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How To Write An Accident Report

Person writing accident report

Usually, a police officer will be called to the scene of an accident. If a police detective is not available, drivers might need to write their own accident reports to ensure there is documentation of the car accident. Here is how to write an accident report.

List Essential Details

Usually, if an accident was minor, then participants might not want to bother calling the police. For insurance and legal purposes, it is wise for someone to fill out an accident report. If you have been in an accident, there are three main categories of information that you will need to report:

  1. Environmental circumstances
  2. People at the location
  3. Vehicles involved

Try to be objective. Write down the time, date, and location of the accident. You will need to be very detailed with not only the city, county, and state, but the cross streets and exact position on the street where the accident occurred. Note any debris or skid marks also. Take pictures if you can.

Environmental factors could include the amount of light (natural or artificial), street conditions, amount of traffic, and weather. Note any significant landmarks, especially property that might have damaged: signs, fences, or buildings. If there was property damage, including the name of the owner, address, and estimated cost of damage.

Next, note the primary drivers involved in the accident – reporting and other parties. Other people listed would include passengers, drivers not-involved, and bystanders. Include name, age, gender, home address, and contact information for all the people. For the drivers add driver’s license number and insurance policy. List all injuries (and deaths) with the name, severity, and hospital if applicable.

Create a Map Diagram of the Scene

The third stage is to recreate the position, velocity, and vehicles on the scene. What is the vehicle type, make, model, and year? Include license plate information, number, issuing state, and year of expiration.

List the original location of each vehicle on the site and velocity (direction and speed) before impact. Next, note the position of all parties at impact. Finally, show where the vehicles ended up after the accident. Describe the damage to the vehicles along with the cost of repairing them. Can the vehicle be salvaged?

People should be able to understand what happened by reading your accident report. In the end, sign and date your accident report to make it official.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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