An accident victim going through his insurance policy while standing next to his damaged vehicle.Madera County has a population of over 156,000 and includes cities and unincorporated areas like Madera, Chowchilla, Bass Lake, Summer Hill, Trigo, Gregg, Bonadelle Ranchos Nine, Banadelle Ranchos, and more. The Madera County Sheriff’s Department typically responds to accidents in unincorporated areas.

If your accident occurred inside a city like Madera, the report may be available through the local police department; otherwise, it was probably produced by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office or the California Highway Patrol.

Once you’ve located the report, you will likely want to pursue compensation for your injuries and property damage. This should be a simple process, but unfortunately, many car accident cases become complicated by disagreements about fault or the insurance adjuster’s valuation of damages.

It can be challenging to know if an insurance company’s offer is fair—or if there’s anything you can do about a claim denial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options and obtain the largest settlement possible for your injuries.

If you’ve experienced a car accident, please contact Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law for a free consultation. We’ll learn about your accident, answer your questions, and discuss your options for pursuing compensation.

Get Your Madera County Sheriff’s Office Car Accident Report Online or in Person

You can request a copy of the report in person during standard business hours at the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, which is located at:

200 W. 4th Street

Madera, CA 93637

Be prepared to give them the incident or report number, which is usually on paperwork provided by the responding officer. They will also need the date, time, and location of the collision.

Alternatively, you can request a copy of your report using this online form.

When the report is ready, or if they need more information, you will be contacted. Reports should be picked up within ten business days of when they become available.

Can Anyone Receive a Copy of an Accident Report?

No, under California law, only people with a right or need to know can access car accident reports. However, if you were involved in the accident, then you are usually considered to have a right or need to know. In most cases, requests will be approved for the following parties:

  • A driver or passenger involved in the accident
  • Another party who was injured or involved (like a pedestrian or bicyclist)
  • The owner of any damaged property
  • A witness or the person who reported the accident
  • A parent or legal guardian of a minor involved in the collision
  • An involved party’s insurance company
  • A representative (like an attorney) for an involved party

What Information Is Included in a Car Accident Report?

The first page of a police report usually contains biographical information about the drivers—names, addresses, contact information, insurance policy numbers, etc. Additionally, contact information for witnesses may also be included—this can be helpful if your attorney needs to interview a witness about what happened.

After checking that any information about you is correct, you can move on to the second page.

Here, the responding officer will check off any “contributing factors” in the accident. There are several categories of lists, and accidents can have multiple contributing factors.

Some are environmental, like weather, malfunctioning traffic lights, or road conditions. Others fall into the realm of “driver error”—speeding, ignoring traffic signals, distracted driving, drunk driving, etc.

It’s possible for both drivers to contribute to the collision through driving errors. If one is marked for you, it’s still possible to recover some of your damages if the other driver also had partial responsibility.

Under California law, each party to an accident or injury is responsible for their own share of the damages, so if the other driver was 80 percent at fault, you can recover 80 percent of your losses.

The second page also contains a section in which the officer tries to explain the movements each car made that resulted in the collision. You and your attorney should review this section and ensure it’s correct.

The officer may have been working with conflicting accounts and minimal evidence at the scene, so if there appears to be a mistake, your attorney will search for evidence to support your recollection of events. With enough evidence, we may be able to challenge the report.

The third page usually includes a summary of injuries and vehicle damage, including whether anyone was hospitalized and, if so, where. Your lawyer will ask about your injuries in case anything is not listed on the report.

We encourage you to seek medical help for any injuries, even minor ones, as soon as you can after a collision.

The final page contains a factual diagram of the accident. Again, the responding officer determines the facts to the best of their abilities with the information at hand.

This is only a preliminary assessment which can be affected by new information. If you disagree with the diagram, let your attorney know so they can seek out more evidence, such as doorbells or video cameras or additional witnesses.

What is the Next Step to Pursuing Damages After a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one are navigating the aftermath of a car accident, please contact Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law at (559) 878-4958 for a complimentary consultation. Our seasoned Fresno car accident law firm will meticulously examine the accident report with you and outline potential avenues for recovering damages.

If there is any possibility of reclaiming some or all of your losses, we’ll fight for your right to compensation. Additionally, we won’t charge you any fees unless and until we successfully conclude your case, so you never need to worry about upfront charges.

Deepak Ahluwalia, the founder and managing partner of the firm, stands out as one of the American Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers. His notable achievements have garnered recognition from leading national media sources such as NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, BBC, and CNN.

With an unyielding commitment to offering legal assistance to those in need, Mr. Ahluwalia tirelessly champions the rights of his clients, ensuring they receive the advocacy they rightfully deserve.