How To Write an Accident Report
These reports hopefully will not be required on a regular basis.
What points should I bear in mind?
Balance speed with accuracy. The reason for speed is so that all salient facts are accurately recorded before details are forgotten. The reasons for accuracy are to minimise the risk of any possible recurrence, to comply with the law and to be prepared to face a possible claim for damages. You will require accurate illustrations supplemented by statements from participants, witnesses and experts.
What would be a suitable format?
If you have no formal report form, use these headings:
- What was the accident?
- Where and when did it occur?
- Who was involved?
- Was any injury sustained? If so, what was it?
- Who reported the accident?
- What medical treatment was applied - when and by whom?
- What caused the accident?
- What has been done to correct the trouble?
- What recommendations do you have to avoid a recurrence?
As you plan and later draft your report, remember that while every report should be different, every report also should have some similarities. It must present relevant facts accurately and in a way that is both acceptable and intelligible to its readers. In other words, it must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Only then can you expect to achieve these three essential aims:
- to be read without unnecessary delay
- to be understood without undue effort
- and to be accepted.