What You Should Know About Requesting an Accident Report

Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2022 at 7:37 am    

Immediately after a car accident, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and in shock. In California, you must report certain incidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If the police attend your accident, the reporting responsibility becomes theirs.

This is true whether the local police department, sheriff’s department, or Highway Patrol is on the scene. In this situation, you are not required to complete a separate accident report for the DMV.

When Is a Report to the DMV Necessary After a Car Accident?

After a car accident, Vehicle Code Section 20008 mandates either the driver or a representative of the driver make a written report to the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the city where the accident occurs within 24 hours. You must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles in most situations. These include:

An accident that resulted in injury: If anyone involved in the accident is injured during the accident, it must be reported to the DMV. This can include passengers in your car, other drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians. The degree of severity of the injury is irrelevant. If there’s an injury, it’s mandatory you report the accident.

Fatality: In the event of a death that occurred from an auto accident, it must be reported to the DMV.

Excessive property damage: If the amount of damage exceeds $1,000, the accident must be reported. Property that can be damaged during an auto accident includes trees, houses, personal possessions, and vehicles. In other words, this includes any possession owned by any individual, whether they were in one of the vehicles or a bystander, that was damaged during the accident.

Technically, you have 24 hours to notify the DMV if a death occurred in the accident. In other circumstances, the time varies according to the details of the incident. For example, if there was no fatality but there was excessive property damage or physical injury, the incident must be reported within ten days.

People who failed to report their accident can face heavy fines and potentially up to one year in jail. While you do have to report a car accident to the DMV, it is not necessary to report your accident to your insurance company. However, without a report, you likely forfeit the ability to receive any financial compensation for damages.

How to Request an Accident Report in California

There are three ways to get a copy of your accident report in California:

Using MyAccident.org, you can get the information from the CHP 555 form from your accident. However, it does not include personal information and contact information for the people involved. This is information your personal injury attorney will need.

You may also request a report directly from the California Highway Patrol. You’ll need to know the officer who filed the report and the date of the accident. You print a CHP 190 Collision request form from their website and include specific information with applicable fees.

You’ll also have to attach a photocopy of your driver’s license or another identification card to verify who is requesting the information. You may also notarize your signature on the form with a licensed notary if your identification was destroyed in the accident.

Finally, you can go to the police precinct of the officer who attended the car accident. The report is not usually available until five to seven business days after the date of the accident. You will need to know if it was the California Highway Patrol, local police, or Sheriff’s Department that filed a report, and you’ll need to request it from the Precinct where the officer was stationed.

Contact Tiemann Law Firm Today for Help Recovering Damages After an Accident

If you were involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. We understand that no amount of money can reverse the damages you have experienced. However, financial compensation can help pay for your medical bills and lost wages.

The attorneys of Tiemann Law Firm are compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyers who seek to obtain fair compensation for you. Our team is made up of skilled negotiators and tenacious litigators. This means we fight hard for fair compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company and are willing to fight for your rights if a lawsuit is necessary to recover damages for you. One of the documents necessary to prove your case is the police report that law enforcement files after a significant accident.

In California, you have two years to file a lawsuit if you are unable to negotiate a fair deal with the insurance company. This is called the statute of limitations. Don’t wait too long after your accident to contact our office. During your free initial consultation, we’ll review your case and tell you the next best steps to take. Call us today at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free, same-day consultation.

Client Testimonials

Elizabeth Ochoa Testimonial
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I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and its dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.

Dawniel Ewing Testimonial
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I have nothing but great things to say about this firm. They have been extremely helpful and professional when dealing with my case. Anytime I needed anything or wanted to be updated they responded immediately. They made me feel like they cared. Highly recommend them!

Michael T. Testimonial
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I sat down and met with Jelena Tiemann about my vehicle accident.I presented all of my documentation to her in which she gave me her assessment.Although the Tiemann Law Firm wont be representing me because my settlement offer was pretty good she was very clear,forward and professional about what she felt could and couldn't be done.I recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a helping hand at fighting a case where you don't have to worry about the outcome not going in your favor. Please don't review this business if you received a freebie for writing this review, or if you're connected in any way to the owner or employees.

Herb T. Testimonial
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The Tiemanns were referred to me by a friend and I am exceptionally happy with the service I received. I had never been in an accident before. I had no idea what to do. Jelena verbally explained how everything would work to me, and she and Peter handled everything. I didn't have to lift a finger once. They went above and beyond for me and I am extremely grateful. I pray I won't ever need this type of assistance again, but I will definitely be referring them to friends and family.

Jennifer T. Testimonial
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I highly recommend The Tiemann Law Firm! I had never before been in a situation where I sustained injury and had to seek legal representation. I was nervous, traumatized, and had no idea what to expect. Jelena, Peter, and their staff walked me through each step of the process. They explained everything in detail. They patiently answered all my questions, responded quickly to every email, text message, phone call, etc. I felt totally prepared for each new phase of the legal process. Furthermore, they were fearless in their defense of me. In certain situations, when I felt attacked or scared my attorney protected me like I was family. Their diligence, honesty, integrity, and compassion provided a true sense of healing and closure for my family and I. The Tiemann Law Firm accomplished more for me than I ever thought possible and I am forever grateful.

Hanna Padilla Testimonial
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From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

S.B. Testimonial
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Star Fire Testimonial
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It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of the hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Jereme S. Testimonial
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No one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Maye Ly Testimonial
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Matt H. Testimonial
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I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Jennifer Birdseye Testimonial
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Tiemann Law Firm helped us with an injury case for my nephew. They were very knowledgeable and we are very happy with the service they provided. The entire staff is topnotch!

Lendzey Garcia
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