The police complete an accident report, also known as a police report or a Traffic Collision Report (CHP-555), every time an accident occurs in California.
An accident report can be useful if you intend to file a claim for the accident. You need to contact the local police department to obtain Burbank police reports.
Two Ways to Obtain Burbank Police Reports
The Burbank police offers two ways to obtain a Burbank accident report—in person or online. Obtaining a report in person is cheaper; while obtaining one online is more convenient.
- To obtain a report in person, go to the Records Bureau at 200 North 3rd Street in Burbank. You will need to stand in line and request a report at the counter. You will also have to pay a fee of $15. The Records Bureau is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
- You can request a copy online for an extra fee.
Keep in mind that you need to wait until four days after a Burbank car accident before requesting an accident report. The police need this much time to process and approve the police report.
What Kind of Information Does an Accident Report Include?
A California accident report typically includes:
- The date, time, and location of the accident;
- The names, addresses, and contact details of the parties and witnesses to the accident;
- A description of any damage to the vehicles;
- An account of the weather, road conditions, and visibility at the scene of the accident;
- A diagram of the accident;
- Any statements from parties or witnesses (so be careful what you say to the police at the scene of an accident);
- Any violations of law, including traffic violations; and
- The officer’s opinion of the cause of the accident, including fault.
You can dispute the contents of a police report.
How Can You Use a Burbank Police Report as Evidence?
If you file a claim for the accident, the insurance company will certainly obtain a copy of the police report, and the report will be important in settlement negotiations.
But things are different in court, where an accident report is hearsay evidence. As such, you cannot submit it as evidence in court under most circumstances (small claims court is an exception).
In some circumstances, however, an exception to the hearsay rule applies and you can use the contents of an accident report in court.
A skilled lawyer might be able to secure the admission of an accident report by persuading the court it is admissible under an exception.
Obtaining an Accident Report from the California State Police
If it was the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that prepared the police report (if your accident occurred on I-5, for example), you will need to obtain the police report from the CHP. The CHP applies more stringent standards than the local police do.
You must be a “party of interest”— meaning a driver, a passenger, a property owner, a vehicle owner, or a parent/guardian—to obtain an accident report. Additional procedures apply as well.
We’re Ready for Action
If someone’s negligence injured you or caused the death of a family member in a Burbank traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Contact Farzam Law Firm about your Burbank accident today.