How to Read Your Maryland Car Accident Report
Our attorneys can help you find the facts that matter to your case
If you were involved in a serious car accident in Maryland, a local police officer or state trooper from the Maryland State Police likely responded to your car crash. If they did, they likely filled out a car accident report.
Officially known as the State of Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Report, this three-page-long document can often make a big difference in the outcome of your car accident injury claim or lawsuit. This is why it’s critical that you carefully review this document to make sure it’s correct and accurately reflects what happened.
However, understanding what each line on the report means and how it could impact your legal case might not be clear. This is why we strongly recommend reviewing your accident report with one of our experienced Maryland car accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan. Our lawyers can review your report with you, free of charge, as part of your free case evaluation. So don’t delay. Contact us today. We’re here to help you get your life back on track.
Understanding Your State of Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Report
When & Where
The first four lines of the report explain when and where your car accident occurred in Maryland. Information about whether anyone was seriously injured or died in the accident, plus the name of the investigating police officer can be found here as well. Make sure these basic facts are correct.
These small boxes running down the left side of the report are reserved for describing the road and condition it was in at the time of the crash. Was the road straight or curved? Were the potholes or was the road in good shape? Was it a two-lane road or a divided highway? Make sure these details are right.
The investigating police officer will draw a diagram of the accident in this section. Pay close attention to how the vehicles are positioned in the drawing. Do the vehicles in the drawing look like how the vehicles were positioned at the time of the crash? You were there. You know where and how your car was hit. Make sure this diagram is accurate.
The investigating officer will write a description of the collision here. The words the officer uses matter a lot. Insurance companies often carefully read this section when deciding who was at fault and who caused the collision. If you disagree with the investigating police officer’s description, we can work with you to set the record straight.
Details about each vehicle involved in the report can be found here. If you were involved in a crash caused by another driver, one vehicle will be called Unit 1. The other vehicle will be called Unit 2. Make sure that the entire report, especially the accident description, reflects what the driver of each vehicle was doing at the time of the crash.
Passengers & Witnesses
If there were any passengers in any of the vehicles involved in the crash, their names and addresses can be found here. So can the names of any witnesses who saw your accident. If someone saw your accident, make sure their name is here so their statement can be part of the official accident record.
Many of the boxes on Page 1 of your accident report include a two-digit number or letter. These numbers and letters are codes used to describe everything from where your accident took place (Boxes 16 and 19) to whether the driver who caused your collision was under the influence of alcohol (Boxes 52 and 53). Make sure the correct codes appear in the correct boxes on Page 1.
More codes for lines 63 to 105 on Page 1 can be found on this page. These codes and lines include the type of vehicle involved (line 75), contributing circumstances such as whether the driver was speeding or under the influence (line 82) and the severity of the damage to a vehicle (line 94). Check these codes on Page 1. Are they accurate? Is this what happened?
Details Matter. Our Law Firm Can Set The Record Straight
Every single line on your official Maryland car accident report matters. If even one line is not right, that could influence the outcome of your car accident injury claim or lawsuit. Our Maryland car accident attorneys can review your report and make sure the facts are right. We can also conduct our own independent investigation and uncover details that the investigating police officer might have missed.
Click here to download a printable PDF of these instructions.