In the event of a car accident in Orange County, you may want to seek the immediate help of a good car accident attorney
. This is because you will be dealing with the police, insurance companies, as well as other entities in the wake of a crash. An important part of this is ensuring that a police report is filed and then obtaining it. The report is a vital piece of documentation that is absolutely needed before you file a claim. Here is a look at what it is and how you can get it.
What is a Police Report?
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, law enforcement officers arrive at the scene of the accident. The officers speak with the drivers and passengers of the vehicles involved in the crash as well as any witnesses. You should share the facts of the crash when speaking to an officer after an accident. However, it is not advisable to point any fingers or blame anyone at this point.
The officers also examine the available evidence and then make their own conclusions. A police report is then compiled which includes the vital details of the accident as seen by a police officer. The report typically includes the following:
- The date, time, and exact location of the car accident
- Basic information about the injured parties and their injuries
- Statements of the drivers involved in the crash
- Any property damage caused by the accident
- Statements of the witnesses present on the scene of the crash
- Other relevant details such as those pertaining to weather, road conditions, and the surrounding landscape
Importance of a Car Accident Police Report
A police report is a very important piece of documentation in car accident cases. When you file a claim for damages after a crash, such a report may be consulted by the insurer and other parties to judge the veracity of your claim. This is simply because a police report is considered an authentic source of the facts surrounding an accident. It becomes even more important in the absence of clear evidence to support your claim.
In some car crashes, the police officers may not immediately reach the scene of the accident. When this happens, you should dial 911 and seek their presence. This is because the officers will fill out a report only when they visit the scene.
Once you file a car accident damages claim, the insurance company will also require a police report for the record. This is another reason you should want the report filed in time. If a report is not filed, it will be harder for you to justify your claim.
How to Obtain a Traffic Collision Report?
A police report for a car accident may be filed by the local or state authorities. If you have suffered a car crash in Orange County, it is likely that the local authorities include the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) or the local city police department. If state troopers are involved, your report will be filed by the California Highway Patrol.
When requesting a police report, it is important to first know which agency has filled out the report. The next step is to find a way to request the report. Typically, you can request a report if you are a party that is directly involved in or impacted by the car crash. This includes:
- Drivers of any vehicles involved in the crash
- Vehicle owners of any vehicles involved in the crash
- Passengers involved in the crash
- Parents or legal guardians of a minor involved in the crash
- Insurance companies
- Persons with have suffered civil liability or property damage due to the crash
If you are one of the parties listed above, you can then apply for a traffic collision report.
Requesting Report from OCSD:
According to OCSD, traffic collision reports typically take 7 to 10 days to become available. You can use this form to request a report
via email. Alternatively, you can check up on the detailed guidelines provided by OCSD
on how to obtain a report.
Requesting Report from CHP:
When seeking a police report from CHP, you will need to fill out the CHP 190 form. Here is the link to CHP 190
and guidelines on how to fill it up.
In either case, you should expect to pay a nominal fee in order to get your copy of the traffic collision police report.
Hiring a Car Crash Attorney in Orange County, CA
Here at the Crockett Law Group, we provide detailed and comprehensive help after you have suffered a car accident. This means helping you seek accident reports, identify the liable party, file a claim, seek a fair amount of compensation, and ensure that you receive the damages you deserve. Reach out to us
today and let’s discuss how we can help you.