The damaged front end of a purple car that got into an accident with another vehicleA car accident can leave you juggling medical bills, doctor’s appointments, car repair estimates, and other consequences of another party’s negligence. Before filing an insurance claim, you may want to review the car accident police report.

Generally, these reports become accessible within 1-2 weeks of the accident from the law enforcement agency that responded. However, the procedure for acquiring a car accident report can vary by location.

We’ll discuss how to secure your report and what else you need to know about your car accident claim in this guide.

The insurance adjuster will also review the police report, and sometimes, they conclude the injured party was at fault. It’s not unusual for a client to contact us because they believe the insurance company unfairly denied their claim or reduced their settlement based on the client’s perceived fault.

At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, our team of legal professionals is prepared to assist you with these issues and work to obtain the largest possible settlement. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, we urge you to contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your options.

The Fowler Police Department Accepts Car Accident Report Requests In-Person

You can visit the Fowler PD to request your report during business hours, Monday through Friday. They are open from 8 AM to 12 PM, then from 1 PM to 5 PM, at:

128 South Fifth Street

Fowler, CA 93625

You’ll need to fill out a request form, which you can do ahead of time to speed up the process. The form is available online in English (page 1) and Spanish (page 2).

In addition to your name and contact information, you’ll need to include the date, time, and location of your accident.

The form also requires you to state your involvement with the accident. California law allows traffic collision reports to be released to those who have a need or right to know, typically in one of these categories:

  • A driver
  • A passenger
  • A witness or the reporting party
  • An injured party, including pedestrians or other vulnerable road users
  • Someone who sustained property damage
  • The parent or legal guardian of a minor who was in the accident
  • A representative for one of the above parties

Each report costs $15, and after dropping off your request, you can expect to wait around ten business days for it to be processed and reviewed.

Once your request has been approved and you’re notified the report is available, you must pick it up in person within ten working days of the original request. If you don’t collect the report within this time frame, you may have to make a new request and begin the process again.

What Else Should You Do Before Filing an Insurance Claim?

It’s helpful to gather as much evidence as possible before it’s too late. If you’re able, take photos at the collision site.

Do the best you can to capture all the damage to your vehicle (multiple angles are ideal), the other vehicle, the road, and the surrounding area (especially traffic signals and signs). Also, photograph any visible injuries.

It’s hard to know what might be important to your case, so the more pictures, the better.

While taking lots of pictures is great, posting them online is not. The insurance adjuster might find your social media and read every comment you and your friends make on these photos.

In some cases, they may misinterpret one of these comments as an admission of fault or inconsistent with something in the police report.

Always seek medical care right away or as soon as you can after your accident. Delaying medical care can complicate your insurance claim if the adjuster believes your injuries are not from the car accident.

Unfortunately, it’s common for people to initially feel normal after an accident but develop pain or other symptoms later. If this happens to you, please see a healthcare provider as soon as you experience symptoms and tell them about your car accident.

Prompt treatment can help you heal faster, and you’ll document your injuries for the insurance claim.

Follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment. If you have a problem with a medication’s side effects or other issues with the treatment, talk to your healthcare provider so they can make adjustments.

If you don’t attend follow-up appointments or comply with your doctor’s recommendations, the insurance adjuster may get the idea that your injuries are fake or, at least, not very serious.

Speak to an experienced car accident lawyer in Fresno before you give a statement to the insurance company. In many cases, we can handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf, saving you the stress of dealing with an insurance adjuster when you need to focus on your recovery.

Conversations with the adjuster can also be tricky for the injured party, as they are usually recorded. Later, the adjuster might play back the conversation and decide an innocent comment indicates you were at fault.

If you’ve already made a claim and received an offer from the insurance company, please ask a car accident lawyer to review it. Sometimes, the insurer’s initial offer undervalues your damages or reduces your settlement because of assumed fault.

If the offer is indeed too low, your attorney will negotiate for a more appropriate settlement so you can recover all the compensation you deserve.

Get Help From a Fowler Car Accident Attorney Today

Coping with the aftermath of a car accident is often stressful and confusing. You may wonder how to pay your medical bills, if the insurance company’s offer is fair, or if you were at fault.

Consulting a personal injury lawyer can help you answer your questions and understand the available options to recover your damages. If you need guidance in deciphering your police report or exploring avenues for pursuing a personal injury claim, please reach out to Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law at (559) 878-4958 for a complimentary consultation.

If we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we successfully resolve it.