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How to Get a Copy of a California Collision Report

Tuesday, December 27, 2016By Richard Alexander

It can be hard to know what to do after a bad accident. If you were badly injured, the medical system will drive what happens with your health care. Your injuries will drive whether you are able to continue working and or are unable to work at all. If your crash was due to the fault of someone else, you will want to review the “collision report.” With all the different agencies out there, how do you know who to contact to obtain a copy of this important document?

A California collision report can be a treasure trove of information if you are thinking about bringing a lawsuit. The report includes basic information, such as the date and location of the crash, as well as the names and contact information of the vehicle drivers and owners. However, collision reports contain much more information that can be vital to determining whether a lawsuit might be successful. Here are some examples:

  • whether photographs were taken;
  • whether citations were issued;
  • information about any passengers and witnesses; and
  • a diagram of the accident scene.

How you get a copy of the collision report depends on where the accident occurred in which law enforcement agency investigator the accident. For example, if the California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigated the accident, you would contact any CHP office to obtain a copy.

If a local police agency conducted the investigation, you would contact that agency to obtain a copy of the court. The methods available to you for making a request depend on the police agency involved. For example, the San Francisco police allow people to obtain copies online or at their records counter. Many other California cities offer their reports online through an organization called BuyCrash.com.

Only certain people are allowed to obtain copies of collision reports, such as someone involved in the accident (driver, passenger, car owner, parent or guardian of minor in the accident). Insurance companies, attorneys, and Caltrans may also obtain copies of crash reports. You can expect to pay a minimal fee to obtain a copy.

In California, collision reports may not be admitted into evidence in a lawsuit.

If someone you love was killed or injured in a crash, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco. We are passionate about our clients and our community. If you not sure, read what our clients have to say. All calls are free and confidential.

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