A green vehicle going up a ramp of a tow truck to get repairs after an accident.After a car accident, you may be troubled by a number of questions.

Will the insurance adjuster understand that the other driver was at fault?  What if you also made a mistake?

Did you contribute to the collision? Will you be able to recover all your damages?

The first step to answering these questions is to obtain a copy of your car accident police report. The next step is to discuss the report with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, we offer free consultations for anyone involved in a car accident or other personal injury. We’ll review the report with you, answer your questions, and lay out your options for pursuing damages.

We can also take a second look at your report if an insurance adjuster has already denied your claim, and in some cases, we may be able to appeal the denial.

Coalinga Police Department Accident Reports Are Available by Phone, in Person, or Online

There are several options to obtain your Coalinga Police Department report:

You can call the Records Unit at 559-935-1525 ext. 161. They will need your case number, which is usually on the paperwork provided by the responding officer.

You’ll be asked for the date, time, and location of the accident and the type of record requested (traffic collision).

Additionally, you’ll need to provide your name, date of birth, and phone number and explain your involvement in the accident. California law allows people with a right or need to know to obtain public records.

With regard to car accident cases, this usually means a driver, passenger, injured party, owner of damaged property, parent or legal guardian of an involved minor, witness, reporting party, or representative for one of the above.

You’ll also need to fill out this form to go along with your request and turn it in at the Coalinga PD. Their address is:

270 N. Sixth Street

Coalinga, CA 93210

Please have a photo ID ready for verification when you turn in the form during standard business hours. The report will be mailed to you within ten business days, or you’ll receive a notification by mail or phone that your request has been denied.

Purchase Your Coalinga Police Report Online

The Coalinga PD’s website also notes that you can purchase a report online from Carfax’s CrashDocs. This option may be faster if you’re eager to read your report today, but CrashDocs will need the same information listed above to find your accident record.

What if the Police Report Says I’m at Fault?

This is a great question to discuss with your car accident lawyer. Some people feel the report unfairly blames them, while others believe the other driver also contributed to the crash.

A police report is not meant to definitively prove who caused a car accident. Instead, the responding officer gathers information by interviewing the involved parties and observing evidence at the scene.

In a section for “contributing factors,” they may note driver actions that contributed to the crash, such as running a red light or being distracted.

Many clients are surprised to learn that both drivers can contribute to a car accident. While some accidents may be caused solely by one driver’s actions, others are jointly caused by both drivers.

In California, each driver can recover the other party’s share of their damages. For example, if you are 15 percent at fault, you could still recover 85 percent of your damages.

So, if you see something on your report that indicates you had some fault, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of luck. However, there are still several potential challenges you should be aware of:

  • It’s crucial to read the report and let your attorney know if you believe anything is inaccurate. If you were, in fact, speeding or distracted, but the other driver was too, you might still be able to recover some compensation. But if you don’t believe you made the mistakes listed on the report, we can investigate and search for evidence to support your version of events. In some cases, we may be able to challenge the police report.
  • Unless it is very clear that one party is solely responsible, one or more insurance adjusters will be tasked with assigning a percentage of fault to each driver. Our concern is ensuring the insurance company’s estimate of your contributions is fair. Sometimes, the adjuster may assign a higher degree of fault than you have, resulting in a smaller settlement. When this occurs, we’ll build a strong case to show the adjuster why their estimate is inaccurate.
  • The adjuster could also underestimate your damages. The police report will give a general accounting of injuries, hospitalization, and property damage, but the insurance adjuster will also seek copies of medical records, repair estimates, pictures from the crash scene, and other documentation to determine exactly how much your claim is worth before subtracting your share of fault (if any). They may overlook future medical costs or lost income or underestimate non-economic damages like pain and suffering. To avoid these difficulties, your lawyer will carefully calculate the value of your claim in addition to ensuring an equitable accounting of fault.

How Can You Get Help From a Coalinga Car Accident Lawyer?

At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, our experienced Fresno car accident attorneys are always ready to provide a complimentary evaluation of your car accident case. Whether you have questions about your police report, need assistance accurately assessing your claim’s worth, or seek aggressive representation for the best settlement possible, we’re here for you.

There’s no obligation, and if you choose to proceed with our assistance, our fees are contingent upon winning or settling your case. Let us handle negotiations, alleviating the burden of dealing with insurance adjusters and allowing you to focus on recovering.

Deepak Ahluwalia, founder and managing partner of Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, recently achieved recognition as one of the American Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers. His accomplishments have been featured in numerous national media outlets, including NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, BBC, and CNN.

Committed to offering top-notch legal representation to those most in need, he remains dedicated to advocating for his clients’ rights. Work with him today when you call (559) 878-4958.