Car crashes are stressful. With so much going on, it can be difficult to remember everything you need to do. This article will guide you through the process of completing your CRA-23 form so you can focus on recovering from the accident and moving forward with your life.
When the CRA-23 is Required
Drivers who are involved in an accident must complete the CRA-23 if any of the following happened:
- Someone was killed in the crash
- Someone was injured in the crash
- Damages to your vehicle or any one piece of property exceed $1,000
- Your vehicle damages are less than $1,000, but the other driver unlawfully left the scene (hit and run)
You are required to submit the CRA-23 within 5 days of the accident unless you are physically incapacitated and unable to do so. If you don’t submit the form, you could lose your license. It’s worth noting that the CRA-23 is mandatory even if law enforcement officers arrived at the accident scene and completed a police report.
How to Complete the CRA-23 Form
If you took detailed notes and photos at the accident scene, you should have no problem completing the CRA-23 form. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the information. Fill in as much as you can.
Helpful Tip: Print a copy of the CRA-23 and keep it in your glove box. If you get in an accident, you can fill it out on the spot—and you’ll be sure not to miss anything.
Section A: Crash Location
In the first section, you’ll provide precise information about when and where the crash occurred. You should include:
- The date and time of the accident
- The name of the city or town
- The street or intersection where it happened
You can also list landmarks in the immediate vicinity if they will help to pinpoint the location of the accident.
Section B: Vehicle You Were Driving
You’ll complete the second section with information about yourself and your vehicle. You’ll need your driver’s license and registration to complete this section. You will also enter information about the vehicle you were driving, including the type of vehicle, who owns it, and what you were doing at the time of the accident (such as turning, backing up, and so on).
The form provides a list of numeric codes that correspond with the most common types of accidents. Use the codes to explain the series of events that led to the accident. For example, if you hit a deer (5), which caused you to go off the road to the right (40), where you hit a fence (30), you would write those numbers in sequential order.
You’ll also be asked where your car was damaged, whether the damages exceed $1,000, and whether your car was towed away from the scene. If other cars were involved, don’t worry. You’ll have a chance to write about them in Section D.
Section C: You and Your Passengers
The third section asks for information about any passengers you may have had in the vehicle with you at the time of the accident. You will need their full names, addresses, and dates of birth. You will be asked:
- Where in the car they were sitting
- Whether they were wearing a seat belt
- Whether their airbag deployed
- Whether they were injured
- Whether they were transported for medical care
Section D: Other Vehicles Involved in the Crash
The fourth section will look familiar. Section D is similar to Section B, but you’ll be asked to provide information about the other cars and drivers that were involved. You’ll need full names, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and insurance policy information.
You will also be asked what the other vehicle was doing at the time of the crash and where it was damaged.
If multiple other vehicles were involved, you can submit extra copies of Section D, one for each vehicle.
Section E: Non-Motorist(s) Involved
In the fifth section, you will identify any non-motorists who were involved in the crash. This could include pedestrians or bicyclists. You will need to know their full names, addresses, and dates of birth. You will also be asked:
- Where they were and what they were doing at the time of the accident
- If they were injured
- If they were transported for medical care
- Whether they were wearing safety equipment
Section F: Crash Conditions
The sixth section asks for information about the conditions when the accident occurred. This includes the light, the weather, and the road surface. You will also be asked to identify:
- The type of roadway where the accident occurred (one-way, two-way, etc.)
- The type of car crash (such as rear-end, sideswipe, or head-on)
- The type of intersection, if applicable
Section G: Crash Diagram
In the seventh section, you must draw a diagram of the car accident, indicating the direction of each vehicle’s travel.
Section H: Witness Information
The eighth section asks you to identify people who witnessed the crash, but who were not involved in it. You’ll be asked for each witness’s full name, address, and phone number.
Section I: Property Damage Information
In the ninth section, you will indicate any non-vehicular property that was damaged in the accident. You will be asked for the property owner’s name, address, and phone number.
Section J: Description of What Happened
The tenth section is a blank box in which you are asked to describe the crash and the events leading up to it in your own words.
Section K: Signature
The eleventh and final section of the CRA-23 Accident Report Form is for your signature. Sign and print your name and write the date you completed the form.
Where to Send the Completed CRA-23
You must send copies of the accident report to three places:
- The police department that has jurisdiction over where the accident happened
- Your insurance company
- The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Boston
The RMV’s mailing address is:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55899
Boston, MA 02205-5889
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to receive compensation. Please contact the office of Worcester car accident attorney Peter Ventura to arrange a free and confidential consultation and case review.