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How bbtaining accident reports after a crash in california can help your claim


If you were involved in a serious car accident in California and sustained injuries, you must pursue compensation from the negligent driver, to cover the cost of your medical treatment, vehicle damage, lost wages from work, and other accident-related losses. But to recover compensation, you must first prove the other driver was negligent and that their negligence resulted in the accident and your subsequent injuries. Obtaining a copy of your California crash report is a smart move since it contains important information that you can use to strengthen your claim.

Information in a Crash Report that Can Help Prove Liability

Accident reports also referred to as collision reports, are legal documents filled out by police officers who respond to the scene of an accident.

The information in a crash report can include:

  • The names and contact details of every party involved in the crash, including drivers and passengers
  • The date, time, and location of the accident
  • The name of the reporting police department, law enforcement officer, and their badge number
  • Insurance carrier and insurance policy information
  • License plate numbers or vehicle identification numbers
  • A diagram of the accident scene
  • A description of any injuries sustained by the drivers or passengers
  • A description of vehicle damage for each vehicle involved in the crash
  • A description of personal property damage
  • The police officer’s accident investigation summary
  • Any statements made by drivers or passengers
  • Any citations issued for the violation of traffic laws
  • Witness contact information and statements

How Can I Get a Copy of My Police Report?

How you obtain a copy of your vehicle accident report will depend on the specific law enforcement agency that created and filed the report. In many cases, you can obtain a copy of your report by mail, in-person, or online. After an accident, the law enforcement officer that investigated the collision will give you a report number. You will use this number when you contact the law enforcement agency to help them locate a copy of your report. The availability of accident reports will depend on the accident type. Reports may be unavailable for several days, weeks, or months following a major accident if the collision involved a fatality, significant personal injury, or a crime.

Can An Accident Report Help Strengthen Your Personal Injury Case?

While a motor vehicle accident report cannot be used as evidence if you file a personal injury lawsuit, it can be used as evidence when you’re dealing with insurance companies. In fact, insurance adjusters will rely on the information in an accident report and use that information to deny a claim or minimize payout.

However, if you were not responsible for the collision and you file an auto insurance claim, a crash report can be used as valuable evidence to prove the other driver was responsible. In the police officer’s accident investigation summary, they will detail how it appeared the accident occurred, such as one driver ran a red light, failed to signal, etc, and anything that may have contributed to the accident, including inclement weather, debris on the road, construction, etc.

The document also contains witness statements, which can be helpful if someone witnessed the other driver’s negligent or reckless actions.

What to Do After You've Obtained a Copy of Your Traffic Accident Report

If you were involved in an auto accident that was not your fault, obtaining a copy of your traffic crash report can be a smart move and a good first step toward proving liability. However, hiring an attorney will give your case the best chance of success. Your personal injury attorney can even obtain a copy of the report for you.

An experienced auto accident attorney will know how to use the information in a collision report to build a strong case and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Remember, the insurance adjuster will also have a copy of the crash report and will attempt to use the information in the report to argue you were at fault or not as seriously injured as you claim you are. If you don’t have any experience dealing with insurance companies after an auto accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and don't accidentally say anything that will harm your claim.

Contact the MVP Accident Attorneys Today to Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash, contact MVP Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. If you already have your crash report, make sure you bring it with you to your consultation so our attorneys can go over it. During our meeting, we can also answer any questions you may have, and discuss your legal options and how we can help you recover the compensation you’re owed. If you decide to work with us, our legal team will begin an investigation right away and gather and analyze vital evidence that can help us prove the other driver should be held liable for damages. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of the leading accident lawyers at MVP Accident Attorneys today.


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Brett Sachs

Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.

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