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How to Read Your Louisiana Car Accident Report

After any car crash in Louisiana, the accident report filled out by the investigating officer, called a Uniform Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Report, becomes a key piece of evidence. Even if the report itself isn’t used as evidence in court, it will likely be the basis of the investigating officer’s testimony if they are called to testify. It’s also a key piece of both the insurance company’s investigation and your own lawyer’s investigation.

Understanding your accident report is critical to the success of your claim. Here’s how to read it.

Louisiana Uniform Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Report

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/la_crash_report_rev_3_2005_sub_5_22_08.pdf 

Louisiana Accident Report page 1

Page 1

The first section gives an overview of the accident, including the date and time, location, and number of vehicles involved.

Click here to download a printable PDF of How to Read Your Louisiana Car Accident Report.

The second section is an overview of the conditions in which the crash took place, such as the road surface, weather, roadway type, and lighting. The investigating officer can select a primary and secondary factor in the crash; note that this is the officer’s professional opinion, not the final word.

If someone received emergency medical attention, it’s documented here. Note that some significant injuries may not have required emergency medical attention.

Take note of the time of notification and the time the investigating officer arrived. Often, the officer does not arrive on the scene for many minutes after the accident.

Louisiana Accident Report page 2

Page 2

The investigating officer writes a narrative describing the sequence of events in the crash, based on what the involved parties said and what the officer observed at the crash scene. Study the narrative section carefully, as it may contain details not found anywhere else in the report.

The officer also sketches a diagram of the crash, which should include each vehicle’s position and direction of travel as well as the road layout, skid marks, and other notable evidence.

Louisiana Accident Report page 3

Page 3

This page describes a single vehicle or pedestrian involved in the accident. The first section provides vehicle information, such as the vehicle identification number and license plate. (For pedestrians, this section is left blank.)

If the vehicle in question is commercial, additional information about the carrier is included here.

The next section provides the name and contact information for either the driver of the vehicle (if this page describes a vehicle) or the pedestrian. For a driver, the report notes the seating position and whether they were ejected or trapped; for a pedestrian, it notes the color of their clothing as well as demographic information. In either case, the report documents any known injuries.

If this page describes a vehicle, the remaining sections name the owner of the vehicle, the insurance policy, and any passengers. For pedestrians, the rest of the page is left blank.

Louisiana Accident Report page 4

Page 4

This page is an in-depth look at the police officer’s understanding of the factors that played a role in the accident. For instance, the officer notes if a driver was speeding, failed to yield, or was using a cell phone at the time of the crash.

On the right side, the officer notes whether a driver was suspected of drug or alcohol use and if so, if a test was performed.

The bottom of the page notes whether any citations were written in connection with the accident.

Car Accidents Assistance Accident Report

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