How To Get Your Car Accident Report in Long Beach

The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) controls car accident records exclusively. To get your report, you must request it directly from them, either through their online reporting system, in person at the Records Division or a police substation, by mail, or via phone.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, the police report helps to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation in case of a personal injury. Contact our Long Beach car accident legal lawyer at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys, who can guide you through this process. Meanwhile, let’s explore how you can get your Long Beach car accident report.

Table of Contents

Request your car accident report through the online reporting system in Long Beach, California.

Begin by visiting the “Request a Police Report” section on the LBPD website. Then, download the ” Application for Release of Traffic Collision and/or Crime Report/Incident Information” form.

Carefully complete the form with accurate details such as the accident’s date, time, and location.

Include the names and dates of birth of all involved parties and your contact information. Double-check your entries to avoid delays in processing. Once the form is complete, submit it either by mail or hand delivery to:

Long Beach Police Department

400 West Broadway

Long Beach, CA 90802

ATTN: INFORMATION MANAGEMENT DIVISION

The processing time for your report will vary depending on the incident, but it takes about three weeks on average.

Request your car accident report in person in Long Beach, California

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, visit the Long Beach Police Department in person at the above address. Ask for a paper copy of the “Application for Release of Traffic Collision and/or Crime Report/Incident Information” form.

Fill out the form at the location, ensuring all information is accurate and legible. Once completed, submit the form with the $26 fee at the counter. This fee can be paid in cash, check, or money order.

Upon submission, you will receive a receipt for your payment and request. Keep this receipt as proof of your submission and for tracking purposes. The staff can also provide an estimated timeframe for processing.

Request your car accident police report through the phone

If you require assistance or have limited internet access, use the LBPD’s Report Request Helpline. Call (562) 570-7381. You can request a form to be mailed or inquire about alternative submission methods.

The helpline staff can also guide you in completing the form and answer any questions you may have regarding the process. This option is handy if you prefer verbal communication or need clarification on specific aspects of the request.

Once done filling out the form, enclose the check or money order for $26 payable to the “Long Beach Police Department” along with your completed form. Mail the envelope to the following address:

Long Beach Police Department

Records Division

400 West Broadway

Long Beach, CA 90802

We suggest you send your request via certified mail to ensure delivery and track its progress. Allow for additional processing time due to mailing.

Who can access a car accident report in Long Beach, CA

Typically, you can access your traffic collision report if you were involved in the accident or are an authorized representative, as per California Vehicle Code §20012. If you have an attorney representing you, they must submit a signed authorization. Insurance companies must include a policy or claim number on their application.

But, the process is a bit different if the accident involves a:

The Records Division will forward your request to the Accident Investigation Detail (AID). Your report will be mailed to you only after the AID reviews your application and approves the release of the report. This ensures a thorough review of these sensitive cases before information is disclosed.

Reporting your car accident to the DMV in California

Reporting a car accident to the California DMV is a legal requirement under specific circumstances. You must report an accident within ten days if:

  • A person died in the accident.
  • Anyone involved sustained injuries, regardless of severity.
  • The estimated property damage exceeds $1,000.

Even minor “fender benders” can easily surpass the $1,000 threshold. Modern vehicles have expensive components; replacing a bumper or taillight can cost thousands.

To report a car accident to the DMV, you need to complete Form SR-1, titled “Report of a Traffic Accident Occurring in California,” on the DMV website, DMV field offices, or California Highway Patrol (CHP). While you can fill it out yourself, consider help from your insurance agent or a car accident lawyer in Long Beach, CA. They help ensure accuracy and completeness, especially when dealing with catastrophic injuries or complex legal matters.

Pro Tip

The key is to ensure the form is completed accurately and submitted within the 10-day deadline.

If you file a personal injury claim, your insurance carrier might handle the reporting process. Failure to file an SR-1 report or maintain proper insurance coverage during the accident could result in the DMV suspending your driving privileges ( California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 16000.)

Notify the California Highway Patrol (CHP)

Vehicle Code CVC § 20008 further requires reporting accidents involving injury or death to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) within 24 hours. This ensures prompt investigation and documentation of serious accidents.

Non-compliance with this requirement can lead to misdemeanor charges, fines, and potential jail time.

Tip

Besides reporting, drivers involved in accidents must stop at the scene, exchange information with other parties, and offer aid if necessary. Leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run) can result in severe criminal charges, including felony hit-and-run, if injuries or death occur.

In addition, it can negatively impact your insurance claim and complicate any potential legal proceedings. If you need help deciding whether to report, consult Kevin Accident Attorneys for guidance. We can help you understand your legal obligations and protect your rights.

When to contact a car accident lawyer for your car accident report

Remember, reporting an accident is not an admission of guilt. It’s necessary to document the incident officially, protect your rights, and initiate the claims process. Besides, reporting won’t impact your insurance premiums or require legal intervention.

