 32. Insurance companies pay close attention to the code entered here by the investigating officer. The codes include 1 for "Fatal Injury," 2 for "Incapacitating Injury," 3 for "Non-Incapacitating Injury," 4 for "Possible Injury," 5 for "No Injury" and 99 for "Unknown."
This section of the report provides space for the investigating officer to draw a picture of your accident. Make note of the location of the vehicles and other details on the diagram. If you disagree with the officer's depiction of your accident, contact us. We can investigate your accident and help set the record straight.
Insurance companies scrutinize this part of the accident report. Every single word the investigating officer chooses to describe your accident matters. Insurance companies often use this section as justification for denying or limiting legitimate claims filed by accident victims.
Box 42 on Page 2 of your accident form is reserved for information about hazardous materials. If hazardous materials are released, the number 1 will be marked in this box. The number 2 will appear in this box if no hazardous materials were released. The number 99 is reserved for "Unknown."