Understanding Your Accident Report (Part 4)


This final part of the series of posts on Accident Reports focuses on some of the information found on the bottom half of the first page and the second page of the report.

Although some of the information in an accident report is coded and difficult to decipher without looking up the specific codes, some important information is relatively easy to understand such as whether there were witnesses or passengers in the vehicles. Additionally, an accident report will provide quite a bit of information your personal injury attorney will need throughout the course of your representation not just in evaluating your claim such as whether anyone involved was transported by emergency medical services to a hospital or if the officer was notified of any injuries.

One very clear bit of information is the officer’s description of how the accident occurred and whether anyone was charged with a traffic violation. There is a lot of very useful information in the accident report that describes how the accident occurred based on the officer’s investigations at the scene. The officer will include estimates of speeds of the vehicles involved, whether their were tire impressions, as well as a computer generated diagram and the officer’s conclusions from their investigation in the Narrative.

Second page of a North Carolina accident report:


However, not all of the important information regarding the officer’s description of events is particularly easy to understand. In particular, the crash sequence codes. The crash sequence codes in boxes 49-59 contain such useful information as the actions of certain vehicles and whether they ran off the road, how they collided with another vehicle, and the sequence of events during the accident.

If you have questions about your accident report or a possible personal injury claim please call our Personal Injury Attorney at 919-913-0706. Additionally, if you would like a complete list of the number codes included in your accident report you can view the NC DOT DMV-349 instruction manual here: