Accidents happen when we least expect them but there is still a need to prepare for them, for our own protection. When an accident happens, the first thing you need to do is to create an accident report form. When filled up, this embodies the specific details of the accident and what transpired after the accident. There are also the details of the people involved in the accident and the witness’s accounts.
Accident Report Forms
What is an accident report form?
Just because vehicular accidents are events that occur to others doesn’t mean that it will never happen to you. Unfortunately, at some point in your life, you might get involved in an accident whether it’s due to our own fault, somebody else’s or maybe due to a natural disaster. These are reason enough why you should use your seat belts, carry insurance, and know how to file an accident report form, just in case.
As is almost always the case you get involved in a car accident, the first concern is always the safety of anyone injured including yourself and your passengers. Should there be any injuries, notify emergency services immediately for an ambulance. In the case of serious crashes, you should call the police even if nobody seems hurt so you can also file a police report.
After clearing the site of the accident, you should determine whether there is a need to file a vehicle accident report form with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or a similar agency. It is a state requirement to notify the DMV in such situations.
Since state laws can differ, you must know or find out the rules in your own state when it comes to filling up and filing an auto accident reporting form. In cases of personal injuries, a minimum amount of property damage, and death, most states require reporting such accidents.
Vehicle Accident Report Forms
Accident report forms to use
Before you can prepare to fill in an accident report template, you need to gather all of the relevant facts about the accident first like the time, date, location, everyone involved, names and accounts of the witnesses, the events that led to the accident, damages, and so on. After gathering the data, think clearly about the sequence of the accident too.
Next, you need to give a comprehensive analysis of the things that led to the accident. It would also be nice if your accident report template has space for suggestions to prevent such accidents in the future. The information you used as input in the accident report form depends on the purpose. This means that the forms you use may vary too:
- Vehicle Accident Report Form
This is a detailed form that provides space you can use to enter information about both vehicles involved in the accident. The form also contains information about the site of the accident.
- Employee Accident Report Form
This form comes with an organized format to write about the accident, as well as, information regarding the responsibility of the supervisor and the employee when they find themselves in such a situation.
- Workplace Accident Report Form
This form allows visitors or guests to detail the accident in the workplace. You can also customize it for the employees to fill it out.
- Police Accident Report Form
This is an elaborate form that comes in handy when making accident reports. This form contains all the required sections for information about the accident for you to create a comprehensive report.
Accident Report Templates
Elements of an effective accident report form
Always make it a point to write an accident report form of some kind when involved in an accident:
- For motor vehicle accidents that involve significant injury or property damage, the state law requires you to file a report.
- Injuries that you sustained at work also require you to submit a report to claim worker’s compensation.
- You could be in the position to provide an accident report to use as evidence in court.
The vehicle accident report form you make should be completely accurate, well-written, unbiased, and should provide all of the information about the accident. To ensure that all the necessary facts and details are properly documented and complete, it should include all the essential information and while having the following characteristics:
All of the provided information should be both specific and clear. Most inaccuracies in auto accident reporting forms are mainly because of typos and spelling or grammatical errors. Provide specific details of what you’re referring to and don’t use ambiguous statements that might cause misunderstandings. Proofread your report before submission to make sure that you haven’t overlooked any errors.
Be objective when writing your report and make sure the contents are all supported by facts. Avoid showing emotions, opinions, and biases in your report. As much as possible, your report should present two sides of the story without favoring one side. If you have to include statements made by witnesses, quote them.
The report should include all of the essential information about the accident. It should have the answers to the most basic questions asked about the accident. Include in your record the names of the injured persons, the cause of the accident, the witnesses, and those in charge of conducting the investigation. Try thinking of any other relevant details that may come handy for future investigations.
As supporting evidence for your report, you can include diagrams, illustrations, and photos. Provide as many photographs of the injuries, damages, and the environment. You can use these as supporting evidence to provide more clarity for anyone who reads it.
Upon completion of the report, the people involved in the accident should sign to testify and verify the information contained in your accident report form. The signatures will confirm that the accident report is both unquestionable and truthful.
How to write an accident report form?
It’s important to have a systematic method in the investigation of accidents. A good report must include all of the relevant information about the accident starting with fact-finding and ending with the recommendations to prevent future accidents. There are some basic steps to follow when writing an accident report specifically when it happens in the workplace:
- Respond right away
You should immediately notify your supervisor when an accident happens. The first responsibility of the supervisor is to make sure that the employees involved in the accident receive proper treatment. If the cause of the accident still exists, the supervisor should take the right steps to eliminate the threat. Most companies have some sort of established procedure for such situations.
- Investigate the accident
Upon completion of the immediate response, you should conduct a thorough accident investigation. Do this immediately after the accident so that those affected still have the details fresh in their minds. Items that you need to review include:
The time, date, and the specific location of the accident.
The names, positions, and departments of the employees involved in the accident along with the names of their supervisors.
The names of the witnesses and their accounts.
The events that led up to the accident.
The actions of the employee at the moment the accident happened.
The environmental conditions and any special circumstances.
Any specific injuries incurred by the person involved in the accident.
The type of treatment given for injuries.
Any damage to materials, equipment, and more.
- Analyze the situation
The next thing to do is to find out why the accident happened in the first place. This is essential for creating an effective plan of action. The causes of the accident may include:
Primary causes like a spill on the floor that caused an employee to slip or fall.
Secondary causes like an employee not wearing appropriate work attire while in a hazardous situation.
Other factors that contributed to the accident like burned-out light bulbs.
- Create an action plan to prevent the accident from happening in the future
The final step is to make suggestions for corrective action to prevent the occurrence of the same accident. This action plan may include corrective action along with long-term recommendations like:
Employee training regarding safety practices.
Preventive maintenance activities to keep all equipment in good condition.
Evaluation of job processes and procedures with recommendations for changes as needed.
Conducting a job hazard analysis to assess any other hazards and then train employees to prevent these hazards.
Engineering changes to make the workplace safer or other changes that may include modifications in work processes.
Auto Accident Reporting Forms
Filing your accident report form
Every state has its own process for filing an accident report and what such a report must contain. There are states that even offer accident report forms to drivers. People are now more inclined to file their reports online as this is the easiest way to meet this responsibility although there are still some states that don’t offer this option.
Instead, you have to secure the form, accomplish it, and mail or bring it personally to the DMV. Even the information in these forms may vary among states. Most accident report forms require that you include the specific details of the accident and other pertinent information.