Getting a copy of your accident report from law enforcement is not something we do every day. However, obtaining the report is an important step to take after you are in an auto vehicle accident. The accident report provides important details—like who is at fault for how much of the accident—that will dictate which driver is responsible for compensating the other. So if you need to get a copy of your accident report in Modesto, CA, but don’t know where to start, read our guide below.

Why Filing an Accident Report Is Important

Filing an accident report isn’t just important for recovering damages after the accident. On top of its crucial role in the claims process, the California Vehicle Code requires drivers to report accidents to local law enforcement agencies in most circumstances. Drivers must report auto vehicle accidents to law enforcement if someone is injured, someone dies, or property damage of more than $1,000 occurs. The law enforcement officer who responds to the accident then files the report. Drivers who fail to notify law enforcement of an accident may face jail time of up to one year, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

On top of reporting to law enforcement, drivers must also file an accident report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of an accident. A driver who fails to do so can face up to one year of license suspension. Reporting to the DMV is entirely separate from the police report but equally important.

Getting Your Accident Report from the Right Agency

Where you get your accident report depends on the law enforcement agency that responds to your accident. If your accident is within Modesto city limits, the Modesto Police Department will respond, and you will request your accident report from them. If the accident occurs on a highway, the California Highway Patrol will respond, and they will have your accident report on file.

Getting Your Accident Report from the Modesto Police Department

Getting your accident report from the Modesto Police Department is as simple as filling out their police report request form. The form will ask for details about your accident, like date, time, and location. You can file your completed police report request form in person or by mail with the Modesto Police headquarters. The headquarters is at 600 10th Street, Modesto, CA 95354. You can submit report request forms in person on Mondays and Tuesdays between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, or Wednesday and Thursday between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Reports cost $.10 per page, and you must bring a valid photo ID. 

Getting Your Accident Report from California Highway Patrol

If your accident occurs on an interstate highway outside of Modesto, California Highway Patrol (CHP) will likely respond to the accident and file the subsequent report. If CHP responds to your crash, you can request a copy of your accident report through them directly. You can find the form here or in person at your local CHP office. The reports cost $10.00 for every 25 pages, and you can submit your request by mail or in person. You will find the Modesto CHP office at 4030 Kiernan Avenue, Modesto, CA 95356. They are open to the public from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Contact Silva Injury Law for Help Today

If you need help with any aspect of the claims process after your Modesto auto vehicle accident, the auto collision attorneys at Silva Injury Law, Inc. are here for you. The operating principles of our law firm are twofold. First, we strive to be decent human beings in every aspect of our legal practice, no matter who we are interacting with. Second, and equally important, our job isn’t to start fights. It’s to solve problems. That’s what we are here for, and that’s what our auto collision lawyers are committed to doing. Contact us today for help with your Modesto auto vehicle accident claim!