Driver’s school teaches us how to drive safely and avoid accidents. However, driver’s school doesn’t always prepare us for what happens after an auto crash accident. After an auto crash accident, California law requires drivers, in most instances, to report the accident to local law enforcement. The report that the responding law enforcement officer fills out becomes public record and acts as supporting evidence in all legal claims or charges related to the accident. Thus, if you need to file a claim after a crash, having a copy of the auto crash accident report, with all its details of the crash, is crucially important. Not everyone has had to request an accident report before, so read on for more information on how to get your Monterey police accident report.
Reporting an Accident in California
In California, the only accidents that do not require reporting to local law enforcement are ones where no one suffers injury or where no more than $1,000 of property damage occurs. Drivers who fail to report an accident to the relevant law enforcement agency can face up to one year of imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. To protect yourself from such a punishment, always notify law enforcement when you are in an auto crash accident.
In addition to reporting accidents to law enforcement agencies, California law requires drivers to report all accidents to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Failure to report a traffic accident to the DMV within ten days of its occurrence can lead to up to one year of driver license suspension. It is important to note that drivers are responsible for making this report themselves. Law enforcement agencies do not forward their own accident reports to the California DMV.
Where Do I Get My Accident Report?
There are two places you can go to obtain a copy of your Monterey accident report. Depending on where your accident occurs and who responds to it, either the Monterey Police Department or the California Highway Patrol will have your accident report on file.
Getting Your Accident Report from the Monterey Police Department
If your auto crash accident happens within Monterey city limits, the Monterey Police Department is the law enforcement agency that will respond. If that happens, you can get a copy of your accident report directly from the department for a nominal fee of $.10 per page. The City of Monterey’s website has a portal for submitting records requests that includes a link directly to the police record request form. You can submit the form online, by mail, or in person. To submit the request, email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org, mail it to the Monterey Police Department headquarters at 351 Madison Street, Monterey, CA 93940, or submit it in person to the same address during business hours. To prove your identity, you must bring your government-issued identification with you in person or attach a copy to your email or letter.
Getting Your Accident Report from California Highway Patrol
If your accident occurs on a highway near Monterey, California Highway Patrol (CHP) will likely respond to the accident and submit the related report. If you need to get a copy of your auto crash accident from CHP, they will handle your request directly. Auto crash accident reports from CHP cost $10.00 for every 25 pages. You can find the CHP form online on their website or in person at your nearest CHP office. You can submit your request form to CHP either in person or by mail. You can find the CHP office closest to Monterey at 960 East Blanco Road, Salinas, CA 93901. This CHP office is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
Hiring a Lawyer After a Monterey Auto Accident
Speaking with a legal practitioner after an auto crash accident is always a good idea. Even if the damages in your accident appear to be relatively minor, an auto crash attorney can help you avoid any unsavory surprises during the claims process. The Monterey auto crash lawyers here at Silva Injury Law, Inc. have helped countless clients get their life back on track after Monterey auto crash accidents and are eager to help you in any way that you need. At Silva Injury Law, Inc., we don’t take a cookie-cutter approach in serving our clients. Instead, we work with you directly to craft a legal strategy that fits your needs. Don’t settle for a generic law firm that is eager to start fights and create problems. Instead, go with the Monterey auto crash accident attorneys who pride themselves on being problem solvers. Contact Silva Injury Law, Inc. today for a free consultation!