A totaled purple car in a parking lot waiting for service.Experiencing a car accident can introduce new hurdles, ranging from medical expenses to income loss to property damage. Many people intend to pursue reimbursement from an insurer, so obtaining a copy of the police accident report is imperative.

It’s advisable to review this report with a personal injury attorney before making an insurance claim, but you can also get help from a lawyer after filing a claim.

Why should you seek legal representation for a car insurance claim? Insurance adjusters meticulously study a police accident report, searching for any indication that you bear even partial responsibility.

Additionally, they might underestimate the extent of your damages, potentially leaving you with insufficient funds for your recovery or car repairs. Their goal is to diminish or completely eliminate your final compensation, improving the company’s bottom line—and negatively impacting yours.

Your personal injury attorney will accurately assess the value of your claim and ensure the insurer correctly assigns fault. When you or a loved one are hurt in a car accident, please contact Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law for a free consultation regarding your claim.

We’ll guide you through the intricacies of the police report, address your questions, and outline your avenues for pursuing damages. Should we take on your case, you won’t incur any fees until we achieve a favorable outcome.

Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Car Accident Reports Are Available Online, by Mail, or in Person

Usually, the simplest option is to fill out a records request here. You may also print the form and bring it to the Sheriff’s Office in person or send it by mail to:

Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

2200 Fresno Street

Fresno, CA 93721

In the “Request Description” box, you should provide as much information as possible. At a minimum, the date, time, and location of your accident will be necessary.

If the responding officer gave you paperwork with an incident number, including that would be helpful. Also, give your name and role in the accident—driver, passenger, witness, etc.

The next section requests your contact information. Your name, address, and phone number are required.

An email address is not required, but you should include one if you want your report emailed.

Reports are 10 cents per page and are usually about four pages long.

What Should You Do With Your Car Accident Police Report?

First, you should skim the report to determine if all the information appears correct. If you notice any discrepancies, please make a note and discuss them with your attorney.

Your lawyer can also help you understand the report better. Often, people have questions or concerns because the report can be confusing to a layperson.

One common concern, for example, is that the report blames the injured person for the accident, and they believe another driver was at fault.

We also review a police report for liability indicators—from both drivers. It’s beneficial to understand that not every accident is a single driver’s fault.

California law allows for shared fault, which happens frequently in car accident cases. Sometimes, both drivers are speeding or make mistakes that contribute to the crash.

So Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

California uses a pure comparative negligence model for personal injury claims, including car accidents. If both parties share fault, each party can recover damages proportional to the other party’s percentage of responsibility. For instance, if you are 25 percent at fault and the other driver is 75 percent at fault, you can recover 75 percent of your damages from them (and they can recover 25 percent of their damages from you).

What About Car Insurance?

Liability car insurance is required in California, so in most cases, each party’s insurance company will pay their share of the other driver’s damages. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UI) is not required if you sign a waiver when buying insurance, but we advise against rejecting this valuable coverage.

Over 16 percent of California drivers are uninsured, and in many cases, UM/UI is the only option for recovering damages in an accident with one of these motorists.

Additionally, more severe accidents could result in high-dollar damages. If the other driver has only the minimum insurance coverage, your damages might exceed the limits of their policy, leaving you with unpaid bills.

At the same time, even with sufficient car insurance, you may have difficulty recovering all or any of your damages. Insurance adjusters sometimes assign more blame to an injured party to reduce their settlement, or they may undervalue the injured person’s damages.

These situations can be stressful for the person who is struggling to recover from injuries or get their car repaired, but don’t call the insurance company to complain. Unfortunately, talking to the insurance rep often makes things worse.

Instead, seek legal advice from a qualified Fresno car accident attorney who can determine the best steps forward. If the insurance company has offered you too little for your claim, we’ll advocate for a more reasonable settlement.

Where Can You Turn for Assistance With Your Car Accident Claim?

At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, our seasoned legal experts are available to conduct a complimentary evaluation of your car accident case. We’re committed to addressing any concerns regarding your police report, aiding you in accurately gauging the value of your claim, and staunchly working toward the most favorable resolution.

There’s no obligation, but if you choose to proceed with our assistance, we won’t charge any fees until we secure a settlement on your behalf. Additionally, we’ll oversee negotiations, sparing you the stress of dealing with an insurance adjuster.

Deepak Ahluwalia, the founder and managing partner of Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, recently became one of the American Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers. His achievements have garnered widespread recognition from esteemed national media outlets, including NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, BBC, and CNN.

His unwavering objective has always been to provide top-notch legal representation to those in need, and he remains steadfast in working to achieve the best outcomes for his clients. You, too, can work with him when you call (559) 878-4958.