Understanding Your California Accident Report

California auto accidents can complicate life for months, even years after a crash. You or a loved one may be hurt. You may have lost a loved one. Insurance companies may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement worth less than you deserve.

With so much at stake, it's important to be informed. This often begins with your California Traffic Accident report. As a special service to you, we are providing a sample document with our comments.

The information obtained by investigators at the scene of your accident and included in the report is often sought by insurance companies. It's important to understand the information on your report. It may be key evidence if you are pursuing a personal injury claim.

Review the information below and compare it to your accident report. If you have questions about the information on your report, call the Newport Beach Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Every discussion is personalized and confidential.

What information will I find on my accident report?

The date, time and location (county, city and district) of your accident are recorded at the top of your Traffic Collision Report. In addition, law enforcement officials record the number of people injured and killed in the accident, vehicle tow-away information and whether photographs were taken at the accident scene.

Driver and vehicle information is recorded by law enforcement officials.

Driver information includes:

  • Name, address and phone number
  • License number
  • Insurance carrier
  • Policy number

Vehicle information includes:

  • Make, model and color
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Vehicle damage

If property damage is reported at the scene of the crash, the property owner's name, address, and description of damage are recorded by officers.

Law enforcement officials use check boxes to document different aspects of the accident scene. These include the following:

  • Collision type
  • Primary collision factors
  • Weather and light conditions
  • Road surface conditions
  • Traffic control device functionality
  • Cell phone involvement
  • Movement preceding the collision
  • Sobriety test results

Contact information for all witnesses, passengers and injury victims is collected at the scene of the car accident. Additional information is collected for each injury victim, including EMS and hospitalization information, seating position and whether the injury victim was ejected from a vehicle, wearing proper safety equipment at the time of the crash, or suffered severe injuries.

Accident investigators draw a pictorial diagram of how they think your accident occurred. This includes vehicle direction, intersections and traffic signals, and if skid marks were present at the scene of the accident. Review this information carefully. If you believe the officer's diagram contains errors, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.

Reading your California Car Accident Report

If you were injured in a car accident, contact our Newport Beach car accident lawyers today. Call the Newport Beach, CA Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.