How to Read Your Tennessee Car Accident Report
Experienced attorneys who can help you make sense of your crash
While some driving situations are riskier than others, bad car accidents can happen anywhere. That’s why you should know how to read a Tennessee accident report and what to do in the immediate aftermath of a car crash.
The Law Office of Eric Beasley has won compensation for thousands of car accident victims in Metro Nashville and Davidson County and offers free consultations.
Initial Impact - What Happens Right After a Car Accident
Following a car accident, law enforcement officers will typically be the first emergency responders dispatched to the scene. The responding officers will ensure that everyone is safe and also complete a Traffic Crash Report. The information in this report can be very useful when you seek to recovering compensation.
An ambulance may also be dispatched to the scene of the accident to provide emergency medical care and/or transport injured people to an area hospital, such as a St. Thomas Hospital or Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Cooperate with law enforcement and medical professionals to create an unbiased paper trail of crash and medical records. The closer to the accident that these reports/records are made, the stronger the evidence is for your case.
Tennessee Traffic Crash Report
The information in this report will be used by insurance companies to determine fault in the accident. The investigating police officer will also refer to this report if asked to give a deposition or to testify at trial. That’s why it’s important to get a copy of your accident report as soon as possible and to review it to see if the information is accurate.
The multipage report is often laced with police jargon and includes statements from the people involved in the crash, witnesses, and an account of the incident.
Understanding the Report
An experienced attorney can go over the report and explain how it helps your case. Have your accident report ready when you call The Law Office of Eric Beasley for a free consultation about your car accident and your legal rights.
Attorney Beasley has a reputation for being an honest straight talker. After more than 20 years of practicing car accident and personal injury law in Tennessee, he can make sense of your crash report, put your situation into perspective, and help you understand your options for recovering financial compensation.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us.
Crash Report Page 1
The top of the page will include the date, time and location of the crash, as well as the responding law enforcement agency.
The report-taking officer will note the total number of vehicles involved, the total number of vehicle occupants and non-occupants involved, the total number of people killed, the total number of people injured and the total amount of people uninjured.
This page will also include information about the accident location – such as the name of the roadway and nearest mile marker.
The officer would note if the accident occurred in a work zone or obstruction zone and if any workers were present. There is also a section to note weather conditions, light conditions, the manner of collision and collision factors.
The bottom of the page will include information about the investigating officer, including name and badge number.
Crash Report Page 2
The top of the page will include information about the drivers, including name, contact information, driver’s license number, license status, safety equipment used, whether the driver was ejected, whether the driver was trapped and had to be extricated, whether the driver was injured and whether the driver was transported to a hospital.
Underneath, there is a section that includes driver conditions and actions that contributed to the crash. Below that, there will be information about any drug or alcohol testing, including the results. There is also a section for the officer to record any driver violations.
The bottom of the page will include vehicle information. This includes the make, model, year, color, vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number. There is also space for the officer to note insurance information.
Click here to download a printable version of the How To Read Your Tennessee Car Accident Report infographic.
Crash Report Page 3
The top of the page has information about vehicle damage and roadway characteristics. These include the most harmful event, the events leading to the crash, the point of first impact and the extent of damage, including an estimate in dollars. The officer will also note if the vehicle was towed and include information about any trailers that were attached. In Nashville, vehicles towed following a crash often end up at Nashville’s Vehicle Management Solutions lot on Freightliner Drive.
There is also space on the report for the officer to record the travel direction, roadway surface type, number of lanes, trafficway hazards, traffic control devices, roadway signs and posted speed limit.
The middle of the page has space for the officer to include information about the commercial carrier, if a truck or bus was involved in the crash. This includes the carrier's name and address and whether any hazardous materials were being transported.
At the bottom of the page, there will be a narrative describing how the accident occurred, based on the officer’s investigation.