Vehicle Damage Rating on Police Report
Every day, hundreds of vehicles get involved in car accidents on Nevada’s roads, as well as in parking lots, driveways, and cul-de-sacs. If your vehicle has been hit, you probably will call the police to come out and write up a police report.
The officer who responds should include basic information about the crash in the report—the location, the time and date, who was involved, etc. The officer will also assess the damage to the vehicles. Read on for more information about what a vehicle damage rating means.
What is a Vehicle Damage Rating?
The vehicle damage rating is represented by three different values. Let’s take a closer look:
- Direction of force. This value represents the direction from which the vehicle was hit. The numbers are compared to those on a clock, although the Nevada accident form only counts from 1 to 8. So a vehicle hit directly from behind should have a 5. A vehicle hit directly from the front should have a value of 1.
- Damage description. This value represents the damage description. For example, a vehicle that suffers a head-on collision with another vehicle is represented with F. A rear end collision caused by another vehicle is represented with R.
- Severity of damage (Y). This value represents the severity of damage the vehicle sustained. The numbers used are 1-6.
How to Read Your Damage Rating
Not every police report contains a damage rating. But if it does, you can interpret it quite easily.
For example, the direction of force should be understandable. If the report lists 5, then this means your vehicle was impacted at the 5 position that corresponds to the back of the car.
To help understand the damage description, you can view the standard State of Nevada Traffic Accident Report form. Some of the more common are:
- 1-F. Front end damage to the vehicle from a concentrated impact.
- 4-R. Rear end damage due to a concentrated impact.
- 5-RF. Impact to the right side near the passenger compartment by an object or another vehicle.
- 3-L. Left-side damage to the vehicle.
- 2-R. Right-side damage due to a rollover.
The form may also list the reason for the damage sustained, such as rollover, crossing the median, or ran off the roadway, among others.
The severity of damage might be the most subjective value in the damage rating. The greater the damage, the higher the value. If the front of the car struck a telephone pole and caused a dent, then severity of damage might only be a 1. By contrast, if the pole crushed in the front of the car, causing the hood to buckle like an accordion, then the severity of damage should be much higher, say a 5 or a 6.
What are Other Important Parts of the Report?
In addition to the damage rating, also look for any driver factors or vehicle factors identified as contributing causes of the accident.
For example, the officer might identify driver inattention or intoxication as factors in the accident. The officer could also claim that you were driving too fast for conditions or that you had made an unsafe lane change.
These are critical components of your police report because they are essentially identifying who is at fault for the collision. Of course, the police officer is not the last word on this issue. But if the officer identifies you as to blame for the accident, it can be much harder to receive compensation for your injuries and property damage.
How Does the Police Report Affect Your Claim?
An insurance company will probably want to see the police report for your accident as a starting point for its investigation. Of course, a claims adjuster doesn’t have to accept the information in the report. After all, adjusters can come out to look at your vehicle with their own eyes. Your adjuster might disagree with the severity of the damage and find that your car is much more damaged than the officer believed. However, the police report is a critical starting point for receiving compensation.
What if there Are Errors on the Police Report?
As you read your report, you might notice mistakes. This shouldn’t be surprising. Not all officers are as careful as they should be. But mistakes in the report could cause problems as you try to receive compensation.
For example, your car might have suffered damage on the front right-hand side, but the police report could state that your car was damaged on the rear left-hand side. This might be a simple error on the officer’s part, but an insurance adjuster might be suspicious that your car wasn’t even involved in the accident.
Also, if the damage severity rating is too low, then the insurance company might conclude that you continued to drive the vehicle and caused greater damage in a subsequent crash that was your fault.
It is hard to get the police to amend their police reports. Ideally, you should look at the police report at the scene of the accident and quickly point out any errors to the officer while he is still there. He can then correct the report before filing it.
Another option is to make sure you take pictures of the damage to the vehicles soon after the accident. You can use this visual evidence to point out where the damage really occurred and emphasize its true severity. With pictures, the insurance adjuster can see that the report misrepresented key aspects of the car accident.
Speak to an Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
Have you been involved in a car accident? If so, you should immediately protect your right to compensation. At Naqvi Injury Law, we meet with people all the time who tried to handle their own car accident claim, only to become overwhelmed by the process.
Please contact us today. One of our experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyers will happily meet with you to discuss your case.