Personal Injury Lawyer
Columbus, Ohio

Reading Your Ohio Car Accident Report

After a car accident, you may not know exactly what to do to make sure your rights are protected. At the Smith Law Office, we want to help. As a service, we are offering a sample accident report with our comments for you to use as a guide. Your Ohio Traffic Crash Report may be difficult to interpret. We hope this guide makes it easier for you.

This important document contains information scrutinized by insurance companies. You should carefully review the document as well. If you need more help interpreting your report, we would be happy to help you, free of charge. Call 614-874-1056 to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Find out how Scott Elliot Smith can help today.

Note: Your accident report may be a more recent version than the sample form we are using. Again, feel free to call us if you have any questions about your report.

Officers record where the crash occurred, including the Crash Location, Day of Week and City Name. If the crash resulted in an injury or fatality, it is recorded at the top of the page.

Information for all Motorists/Non-Motorists and Occupants is collected. This includes motorist names and addresses, license plate numbers, insurance information, vehicle information and whether involved parties were charged with an offense at the accident scene.

The following information is collected by officers:

  • Motorist (type of vehicle involved)
  • Most damaged area of vehicle
  • Point of impact
  • Action leading to the crash
  • Contributing circumstances
  • Vehicle defects (if applicable)
  • Collision details (who or what was hit)
  • Vehicle direction
  • Driver condition
  • Road condition
  • Suspected alcohol or drug use
  • Drug test results

The responding officer records a written Narrative describing how and why the accident occurred. Carefully review this summary. It may contain information that is not recorded elsewhere on the report.

Officers draw a pictorial Diagram and note the following information: manner of the collision, weather, light conditions, and whether an accident was work- or school-zone related.

If an accident involved a Truck/Bus, information regarding the motor vehicle carrier, weight of the truck and cargo type is recorded.

Information on responding officers is recorded in the Police Action section. This includes: arrival time, officer name and date the report was filed.

Information on vehicle occupants is recorded by officers in Boxes E-M. Details here include contact information, possible injuries, seating position in the vehicle and whether safety restraints were used.

The officer who responded to your wreck may fill out an additional Diagram/Narrative to provide a pictorial account of how your accident occurred. This includes vehicle direction, relative distance to intersections, and possible driver error resulting in the crash.

If a witness to the crash gave a statement after the accident, his or her official Ohio Traffic Crash Witness Statement is recorded by police officers, as well as contact information for the witness and the police officer's signature.

Protect your rights by hiring a Columbus personal injury lawyer who will put your needs first. Call the Smith Law Office today at 614-874-1056 for a free case evaluation.

Super LawyersAmerican Association for JusticeOhio Association for JusticeOhio State Bar AssociationThe National Trial LawyersNational Board of Legal Specialty CertificationMillion MilerNational Board of Trial Advocacy