How To Get Your Car Accident Report in San Francisco

You can request an incident report from your car accident from the San Francisco Police Department, either in person, online, or through the mail. Their address is:

San Francisco Police Department

Crime Information Services Unit / Records Management

1245 3rd Street, 1st Floor

San Francisco, CA 94158

  1. Send a request by mail or visit the above address
  2. Call them at 1-415-575-7232
  3. Request by email at sfpd.cisu@sfgov.org

When you are injured in a car accident, seeking compensation for your recovery may be one of your highest priorities. However, getting compensated for your significant injuries requires significant evidence, which you may not have right away. Fortunately, one of the best starting places, your car accident report, is relatively easy to pursue from the presiding police station.

Your traffic collision report includes significant information about how your accident happened, what caused it, and who may be at fault, but you may be unsure how to get your car accident report in San Francisco. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get the help you need with your recovery. Reach out for help from Text Kevin Accident Attorneys to get the support of a car accident lawyer in San Francisco on your side as you pursue evidence.

Table of Contents

How to Request a Car Accident Report in San Francisco

When you have been involved in a San Francisco car accident, an officer will very likely visit the scene to take down the details of what occurred. This is the car accident report, and it serves as a valuable piece of evidence in insurance or car accident claims. However, you will likely be unable to receive a copy of this at the scene.

That is because a traffic collision report is an official document and must be validated through processing. This process includes multiple steps, including analysis of the car accident investigation, finalization by the presiding deputy, and approval by their sergeant. Only once these steps are taken will your car accident report be available.

The San Francisco Police Department does make the request process as easy as it possibly can. You can take several paths to receive a copy of your car accident report, though only certain people are allowed to do so. You can also rely on the assistance of a San Francisco car accident attorney, like those of us at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys, to navigate these areas if you have any difficulties at all.

Who Can Request a Car Accident Report

These reports are not available to the general public for a number of reasons. You have a right to privacy, and by maintaining the privacy of these records, the general public cannot easily access these reports. Only certain parties are allowed to request a copy of the report, including the following:

  • The passengers appearing in the report
  • The drivers involved in the wreck
  • The registered owners of the vehicle
  • Legal guardians of an involved minor
  • Anyone who experienced property damage in the wreck
  • Anyone who may be found liable
  • The attorney of anyone involved
  • The insurance company covering those involved
  • Anyone who suffered an injury in the crash, such as a bicyclist or pedestrian

Put simply, you have the right to view an accident report only if you were directly or indirectly involved in the accident. The only instances where someone not physically present for the accident is allowed a copy of the report usually involve civil cases or insurance claims. This is why you may want to consult a car accident attorney before pursuing a report.

Note

Certain restrictions on accident reports apply even if you were involved. Any situation where releasing the information could put one of the involved parties at risk, for example, or a hit-and-run situation. While you may receive a report, it may have certain information or conclusions missing.

Car Accident Reports Are Not Immediately Available

An accident report will not be immediately available after the crash and could take several days, depending on the complexity of the accident. The site must be investigated and the report approved before it can be filed with the records department. It is important to be patient and wait for it to be completed so you are not wasting your time.

The San Francisco Police Department asks that you give 5 days from the crash before requesting your report, which is a fairly fast turnaround compared to many other locations. You can always call the non-emergency number, 1-415-575-7232, to check on the status of your report. You can also visit between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, not including holidays.

Under the California Public Records Act, Cal. Gov. Code 7923.600, requesting a report without a court order is treated as a public record request. This gives law enforcement up to 10 days to produce the non-exempt records. You may want to consider a legal team like ours to help make the process smooth and simple, helping you avoid any obstacles that may lead to delays.

Request a Copy of Your San Francisco Car Accident Report

You can request your car accident report in San Francisco in several ways. Phone, email, mail, or in-person visits all provide the car accident report you need, but they may come with specific advantages or different fees. When you request your accident report, you should be prepared to give the following information regardless of the option you choose:

  • The accident’s date and location
  • Your name
  • Your connection to the accident
  • The investigation number provided by the responding officer

Being prepared for any option can help you avoid delays in getting your car accident report, meaning you can put your report to use as soon as possible following the crash. However, the specifics of how you will do so will depend on the specifics of your chosen method. Check out the paths you can take below and let us know if we can help you determine the best path forward for you.

