In Los Angeles, you can get a car accident report by mail, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). To obtain a car accident report, you are required to mail a request for the report to the Records & Identification Division. You must mail an $18 check or money order to this department along with the following information:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The names of any involved parties
- A waiver to release information to your lawyer
- The car accident report number, if known
- The vehicle’s license plate number
Only you or your representative may request a copy of the car accident report. If your injuries prevent you from fully participating in your personal injury case, your lawyer may request a copy on your behalf to prevent your case from stalling since time is of the essence when pursuing compensation.
Your Car Accident Report Can Serve as Important Evidence
Do not overlook the value of your car accident report. It might tell your lawyer how to contact the at-fault driver, their insurance provider, the investigating officer, and anyone who witnessed the accident.
The car accident report might also provide the following information:
- Accident date, time, and location
- Road and weather conditions
- Drug or alcohol involvement
- Points of impact on both vehicles
- Witness observations and statements
- Whether or not photos were taken
According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), drivers must report a car accident any time an accident results in an injury, a fatality, or $1000 in property damages. Your car accident report might also point to the cause of the accident and who might be at fault for the accident, which can help your lawyer establish who to pursue for compensation.
Your Car Accident Report May Indicate Cause
To help pinpoint the cause of the accident, your lawyer may glean information from your car accident report, such as:
- Mechanical defects on either vehicle
- Whether the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the accident
- Primary collision factors
- Driver actions that preceded the collision
- Road, weather, and lighting conditions
Your car accident report might contain details about the accident that show the other driver was negligent and caused the accident. Each interested party may review the crash report for details about the cause of the accident to build their arguments.
Many Causes of Car Accidents in California Involve Negligence
According to the LAPD, the most commonly reported causes of car accidents are:
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving faster than the posted speed limit
- Failing to safely make a left turn
If one or more of these factors was the cause of your car accident and performed by the other driver, your lawyer might be able to prove the at-fault driver’s fault and financial responsibility.
You Should Get a Copy of Your Crash Report Right Away
The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 generally gives you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation after a car accident. You can obtain a copy of your car accident report and share it with your legal team as soon as possible. The sooner your lawyer gets involved in your pursuit of compensation, the more time they might have to prepare and file your lawsuit.
Filing your crash report on time is as important as accurately valuing your case. Failing to accurately value your case might lead you to accept a low amount of compensation than you might be entitled to collect. Also, if you do not file your case on time, you might not be able to pursue compensation in general.
Do not let time run out on your chance to pursue compensation from a negligent driver. Your lawyer may help you determine the right filing deadline for your car accident lawsuit.
We Can Help You Fight for Compensation
Using information from your medical records, car accident report, and witness statements, your lawyer might be able to argue that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused your accident.
Our legal team can explain more on how to get a car accident report. We may also be able to help you obtain other documents and evidence that might support your case. Contact the personal injury team at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by calling (888) 522-6291 today.