About a Car Accident Police Report
Have you recently been injured in a car accident in Irvine, CA? If so, these next steps are critical.
A car accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you need to heal, both emotionally and physically. To build a strong case for your claim, an attorney will need access to details pertaining to the accident, including the police report.
A car accident police report is created when a police officer responds to the scene of a car accident. It contains valuable information about the collision, including the parties involved, the makes and models of all vehicles, as well as the road and weather conditions at the time. It may also include key reports from eyewitnesses.
Here is how you can obtain this report, and why it’s necessary.
Why Do You Need a Police Report?
If you have been injured in a recent car accident, it’s essential to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Your car accident lawyer will work with you to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver. If the claim is denied or isn’t adequate, they can also represent you in a lawsuit.
The car accident police report contains official, detailed information about your traffic collision. While you can technically file a claim without one, it becomes much more difficult to prove exactly what happened and who is at fault. A police report speeds up the processes, serving as a valid account of the event.
This document contains important details about the accident you were involved in. This includes:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- A drawn diagram of the accident (path of vehicles, point of collision)
- The parties involved in the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- The officer’s findings or opinion on how or why the accident occurred
Insurance companies will reference these reports to determine the extent of property damage, as well as who is at fault for the collision. They will use this data to determine if you have a fair basis for a claim, and if so, how much your claim is worth.
Who Can Request a Copy of the Report?
In the city of Irvine, only authorized parties of interest can request a copy of a police report. If the report is related to a traffic collision, this includes:
- The driver or drivers involved
- The guardian or conservator of any driver involved
- The parent of a minor driver
- A driver’s authorized representative
- Any named person injured in the accident
- The owners of vehicles or property damaged by the accident
- Any individuals who may incur a civil liability, including one based upon a breach of warranty, from the accident
- Any attorney who represents any of the above individuals
- The insurance carrier against whom the claim has been made
How to Request a Car Accident Police Report
Every jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations to follow when you need to access a police report. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Irvine, you have the right to request access to the report that describes your collision. If you plan to file an insurance claim, you’ll need the report as soon as possible.
Here are the steps to follow when you’re ready to request a police report:
Option 1: Visit the Irvine Police Department Website
First, go to the official website of the Irvine Police Department.
Toward the bottom left hand side, you will see a button labeled “Police Records”. When you click the link, it will take you to a page where you can fill out a form to officially request a copy of the police report related to your accident.
This form is designed to make your request as simple and quick as possible. Once you click the link to the Online Police Report Request Form, you will see all of the fields that you need to complete. In addition to your personal contact information, you should be ready to provide the following details:
- The report number
- The reason for the request
- The type of report you need
- The specific information requested
- Copy of your government-issued ID
- Authorization letter
You will also need to declare under penalty of perjury that you are the victim. Then, once you add your electronic signature to the bottom of the form, you can submit it. Once your request is approved and the Irvine Police Department reviews it, you can expect to receive the report electronically.
The electronic version of your report will come from the following address: [email protected]. The email address is not monitored.
Option 2: Visit the Irvine Police Department in Person
If you are unable to complete the form online, you can also request a copy of your traffic accident report in person by visiting the Business Desk at the Irvine Police Department. For instance, this will be a necessary step if you’re unable to upload a copy of your government-issued ID onto the online portal.
The Business Desk is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the report, the release may require a detective. If this is the case, the report may not be accessible that same day.
Irvine Police Department 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
Before a report can be released, the Irvine Police Department must review it for release eligibility. If the report requires a detective’s approval, it may take up to 10 days for the department to determine eligibility. During that review period, you can call the Business Desk to check the status of your report and inquire whether the release has returned to the Records department yet.
Once you officially request a report, make sure to pick it up as soon as possible. Any reports that are unclaimed after 30 days will require a new request submission.
Option 3: Mail Your Request
You can also request a copy of your police report via mail. To do so, you will need to send a notarized, written request to the Irvine Police Department via US mail. Include the following with your request:
- A legible copy of your valid, government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
- Your police report number
- A self-addressed stamped envelope
You will need to send the request for your police report to the Irvine Police Department’s post office box:
Irvine Police Department
P.O. Box 19575 Irvine, CA 92623
ATTN: Police Records
Is There a Fee?
No. In Irvine, police reports are available to authorized parties at no cost. However, if you are requesting police photos in addition to the report, there is a $6.00 fee. You will need to pick up the photos at the Business Desk and provide payment at the time of collection.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney Today
If you suffered injuries after a collision, acquiring your car accident police report is an essential step in order to determine damages and who is at fault.
If you are unsure about requesting a police report on your own, a car accident attorney can help you. Not only are they authorized to request the report, but they’ll know how to go through it with a fine-tooth comb, finding all of the important details that can help strengthen your case.
Our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.