If you were involved in a car accident in Ohio, the police will need to fill out a traffic crash report. Understandably, you may find the Ohio Public Safety Traffic Crash Report difficult to interpret at first glance. This document created by the Ohio Department of Public Safety not only contains a wealth of information about the accident, but also uses a number of confusing abbreviations and codes to describe what happened.
The first page of the car accident report records basic details such as the driver’s name, address, and vehicle information. It also indicates the type of crash that occurred, the exact location of the accident, and information on the conditions of light, road, and weather. Under the “Crash Severity” section, the officer will need to choose among three options: “Fatal,” “Injury,” and “PDO”—or Property Damage Only.
The second page of the car accident report covers the accident in more detail. It includes descriptions of the damage sustained, Pre Crash Actions, Contributing Circumstances, and the Sequence of Events. The “Hit/Skip Unit” box is marked if the situation is a hit and run.
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The third page of the report contains data on all motorists, non-motorists and occupants, such as names and addresses of the motorists, license plate numbers, vehicle information, and insurance details. This page also indicates whether there is an injury, and if medical attention was given. Other valuable information found in this section are where you were seated at the time of the accident, and whether the driver was tested for drugs or alcohol.
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The fourth section of the car accident report, known as the Occupant/Witness Addendum, lists the names and other details of any passengers in the accident and witnesses to the crash. It also lists other information such as their seating position in the accident, and which medical facility they were taken to if they sustained injuries.
The traffic crash report serves as valuable evidence for proving negligence in personal injury cases. In fact, insurance companies generally scrutinize the traffic crash report before determining appropriate compensation for your accident. It is essential, therefore, to understand what it actually says and to ensure that all information is correct.
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If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s highly recommended you consult with an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights to full and fair compensation are protected. The Fitch Law Firm has been serving vehicle accident victims throughout Ohio for 30+ years… call toll-free (855) LAW-OHIO for a free initial consultation.