The law in New Jersey requires that those involved in a motor vehicle collision file a timely report with state authorities. Police officers will come to investigate the crash and will file a report with the state that ultimately determines who is at fault for the crash and therefore liable for the damages caused by the collision.
The standard New Jersey crash report is seven pages long and should contain many key details about the collision, the vehicles and the motorists.
What details do officers include?
Police officers provide details about many aspects of the crash in the report. The type of road, the light conditions, the surface of the road and the conditions of the street, including whether it was wet or sandy, are all part of the report.
The crash report also records the weather and the type of collision that occurred, such as a rear-end or sideswipe crash. The police officer will indicate what type of vehicles were in the crash and the direction they traveled. They will include information about the driver and occupants of each vehicle, as well as any injuries those people suffered and what safety devices they utilized. All of those details will play a major role in an insurance claim or lawsuit following the collision.
How do people read a crash report?
Trying to read a crash report can be very difficult. Many people find the volume of details overwhelming. Some of the most important factors include the actual description of the crash and any notes related to the fault for the collision.
Oftentimes, people may require help from a professional, such as an attorney, to appropriately review the crash report. If the other driver was at fault for the crash and there are reported property damage losses or injuries, then those affected by the collision may have grounds for either an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Those who have lost a loved one in a crash could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit after a deadly collision.
While there is never any guarantee of success when litigating personal injury matters, crashes that clearly occurred due to the fault of one party and caused provable losses for others are sometimes actionable events. As such, those who believe that they may be in a position to take action against an at-fault party should seek legal guidance promptly.