In a motor vehicle accident, a police accident report serves as a key piece of evidence in determining how the crash occurred and who was at fault. This is why it is crucial for you to report your car crash, obtain a copy of the police report, and ensure that this document contains accurate information.
Here’s a guide on how to read a Pennsylvania police accident report, also known as Form AA 500 – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Police Crash Report Form.
Breakdown of the Report
The PA police accident report typically has five to six pages, and in some cases, with special additional pages as needed. Each page is divided into horizontal blocks or boxes, and each box is numbered on the left-hand side of the page.
This contains information on the reporting officer and law enforcement agency. If you or lawyer has questions about the accident reporting, you may use this information to contact the officer.
These contain basic information about the accident, including the location, date and time, number of people and vehicles involved, and number of people injured or killed.
Here, the officer notes details about traffic signals, lights, and other devices, indicating whether they were functioning properly at the time of the accident.
Pay special attention to these blocks as they may help prove liability. These boxes contain information on the driver’s condition, such as whether he/she was intoxicated or drowsy. You can also find other accident details here, such as whether it was a hit-and-run, involved pedestrians, or involved an illegally parked vehicle.
Here is where the officer writes down the driver’s insurance and license information. More accident details can also be found here, including the point of impact, extent of damage, seating of persons involved, and deployment of airbags.
Information on the EMS service and hospital can be found here.
These blocks contain specific information on each person involved in the accident, including their seating positions, seatbelts and airbags, and whether they were transported by EMS. Some fields in these blocks use the simple codes provided at the top of the page (in the area labeled “People Information”).
Here is where the reporting officer provides a sketch of the accident scene.
These are also crucial blocks as they contain information on witnesses as well as witness narrative(s) on how the accident happened.
If you were injured in an auto accident and have questions regarding your police accident report or your injuries and rights in general, The Brod Law Firm is ready to provide clear answers. Your consultation is free. Call 1-888-HELPWIN (1-888-435-7946) today.