By Telephone

You can request your accident report by phone at 1-415-575-7232. Just be sure to call between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If it is ready, they will send your report along as soon as possible, giving you the tools you need fast. .

Online

You can request records from the San Francisco Police Department through an online portal. You will need to supply a valid ID when signing up, and if you are a lawyer, you will need to include a scan of your business card. This is likely the quickest and simplest path to receiving your report.

While they prefer you not to send a request by email, you can still ask for a follow-up. Send your update request to sfpd.cisu@sfgov.org, with the subject line your SFPD case # and GOV-QA Reference #. Include the phrase “I would like an update on the status of my initial report requested.” in the message, which can help the person monitoring this inbox ensure your request is sent to the right parties.

In-Person

You can physically walk in to request an accident report from SFPD Headquarters as long as it is within business hours. However, keep in mind that reports are processed through the Crime Information Services Unit, so they will not be immediately available. There is no fee for seeking information on whether your report is ready at the following address:

San Francisco Police Department

Crime Information Services Unit / Records Management

1245 3rd Street, 1st Floor

San Francisco, CA 94158

By Mail

You can request an accident report by mail from the same address. Just be sure to fill out a traffic collision request form, available through the website in several languages. You will also need to include a form of identification with the information you send to the address below:

San Francisco Police Department

Crime Information Services Unit / Records Management

1245 3rd Street, 1st Floor

San Francisco, CA 94158

Tip

Keep in mind that whatever method you choose, you will need to present a government ID. Remember as well that your request will need to be reviewed for eligibility before you receive the report.

Fees and Processing Times

There are certain hurdles you must consider when requesting a car accident report. You cannot simply fill out a request and immediately receive the report, as these processes can take time. Receiving a report for a recent accident will be much easier than one from months or years ago, as well, so moving quickly can give your claim an advantage.

Cost of an Accident Report

Fortunately, San Francisco does not charge a fee for their reports. However, you may have to consider the price of postage if you choose to mail. Otherwise, there should be no financial gate between you and your accident report.

While San Francisco does not charge a fee for these services, keep in mind that other services might, including the California Highway Patrol (CHP). If your car accident happened on a state road, for example, your claim may instead be under the jurisdiction of the CHP, which may come with different charges and options. If you are unsure whether your best option will incur fees, you can always ask our team.

If you do incur any financial costs during this process, no matter how small they seem, notify your lawyer so these expenses can be included in your compensation. You would not have needed to pay that amount if you were hurt in an accident, so we pursue compensation, even for what may seem like minor expenses.

Request Processing Times

San Francisco also boasts a very quick turnaround on prepared requests. However, it may take some time before they are ready to send you the requested report. You should allow at least ten days for your request to be processed before it is fulfilled.

Keep in mind that the time of year and week can impact the length of time you are left waiting. For example, this time estimate typically refers to business days. That means you may find yourself delayed by the weekend.

Pro Tip

In certain situations, you may want to receive your report faster than normal. You may want to consider paying a rush fee for expedited processing. However, this may not always be available to you.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

While an accident report is important, it is only a document. If you are in need of compensation following your accident, a car accident lawyer like us at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys can help. Whether you have suffered property damage, a severe injury, or even the death of a loved one, we can help you get the compensation you need to help recover, and we offer a number of services for accident victims, including:

  • Requesting your accident report
  • Explaining the laws that impact your case
  • Calculate the full value of your claim
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Keep you up to date on your case
  • Help your peace of mind by handling your complex accident claim

Our lawyers have secured millions of dollars for our clients, and we would love to add your story to our list of successes. With decades of experience on our side, our team will work with you to receive the greatest possible settlement for your accident. An accident report is much more useful with the help of those who can use it to build a claim.

Contact Text Kevin Accident Attorneys For Comprehensive Help Today

Your car accident report is a vital piece of evidence in any insurance or personal injury claim. With the help of a San Francisco car accident attorney, you have a much higher chance of success with either of those endeavors. You can trust us at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys to help you get the best possible compensation after your car wreck.

We at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys will do all we can to bring the liable parties to justice. If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, contact us now to begin your claim. We can be reached by phone or through our online contact sheet.

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