- Get A Copy Of The Collision Report
If the police, sheriff, or highway patrol arrived at the scene, chances are, a collision report was made. If you obtained a collision report number, most places, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, Anaheim Police Department, Beverly Hills Police Department, Burbank Police Department, Culver City Police Department, Glendale Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, Orange Police Department, Pasadena Police Department, San Diego Police Department, Santa Barbra Police Department, and Ventura Police Department use an online portal through LexisNexis to access their collision reports. The portal can be reached at https://policereports.lexisnexis.com/search/?AGENCY=CA0194200&lang=en. The portal requires the state, jurisdiction, involved party’s information, date of incident, location of incident, and/or the report number.
Most departments have a way of requesting the report through mail. Each department has their own form, address, and amount of payment for requesting the report. Make sure to check the proper police department that has jurisdiction over the incident and/or arrived at the incident. Call ahead to ensure the report is ready.
To obtain a copy of a collision report from the Los Angeles Police Department, download and complete the Traffic Collision Report Request form available at http://lapdonline.org/obtain_a_traffic_collision_report and return it with a $33 check or money order payable to the LAPD to:
Los Angeles Police Department
Records and Identification Division
P.O. Box 30158
Los Angeles, CA 90030
- File A California DMV Form SR-1
In California, the law requires that traffic accidents on street, highway, or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident if there was an injury, death, or property damage more than $1,000.00. Untimely reporting of the traffic accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles could result in the Department of Motor Vehicle suspending a driver license. California Vehicle Code § 1806 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to record accident information regardless of fault and requires that the driver file an SR-1 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles regardless of whether they caused the collision.
The form can be found at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/web/eng_pdf/sr1.pdf and there are no fees for submitting the form. It can be mailed to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 942884
Sacramento, CA 94284-0884
After the form is filled out, a copy is sent to the other driver. If the DMV has the other driver’s insurance in their file, a copy will also be sent to their insurance company. The DMV will also update their file and fill in the SR-1 with the missing insurance information.
- File A California DMV Form SR-19
This form can be used to obtain insurance information of a vehicle, a photocopy of a reported DMV Form SR-1, or an uninsured motorist certificate. This can be useful to obtain insurance information of another driver. Once the DMV receives the SR-1 form, they investigate the license plate and driver to find their insurance policy coverage for the incident. Then, a driver can obtain a copy of the updated form with the update insurance information. If there is no insurance information in the file, then the DMV will return a certificate of non-insurance for the incident, useful to open up an uninsured motorist claim under applicable policy.
The form can be found at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/4acbfc87-082f-4183-b307-8db1c82f7cac/sr19c.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID= and must be submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles with a nonrefundable fee of $20.00 and can be mailed to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Financial Responsibility Department
P.O. Box 942884
Mail Station J237
Sacramento, CA 94284-0884
- File A California DMV Form INF 1161E
In a pending civil or criminal action, this form can be used by an attorney licensed to practice in California to obtain driver’s license information or vehicle registration records of another vehicle. This is useful with collision reports do not have the correct information or in cases of a hit and run. After finding the driver’s license information or vehicle registration records, you can then submit an SR-1 form and a SR-19 form to obtain the insurance information.
The form can be found at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/7a06a225-a00a-49be-b994-479c72a9fa04/inf1161e.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID= and must be submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles with the appropriate fees and mailed to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Public Operations – G199
P.O. Box 944247
Sacramento, CA 94244-2470
- Send A Letter To The Defendant
If the other party is not represented by an attorney, a letter can be sent to the driver and/or registered owner of the other vehicle (information can be obtained via SR-1, SR-19, and/or INF 1161F) demanding them to send their insurance information.
- Run A Policy Background Check
Many companies provide services for fees ranging from $200.00 to $500.00 for policy background checks. These policy checks can check for car insurances, homeowner policies, umbrellas policies, liability coverage, and other types of coverages for any incident.
Consult with an attorney
Lawyers are not experts in math, but they are experts in the law. Following an auto accident, it is important to have an attorney when reporting a claim to make sure all rights are protected and to ensure maximum recovery of the claim. Regardless of whether there are any injuries or damages, if an accident is being reported, an attorney should be consulted.
Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional attorney who is ready to work for you.
Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403
Consultation: Free - 60 minutes
Tel: (310) 363-0551
Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com
Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.
is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.
In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.
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