Personal Injury Law Blog

How to Get Your Orange County Accident Reports

After a traumatic car accident, you understandably may feel overwhelmed about what steps to take next. If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your damages.

A key piece of evidence that may help your case is a copy of your Orange County crash report. A copy of your accident report gives your injury attorney some of the information needed to build a strong case on your behalf.   

Who Can Request Car Accident Reports in Orange County?

Under California law, car accident reports in Orange County may be released to the following individuals: 

  • Parties involved in the accident, 
  • Registered owners of vehicles in the accident, 
  • Parents of any minor child involved in the accident, 
  • Passengers listed in the report, 
  • Insurance companies, and
  • Attorneys representing involved parties.

Once you have determined you are someone entitled to receive a copy of the report, you must identify the law enforcement agency that reported to the scene of your accident. 

What Is an Accident Report in Orange County?

Depending on the location of your car accident in Orange County, one of three different law enforcement entities likely responded to the scene: the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the local police department, or the California Highway Patrol. 

Orange County car accident reports provide relevant information including:

  • The time, date, and location of the accident; 
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all involved parties; 
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses; 
  • Statements from involved parties and witnesses; 
  • Road, weather, and other conditions at the time of the accident; 
  • Description of physical injuries and property damage; 
  • A diagram of the accident; 
  • Whether the reporting agency issued additional citations at the scene; and 
  • The officer’s opinion as to a determination of fault. 

Although an OC accident report is generally not admissible in court, they provide unbiased facts and other relevant information related to your accident that your personal injury attorney uses in your lawsuit. 

How to Get a Copy of Orange County Accident Reports?  

The first step in obtaining a copy of your Orange County crash report is identifying the law enforcement agency that reported to the scene of your accident. Each agency has different requirements for obtaining an accident report. For example, you request an accident report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in four different ways. 

By Email 

To expedite the process of receiving your Orange County crash report, you may request a copy from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department via email. You must complete the required Request Authorization for Release of Case Information form online. Once completed, attach the form and email your request to reportrequest@ocsheriff.gov. 

In-Person, Fax, Mail 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department also accepts requests in person, by fax, or via mail. Complete in-person requests in the Records Division of the Santa Ana office located at 320 N. Flower Street, Santa Ana, California. The Sheriff’s Department is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

If making your request via postal service, you may mail the completed Request Authorization for Release of Case Information form to PO Box 449, Santa Ana, California 92703. 

Submitting a request by fax may be completed by sending required forms to (714) 834-5466.

A report costs only $0.15 per page and is usually available between 7-10 days after the event. 

Do I Have to File an Orange County Crash Report? 

California law requires all drivers involved in an accident to stop to ensure no parties suffered injuries and exchange information with other involved parties.

California Vehicle Code Section 20008 requires drivers to file a written report with the California Highway Patrol or with the local police department if an accident results in death or injury. You must file an accident report within 24 hours of the accident.

However, if a law enforcement officer responds to the scene of your accident, they will prepare the accident report in Orange County. 

Contact Us 

Joshua Glotzer and Daniel Leib of Glotzer and Leib, LLP understand that the aftermath of a car accident can be an extremely stressful time. You may be in shock and feel lost about what to do next. We are here to help you. We possess over 50 years of combined legal experience holding people accountable so our clients can recover the compensation they deserve.

We believe car accidents victims should receive help when they need it the most, and we strive to assist clients regardless of their financial situation. Remember, we accept cases on a contingency, so we don’t get paid unless you recover! Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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