A collision on a San Diego freeway or boulevard can leave you in shock and even put your life in jeopardy. After suffering a serious injury or even just property damage, you’ll want to have some proof in hand to make sure an at-fault driver’s car insurance provider is held fully responsible.
One of the most powerful pieces of evidence showing what happened will come in the form of an officer’s collision report. This report is created after most traffic accidents and indicates what the investigating officer observed and what the officer feels was the cause of the accident.
Securing this report after a San Diego car accident is one way to help ensure you receive help with every medical bill you face and the income you lose while having to miss work. It’s also the best way to keep an insurance adjuster from falsely accusing you of causing an accident.
When You Don’t Need to Secure Your Collision Report
You should first consider talking with a skilled San Diego Car Accident Lawyer if you’ve suffered a serious injury in a traffic accident. You’ll receive a free case consultation so that you understand the benefits available to you.
Your personal injury lawyer also obtains your police accident report for you. If you have a skilled local lawyer in your corner, you’ll have a much better chance of proving your case to an insurance company and maximizing the compensation they must provide you.
If your case only involves property damage, your own car insurance company may be securing the accident report on your behalf. It’s always good to check with your representative before requesting an accident report.
Accident Reports from the San Diego Police Department
The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) offers accident victims four ways to secure an accident report. You can request a copy of your collision report in person, by phone, by mail, or online.
The department does advise that people should wait up to 10 days after a crash to make a request, because the report may not yet be completed and available until then. For more information you can visit the City of San Diego website:
- Online – You can look up your San Diego accident report on the LexisNexis eCrash website. Having the report number of your accident case will help you locate your information. An officer may have given you this number on the scene. Other details, like the date and location of your accident, will also help you secure a report. There may be a small fee to use this service.
- By phone — You can call the SDPD records division at 866-215-2771. They are open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST
- You can visit the San Diego Police Department. They accept visitors Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a $12 processing fee per report.
SDPD Records Division
San Diego, CA 92101
- You may also mail your request to:
SDPD Records MS#726
P.O. Box 121431
San Diego, CA, 92112
Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a check or money order for $12 per report payable to the City Treasurer.
Collision Reports from the California Highway Patrol
If a California Highway Patrol Officer investigates your accident, you’ll have to go to the California Highway Patrol Website to request a report. You’ll find a request form to print out there.
You can ask for a form and submit forms at the closest California Highway Patrol Office to you. These are the three offices that serve the San Diego area:
9330 Farnham Street
San Diego, CA 92123
5902 Kearny Villa Road
San Diego, CA 92123
1722 E. Main St
El Cajon, CA 92021
Will I Require the Help of a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer?
If your accident involves a serious injury, then it’s advisable that you talk to San Diego Car Accident Attorney before speaking with any insurance representative. When hospital bills escalate, insurance companies increase their efforts to avoid liability to get out of providing you with compensation. They may even attempt to blame you for an accident you didn’t cause.
If your accident only involves property damage and/or minor bumps and bruises, you shouldn’t need the help of a lawyer to get a fair settlement. But if your accident left serious injuries behind, take advantage of a free case review with Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC. It’s a completely confidential meeting that comes with no obligation to you. You should know what’s available to you and your family before signing any settlement agreement.