How to Get an Accident Report in San Jose
When you’re in a car crash, the police will often come to the crash scene, especially if the collision caused serious injuries or death. When officers show up, they should collect information and compile it into a traffic collision report. This report can help people injured for families of those killed in the crash prove the cause of a crash to insurance companies during the injury claims process.
If you’re wondering how to get a traffic collision report in San Jose, you may need the report to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. You can obtain a copy yourself or seek help from a car crash lawyer who can handle every step of the process for you.
What Is in the Report?
The traffic collision report should contain:
- Names, license plate numbers, and insurance information of the drivers in the crash;
- Witnesses’ identities, statements and contact information;
- Time, date and location of the crash;
- Details about the crash;
- The reporting police officers’ opinions on what they believe happened and who they think was responsible for the wreck;
- Whether officers arrested or cited any drivers for driving under the influence (DUI) or other violations.
Obtaining a San Jose Crash Report
You will not get a copy of the report at the crash scene. You must obtain a copy later.
The following parties can request a report:
- Drivers involved in the collision;
- Parents, guardians or conservators for minor drivers;
- Employers of drivers;
- An authorized agent of a driver;
- Anyone in the report who suffered injuries in the crash;
- Vehicle or property owners that sustained damage in the crash;
- Insurance companies of drivers, injured individuals, or vehicle owners;
- Attorneys who represent drivers, injured individuals, or vehicle owners.
The San Jose Police Department Records Unit collects reports for incidents, arrests, and traffic accidents. You can request traffic collision reports online, by mail, in person, or by telephone. You can request a report online here.
The address to request your traffic collision report by mail is:
201 West Mission Street
San Jose, CA 95110
You can also call 408-277-4261 or visit the above address from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The current fee for obtaining a traffic accident report in San Jose is $16 per report.
A car crash lawyer can obtain the traffic collision report for you.
How the Accident Report Can Help?
A major question in many car crash cases is who is at fault? Which driver should be liable for the other’s losses? Another driver’s insurance company will not pay a claim unless it has proof its policyholder was responsible for the crash.
If the traffic collision report states the driver committed a violation, your car lawyer can learn whether the driver pleaded guilty or received a conviction for the offense. If so, you have proof of liability.
Even if there are no citations or arrests, the traffic collision report can help explain what happened. Insurance companies can read traffic collision reports and decide whether it is strong enough proof of their insured’s fault. Often, this is a persuasive document in car crash insurance claims.
If your lawyer files a personal injury lawsuit regarding the crash, the report cannot be direct evidence of liability. Your lawyer cannot read the report aloud in court as acceptable evidence. Instead, your lawyer can call the reporting officer to the witness stand to testify what they wrote in the report and why. This testimony can be persuasive evidence to a jury.
Need to Hire a San Jose Car Accident Attorney?
When filing an insurance claim or a personal injury claim, it can be helpful to know how to get a traffic collision report in San Jose. When you have serious injuries, financial stress, and more on your shoulders, a car crash lawyer can handle this process for you.
When you hire a car crash lawyer, they will take the stress of the legal process – and all its details, such as obtaining reports – off your shoulders. You can focus on medical treatment while your lawyer gathers evidence to prove your claim.
If you receive a report with inaccurate information about what happened or what you told the officer, your lawyer can help you amend the report to accurately reflect what happened. Then, your car crash lawyer can determine how to use the traffic collision report as evidence of liability in your case.
Never wait to take action following a car crash—seek legal help right away.
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