How to Obtain a Traffic Accident Report
A Report Is Vital to the Success of Your Car Accident Claim
A traffic accident report serves as an important piece of evidence in a car accident claim. Issued by the local police department, it contains the facts and circumstances of the accident. Everything you, your Victorville car accident lawyer and your insurance company need to know will be on there: the time and location of the accident, the cars and drivers involved, damages and injuries caused, and names of witnesses.
Obtaining a Traffic Accident Report Online
Obtaining a traffic accident report is not that difficult. Visit the website of the city or county police department and find the link to the traffic accident report. Or you can directly search using a search engine, such as Google. For example, to find the download link for an accident that occurred in Los Angeles, type ‘traffic accident report los angeles’ some something similar. The links for Los Angeles are English | Spanish – Espanol, and for San Francisco, they are English | Spanish – Espanol.
To find the report you are looking for, you will be required to enter the following information:
- Location of collision
- Month, day and year the collision occurred (it should be the exact date and not an estimation)
- Optionally, you may also enter the last name of the victim or driver (make sure the spelling is correct)
Once you submit this information, a list of reports will appear on the screen. Open the one you are looking for by clicking on the report or service number that was given to you and the other parties involved in the accident by the responding police officer. The report may contain multiple links – one for each page of the report.
It takes only a few minutes to download the report. You will, of course, be charged a small fee for the report and a nominal convenience fee. Normally, you have to wait at least 10 days from the date the accident occurred before you can download the report so as to allow the police department sufficient time to review the report and approve it for release.
Obtaining a Traffic Accident Report via Mail Order
If you are unable to download or view the report, then you can also obtain it via mail order. Some police departments may make the report request form available online. If you can’t find the form online, then you can write the request. Include the following information in your request:
- Type of report – Traffic
- Your name, address and telephone number
- Report or service number (issued by the police when responding to the accident)
- Your date of birth
- Names of parties listed in the report
- Date and time of the incident
- Location of collision
- License plate number and state of registration of vehicles involved in the accident
- State why you are interested in the report (whether you are an involved party, parent/guardian, authorized representative, or insurance company,). Include release forms for authorized representative and insurance companies and proof of relationship for parents/guardians.
- Include the declaration, “I declare this statement is true and correct”, and sign it and write down the date.
Then mail it to the mailing address given in the website along with the specified amount of money via check or money order payable to the concerned police department. You can find the mailing address on the same webpage where you found the download link.
The mailing address of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is:
Los Angeles Police Department
Records and Identification Division
P.O. Box 30158
Los Angeles, CA 90030
The mailing address of the San Francisco Police Department is:
Records Management Unit
1245 3rd Street (Lobby)
San Francisco, CA 94158
Most police departments will deliver the accident report by mail or e-mail, whichever you prefer. Accident reports can be confusing to a layman. If you are unfamiliar with legal procedures, then it is better to let your car accident lawyer handle the report.