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How to Get a Car Accident Police Report
There are likely many things going through your mind after you have been in a car accident and obtaining a copy of the police report is likely one of the last things you are thinking about. However, after everything has settled down a little, you may be wondering, how to get a copy of a car accident police report? One of the easiest ways is to simply contact the department that took the police report and order a copy for your records. It can be a little more complicated than that and that is why we have decided to lay out a step-by-step procedure for how to order a copy of a police report.
How to Get a Copy of a Police Report After an Auto Accident
Obtaining a copy of the police report after your car accident will be of great benefit to you and your car accident lawyer. The first thing that you will do is contact the agency that took down the report; whether that be the CHP or the Orange County Sheriff’s Department knowing who took down the report will be helpful for the following steps.
- Once you determine which agency took down the report, you can find the contact information (if you don’t already have it) online;
- If you were directly involved in the accident, you may be able to request a copy of the report yourself;
- Note: Some areas will allow anyone to file a report; even after the fact. That includes lawyers, insurance agents, family members, witnesses, etc.;
- Determine whether or not you can order via email, phone, mail, etc.;
- Some cities may ask that you go down to the department and request a copy in person, however, you may be able to find an online form that you can download and mail or email them;
Familiarize Yourself with the Forms
Some police request forms will be easy to request over the phone. Some you may need to download the request for incident report form, print it, and then fill it out. Once you have read over the form, make sure you have all of the necessary information. This may include the following:
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, general contact information of all parties involved in the incident;
- Date and location of the incident;
- If available and you have access, the request will need to have the incident or report number;
- Your insurance policy and/or claim number;
- This will only be required if the person who is requesting the report works for the insurance company;
- Incident type – for this instance: car accident;
- If you are the parent of a minor who was involved in the accident, the reporting agency will need proof of relationship;
Make sure you fill out the form correctly because any mistake that you make on the form will be a reason for the police department to lag in getting you the report. Even as accident lawyers we face this – if the form is missing important information they either send the request back stating they need additional information or someone in our office has to call them after waiting days or weeks for them to respond. If you decide to mail the police report, make sure you include a self-addressed stamped envelope for them to send it in. Check the department you are ordering the report from in case there is a fee to send with the request. Sometimes the departments will allow one free copy and then everything after that has a fee that can range from $10-15 depending on your location.
Requesting the Police Report in Person
Another option available to you is to make a request a copy of the police report in person. There are certain agencies that will only allow requests for police reports on certain days. For instance, some Orange County police departments are open for requests on Wednesday’s from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Even if the department that took the report allows online or mailed requests, going in there in person can actually help the process move much more quickly. While you’re there, the officers will be able to answer any questions you may have and will be able to provide further directions.
While it is good to know the steps to take for you to order copies of your report, when you contact our office after your accident, our team will take the responsibility off of your shoulders.
Injured? Contact Silverthorne Attorneys Today!
When you are suffering from injuries due to a car accident, the last thing you want to be thinking about is how to order a police report. Let the team at Silverthorne Attorneys take the burden off of your shoulders.
When you or your family have suffered due to someone else’s negligent actions, you need a team of people who will take on the insurance adjusters and come back successful. Our team has been able to recover multiple seven-figure settlements for our clients who have been injured due to no fault of their own. We never back down when insurance adjusters are being unfair.
Contact us at (949) 234-6034 to discuss your case. Consultations with a car accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys are free!