The work reported here is the result of a study done within a larger project on the ``Semantics of Natural Languages'' viewed from the field of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Linguistics. In this project, we have chosen a corpus of insurance claim reports. These texts deal with a relatively circumscribed domain, that of road traffic, thereby limiting the extra-linguistic knowledge necessary to understand them. Moreover, these texts present a number of very specific characteristics, insofar as they are written in a quasi-institutional setting which imposes many constraints on their production. We first determine what these constraints are in order to then show how they provide the writer with the means to create as succint a text as possible, and in a symmetric way, how they provide the reader with the means to interpret the text and to distinguish between its factual and argumentative aspects.