While reporting the accident is a crucial first step, it doesn’t guarantee receiving the compensation you deserve. Police investigations often prioritize criminal aspects of the accident, and insurance companies might not always offer adequate coverage or may even deny your claim entirely.

In such situations, seeking legal help becomes crucial to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are situations where consulting an attorney can be highly beneficial:

Uninsured or underinsured motorist

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) protects you when the at-fault driver in an accident either lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage to compensate for your losses. It ensures you’re not left bearing the financial burden of an accident caused by another driver’s negligence or lack of adequate insurance.

It’s a safety net that can make a significant difference in your financial recovery after an accident where you are not the at-fault driver. If the other driver lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage to compensate for your damages, an attorney can explore alternative options for economic recovery.

Disputed liability

When fault is contested, or your insurance company refuses to cover the full extent of your losses, an attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance adjusters to secure a fair settlement.

Complex legal cases

If your injuries are severe or the accident circumstances are complex, an attorney can help you with the legal work, compile medical records, and build a solid case to maximize your compensation.

Limited time and resources

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. An attorney can handle the legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your recovery while they fight for your rights. A car accident attorney at Kevin Accident Attorney is your advocate, communicating with law enforcement, insurance companies, medical providers, and other relevant parties.

How does reporting a car accident benefit me in Long Beach, CA?

Reporting your car accident, even minor, is crucial in protecting your rights and interests. This seemingly simple act initiates a chain of events that can significantly impact your ability to seek compensation and recover from the incident. By reporting your accident, you:

Begin the documentation and investigation process smoothly

The police report created at the scene serves as official documentation of the accident, capturing significant details like:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Parties involved
  • Witness statements
  • Preliminary assessment of fault

This information is crucial for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Preserve Evidence

A police report can be invaluable if you file a personal injury claim or pursue legal action. It provides an unbiased account of the incident, which can be used to support your case and establish liability.

Start the financial recovery process

Reporting the accident initiates your insurance claim, allowing you to seek compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.

Fulfill legal obligations

In California, you must legally report accidents resulting in injuries, fatalities, or property damage exceeding $1,000. Failure to file an SR-1 report or maintain proper insurance coverage during the accident could result in the DMV suspending your driving privileges.

Prevent future disputes

Reporting the accident promptly can help prevent disputes over liability or damages that may arise later. It gives a clear incident record, making it difficult for others to contest your claims.

How long will it take to get my Accident Report from The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD)?

The website states it takes an average of three weeks to process and release a traffic accident report. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the accident. Simple accidents with minor injuries may be processed sooner.

In contrast, those involving fatalities, severe injuries, or government property damage might take significantly longer due to the need for review by the department’s Accident Investigation Detail unit.

Currently, there’s no online retrieval option, so we recommend you contact the department for status updates after submission.

What if there’s a mistake on my car accident report?

Mistakes or inaccuracies on a police report are more common than you think. The chaotic nature of accident scenes, coupled with heightened emotions and potential misinformation from those involved, can lead to errors in documentation.

These may include simple typos to misquoted statements or even deliberate falsehoods from drivers attempting to evade liability. If you discover inaccuracies in your accident report, the first step is to contact the responding officer and politely request a correction.

Be prepared to provide evidence supporting your claim, such as a copy of your driver’s license for incorrect personal details or photos of the accident scene to dispute a factual error. However, proving subjective interpretations or conflicting accounts can be challenging, and you may encounter resistance from the police department.

Tip

If you need help correcting an erroneous police report, contact us for a free consultation to explore your options and ensure your interests are protected.

Should I report my car accident to the insurance company?

Reporting your car accident promptly to your insurance provider is crucial, but it’s essential to safeguard your interests before doing so. Our car accident attorney, Long Beach, CA, Kevin Crockett, strongly advises taking the following precautions:

  • Consult with a qualified personal injury attorney before contacting your insurance company. We can guide you through the claims process, protect your rights, and ensure you don’t inadvertently jeopardize your case.
  • Refrain from providing detailed statements or accepting blame for the accident when speaking to an insurance adjuster. Even seemingly harmless comments could be used against you later to deny or reduce your claim.
  • Only accept financial compensation by consulting your attorney, who can assess the full extent of your damages and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies often offer quick, low-ball settlements to resolve claims quickly.

Contact a car accident lawyer in Long Beach to get help with your car accident report

Remember, injuries and vehicle damage may not always be immediately apparent after a car accident. Some injuries might manifest days or weeks later, while hidden vehicle damage can lead to costly repairs.

Contact our experienced Long Beach car accident lawyer at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys to handle this task and every other aspect of your compensation claim. Let’s discuss your case and assist you in securing the compensation you’re entitled to.

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