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Obtaining a Traffic Collision Report

If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident and your vehicle has sustained damages, or you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Accidents can be overwhelming, yet remembering important details about the impact is crucial. Fortunately, a Traffic Collision Report can help. It is also essential to contact the police after a crash. A professional on the scene can facilitate the exchange of information and make a report of the incident.

It is always encouraged to contact the police after a collision, regardless of how severe the damages are. As stated before, the police will create an official police report as proof of what took place. Our legal team has created a guide for you on how you can obtain a copy of a police report and Traffic Collision Report, along with learning additional information on whether police reports are admissible in court.

Police Report vs Traffic Collision Report

Police Report

A police report is a written document made by the responding police officer. This report will contain facts, circumstances, and a timeline of events that took place in the accident. Once the report is completed, the police officer will hand it over to the department for review and filing.
A police report may include:

  • The approximate date, time, and location of the crash.
  • Name and contact information of all parties involved.
  • Witness information.
  • Details of how the accident occurred according to the officer’s assessment of fault.
  • Any citations given and/or violations of the law.
  • Details of the road and weather conditions at the scene of the accident.
  • Description or diagram of the collision.
  • Statements from the other party involved in the crash.
  • Witness testimony.
  • A detailed description of damages and injuries.

A police report can help you prove your side of the story with ease. It can also be a determinant in whether or not you should pursue compensation. Our compassionate and experienced car accident attorneys can guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

How to Get a Police Report

There are a couple of ways you can obtain a police report. To get a paid copy of your report, you’ll need to request it from your local law enforcement office. The officer who drafts the report will typically hand you a receipt with an identification number. You can use this number to locate the report. Once you’ve called your local law enforcement agency’s traffic division and have paid the administrative fee, which is typically $15, a copy of the report will be sent to you. If you don’t know the identification number, you can provide the date, time, and location of the accident, along with your name. This information will assist you in finding the report.

To obtain a free copy of the police report, you can contact a claims representative from your insurance company to see if they’ve already requested for it.  If they’ve successfully obtained the report, ask the representative for a copy. Regardless of how you receive the report, it may take a few weeks for it to become available. The police report will contain all the vital information you need to receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. If you have any trouble obtaining your report, one of our skilled attorneys can help you get a copy.

Traffic Collision Report

You must report an accident if it causes property damages of over $1,000, bodily injury, or even death. If you fail to report the crash within 10 days, you could face harsh fines and/or lose your driver’s license. You are legally obligated to file the traffic collision report on an SR-1 form if you want to recover insurance benefits from another party’s policy.

Here is the information that you will need to include in your Traffic Collision Report:

  • Names and details of all parties involved.
  • Insurance information of all drivers involved.
  • Description of property damage or personal injury.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our attorneys will use this accident report to conduct an investigation for your case. For instance, seeking out every possible defendant involved will maximize your chance for recovery and compensation. These reports will allow us to determine who may be liable for the damages.

How to Obtain a Traffic Collision Report

Online. The easiest way to obtain your accident report is by visiting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) website. To pinpoint your specific report, you must include the following details:

  • Location of accident.
  • Last name(s) of the victim(s).
  • The exact date of the accident.

Once you’ve added this information, you’ll see a list of reports. If a police officer was called to the scene of the incident, use the report number they gave you. If you choose to obtain your report online, there is a convenience fee plus a nominal fee to download a copy of the report.

Traffic Collision Reports that involve an arrest, fatality, or a juvenile cannot be released online. You may, however, request a copy of your report by mail.

By mail. To request a report by mail, you will need to download and complete the Traffic Collision Request Report document. Once you’ve finished the form, mail it in with either a $18 check or money order made payable to the LAPD.

Mail to the following address:
Los Angeles Police Department
Records and Identification Division
P.O. Box 30158
Los Angeles, CA 90030

A copy of your report will be sent to your home address to retain for your records. Allow a minimum of 45 days from the date of the accident before requesting a copy of your accident report.

Submit a Written Request

Another way to obtain a Traffic Collision Report is through a written request. When submitting a written request, be sure to include the following: 

  • Type of report (traffic)
  • LAPD Report (D.R.) Number
  • Requester’s date of birth
  • Name(s) of party(ies) involved
  • Time and date of the accident
  • Location of accident
  • License plate number and state registration of vehicles involved
  • Your interest in a Traffic Collision Report
  • Release forms for authorized parties, insurance companies, proof of guardianship
  • Include the statement, “I declare this statement is true and correct”
  • Sign and date your request

A copy of your Traffic Collision Report is also available through your local DMV. Because your report is filed directly with this agency, you’ll need to visit one of their locations to obtain a copy.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you are looking to pursue an accident injury claim, our skilled team of attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will guide you through the process of acquiring necessary documents and information to strengthen your case immensely. No fees will be charged until your case has been settled. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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