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How To Obtain an Accident Report in Los Angeles, CA

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How To Obtain an Accident Report in Los Angeles, CA

California dictates that you must call the police after all fatal car accidents. It also declares that you must file a written crash report after all car accidents that cause an injury. Beyond these requirements, Los Angeles, CA, has a few guidelines about when the police must respond to a traffic accident and prepare a crash report. 

Here’s what you need to know about accident reports and how to obtain one for your accident claim. Contact the attorneys at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers if you have more questions about your accident report and how it can impact your claim. Call us at (877) 300-4535 today.

How M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Following a Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA

How M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Following a Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers was formed in 2013 to represent accident victims in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers have successfully recovered over $400 million in injury compensation for clients.

Our attorneys use their 100 years of combined legal experience to provide each client with:

  • A free consultation where you can learn about your legal options after your accident
  • Knowledgeable representation to guide you through the insurance claim process
  • Experience fighting insurers for fair compensation

After a car accident in Los Angeles, California, you could face massive medical bills and injuries that prevent you from working. Contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to learn about your rights under California law to fair and just injury compensation.

How Many Car Accident Reports Are Filed in California?

California does not release data about how many crash reports get filed. Under California law, agencies must treat crash reports as confidential records available only to those involved in the crash. However, you can use California’s traffic crash statistics to estimate the number of crash reports filed yearly.

In the most recent year with full crash statistics, California reported 3,438 fatal crashes and 187,211 injury crashes. From these numbers, you can infer that the police prepared at least 3,438 accident reports and as many as 190,649 accident reports that year.

How To Obtain a Crash Report in Los Angeles

While you must file a written report after any crash that causes an injury, it’s important to get a police report as well. Technically, California law requires you to contact the police only after a fatal crash. When a crash only causes injuries or property damage, you do not need to call the police. But you should do so in almost every injury accident to get a report.

With that being said, accident reports are not admissible evidence in court. They constitute hearsay under California’s rules of evidence, but a crash report contains valuable information that your lawyer can use in your injury or wrongful death claim.

First, an insurance company can use an accident report to help determine whether its policyholder caused the crash. Second, your injury lawyer can use an accident report to identify admissible evidence for your case. This may include the names of witnesses, copies of photographs of the accident scene, and a list of the citations issued to the at-fault driver.

Under California’s privacy laws, you must fall into one of the following categories to get a report:

  • Drivers involved in the crash
  • Injured accident victims named in the report
  • Parents, guardians, or conservators for drivers and accident victims
  • Owners of property damaged in the crash
  • Insurers and attorneys for any party to the crash

The procedure for obtaining an accident report in Los Angeles, CA, depends on the investigating agency.

California Highway Patrol

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) handles all crash investigations on:

  • Interstate freeways
  • California state highways
  • Roads and streets outside of incorporated towns and cities

Furthermore, CHP can respond to any crash if they are the closest to the accident scene.

To request a copy of your report from CHP, you must fill out a crash request form and pay a fee. You can submit the completed form by mail or in person — CHP does not provide online access to crash reports.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

If your crash was investigated by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, you can request a report by filling out the form and submitting it by mail or in person. The sheriff’s department does not state how long it takes to prepare reports after a crash.

Los Angeles Police Department

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) prepares crash reports for accidents in the City of Los Angeles. The LAPD takes up to 45 days to prepare crash reports. You can request a copy of your report by filling out a form and submitting it by mail or in person. The LAPD also makes its reports available online.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles

A skilled and experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can use a crash report to prepare your claim and develop the evidence to support it. Contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your car accident and how an accident report can help you get fair injury compensation.