How do I get a copy of a police report in San Diego?

A police accident report is an important document that can support your case if you are making an injury claim. You can get a copy of your accident report from the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), which investigates accidents that involve injury or significant property damage. Here’s what you need to know about SDPD reports and what you should do immediately after your accident.

How To Get A Copy Of Your San Diego Police Accident Report

SDPD allows you to obtain a copy of your Traffic Collision Report online, by mail, or in person. You must accompany your request with a money order or check for $12 per report, payable to the City Treasurer of San Diego.

To request a copy online, open the eCrash site, search for your report, and order it. A convenience fee of $10 per report may apply.

To request via US Mail, you will need to write a letter of request mentioning specific details of your accident such as its date, location, drivers involved, and incident number (if you have it). You’ll also want to include a copy of any valid ID. Send these to: SDPD Records MS#726, P.O. Box 121431, San Diego, CA, 92112-1431. Post this with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, along with the check or money order.

To request in person, approach the SDPD Records Division located at 1401 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101. The office is open from Monday to Friday starting at 7:30 a.m., but it’s best to go early as they work on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t forget to present valid identification. Or, if you are sending someone else to pick up your report, provide him or her with your written authorization.

The police department needs 3 to 10 business days from the date of the accident to process and release your report.  They will provide you with a physical copy of the document – they will not fax or email it. To check if your report is ready for pick-up, call them at (619) 531-2846 or email them at sdpdreportrequests@pd.sandiego.gov.

What A San Diego Police Accident Report Should Contain

An SDPD Traffic Collision Report contains information that describes the accident, its causes and factors, and the persons involved in it. These details can be invaluable in establishing who caused your crash and how much they are at fault. Check the following items in your police report to see if they are accurate:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Identifying information of the people involved
  • Description of how the accident happened
  • Statements from the people involved
  • Statements from witnesses.

Also, check the rest of the details in the police report. If you find that some information is wrong or incomplete, you can request the reporting officer amend or supplement it. The officer may do this if you present clear and conclusive evidence supporting the change. If not, consult a lawyer to see how you can challenge the report as it relates to your accident claim.

Crucial First Steps Immediately After Your Crash

The very first priority after a serious accident should be your medical care. If you or any of your passengers is injured, seek medical attention right away.

While waiting for emergency services, never leave the accident scene as this can be construed as a crime. You can start talking to the other driver to exchange names, contact details, vehicle details, and insurance information. Also jot down the names of other people involved, such as passengers.

If you can, take photos of the scene, emphasizing the injuries and property damage. Talk to witnesses in the area and write down their names and contact details.

The law requires you to report an injurious accident to law enforcement within 24 hours. Depending on where the accident occurred, the agency to report to is either the SDPD or the California Highway Patrol. Either way, you must also report to the California DMV within 10 days of the incident. Remember to notify your insurance company as soon as you can.

Even though you have hours or days to report to the authorities, don’t wait to do so. Any delay in your reporting may be taken against you in your injury claim.

When talking about your accident, even to the police, be wary of taking responsibility. Stick to the facts that you know and avoid assigning blame. Even saying “I’m sorry” could later be considered as an admission of guilt, so choose your words carefully.

Consult with an attorney if you’ve been injured

The best way to protect yourself from mistakes if you’ve been injured in a San Diego car accident is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. In San Diego call the award-winning personal injury lawyers at Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers at (619) 550-1355 for a free consultation.

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