How to Get a Car Accident Report in Los Angeles?

April 15, 2022
How to Get a Car Accident Report in Los Angeles?

Car accidents can leave you broken physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. Receiving a settlement from the liable party can help, and an accident report is a crucial document in your pursuit of reimbursement. There are two different ways you can get a car accident report in Los Angeles: an online request or by mail.

Making an Online Request

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has made it easy for accident victims to obtain their accident report, commonly referred to as a Traffic Collision Report online. To get this report, visit the LAPD website, and click on the provided link. You may choose between applying for a Spanish or an English report.

Note that you need to wait at least 45 days after the accident to request the accident report. Moreover, you cannot access all accident reports online. If your car accident resulted in wrongful death, an arrest, or involved a juvenile, you can only request the report via mail.

Requesting a Car Accident Report Through the Mail

The other method of requesting a Traffic Collision Report from the LAPD is through the United States mail service. After the 45 days are over, visit LAPD's website and download the Traffic Collision Report request form. If you cannot download or see the details in the form, you can send in a written request containing the following information:

  • The type of report
  • Your name, date of birth, address, and phone number
  • The accident report number
  • Names of involved parties as listed in the police report
  • Time, date, and location of the accident
  • License plate number and State of registration of all involved vehicles
  • Your interest in the report (victim, representative, attorney, insurance company, etc.)

Fill in all the required information and send it to the LAPD. If the California Highway Patrol (CHP) prepared the report, you need to request the information on the CHP website.

Who Can Access a Car Accident Report in Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, traffic collision reports are only accessible to accident victims or representatives. For instance, your personal injury lawyer can obtain the report on your behalf or on behalf of a loved one who cannot request the report i.e., due to injuries or wrongful death.

Is It Mandatory to Obtain a Car Accident Report?

No law makes it mandatory for you to collect the accident report after an accident. However, the accident report is vital, especially if you want to pursue compensation through a claim or a lawsuit. An accident report contains valuable information that you and your lawyer can use to build a strong case, identify liability and value your compensation.

What Valuable Information Is Contained in the Accident Report?

When you are involved in a car collision, notify the police immediately so they can come to the accident scene. They will prepare an accident report containing information needed during negotiations and trials. This data includes:

  • Names and contact information of involved parties
  • The at-fault party/parties
  • Damages and injuries caused by the accident
  • Insurance information of all involved parties

Cost to Request Car Accident Report

The prices for obtaining a car accident report from LAPD varies depending on whether you request it online or via mail. You will be charged application fees and processing fees for online requests by Lexis Nexis. If you use U.S. mail, you will need to send a $16 check or money order payable to the LAPD alongside the request. Note that the police department does not accept cash payments.

What You Need to Request a Car Accident Report

Whether you are buying a car crash report through Lexis Nexis or sending in your request through mail, there is some information you must provide to submit the request successfully. This data includes:

  • Names of all involved parties
  • Registration number and number plates of involved vehicles
  • The accident report number
  • The insurance policy number of your insurer
  • Time, date, and location of the accident

Accident Report when an Officer Wasn't at the Scene

The LAPD or CHP may not always respond to car accidents, especially minor accidents with negligible injuries and property damage below $1,000. In these cases, you can file an accident report online on the departments' websites or head to your nearest police station to report the incident. If there is no police accident report, your car accident lawyer can investigate the accident for evidence like pictures, videos, CCTV footage, and eyewitness statements.

We Can Help – Contact Us Today

The Dolman Law Group can help you get your car accident report from the LAPD or CHP. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.