You are calmly driving your vehicle, and then the unthinkable happens. You are involved in a traffic accident through no fault of your own, and either you or another party is injured or dies. First, call 911 so that the injured party or parties gets immediate medical attention. Also, filing a written accident report with the proper authorities is essential.
In California, if you were the driver, you, your representative, or a police officer must make a report in writing to the California Highway Patrol within 24 hours. The official name of the report is the CHP 555 Traffic Collision Report, which asks for all of the details related to your accident. If you call the local police or the highway patrol, and an officer arrives at the scene of the accident, they will thoroughly investigate the scene, and then write and file the report for you.
You can obtain your own copy of the completed CHP 555 Traffic Collision Report once it has been filed. To do this, you must complete a CHP 190 form, and either mail it or submit it in person at a CHP Area office where the report was filed. However, it may be tricky for you to fully comprehend what the document says.
Always call an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Not only can they give you information about what your next steps should be, but they can also interpret the police report for you. This is important because the insurance companies involved will also get a copy of the report and will use the information in it when working on the case from their end.
Our attorneys have been handling cases like yours since 2007. Our managing attorney, Ross Jurewitz, supervises every case and has led his team to obtain million-dollar judgments for many of our clients. “I got the result I wanted and needed,” “They will do 100 percent better than anyone else,” and, “Jurewitz is the only way to go,” are just a few of our satisfied clients’ testimonials. You will be in very capable legal hands while we handle all of the details we need to build a strong case for you as well.
In the meantime, you can use the information listed here to help you navigate the accident report form on your own. Following is the type of information in each section of the report that your attorney will examine and discuss with you. You can access an unused form online to see exactly where this information goes.
- Identification: This section requires listing the details regarding the parties and the reporting districts involved in the accident: Names of the people involved in the accident and their contact information, gender, physical description, date of birth, race, drivers’ license numbers, vehicle owners’ names and contact information, travel direction, street or highway, speed limit, years, makes, and models of the vehicles involved; the exact location of the accident, and insurance information for both parties.
- Traffic Collision Coding: Collision codes are identifying descriptions that help to reconstruct traffic accidents: Officer ID, date and time of the accident, damage to property, investigating officer’s name, weather conditions, traffic signs and signals, people or objects in motion, vehicle involvement (another vehicle, pedestrian, etc.); safety features (car seats, airbags, seat belts, etc.); stationary objects, drivers’ physical condition at the time of the accident, inattention factors (cell phones, eating, smoking, animals, etc.); seating position of cars’ occupants, vehicle ejection(s), lighting, road and road surface conditions, type of collision (contact areas – side, front end, rear, etc.); movement prior to the accident, and other related factors.
- Injured/Witnesses/Passengers: Identifies each person’s role or function in the accident: Officer ID, all parties’ names, addresses, date of birth, contact information, involvement in the accident, injuries, transportation to a medical facility, safety restraints, and ejection(s).
- Factual Diagram: The investigating officer makes a drawing, not to scale, by using a graph to create an approximate illustration of the accident scene. The officer ID is included.
Contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers Today to Get Experienced Attorneys on Your Side
Ross and Lee Jurewitz gained a wealth of experience handling injury and accident cases while working for large law firms. Since 2007 when they established Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, they have used an aggressive approach with insurance companies and compassion toward their clients with great success.
Call (619) 233-5020 today so that Ross Jurewitz and his team can start the process of getting you just compensation for your accident. Or fill out our contact form for a free consultation, and start regaining your peace of mind today.