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Access to police reports..


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#1 nocrumpet

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:05 AM

In early September my daughters car was side swiped while parked.
We arrived after the incident occurred while police and witnesses were still on hand.
4 individuals saw the driver and car that hit my daughters, the driver stopped and got out looked at the damage spoke to some of the witnesses, and then left the scene. Luckily all 4 witnesses stayed after police were called, and all gave their statements, one of them had the good sense and was quick enough to get several pictures of the other car, the damages they incurred, and the license plate on it. . Our understanding was that police were quick to arrive, and gave chase, but were unable to catch up to the driver. The officer on hand ran the plate, and informed us that the vehicle was currently registered in L. A. County. We reside in neighboring Orange County
All the information, including the photos were given to the police that night. The incident was then turned over to the traffic investigations department. Our insurance company has sent us an SR1 (accident report ) to be sent in to the DMV. In order for them to obtain insurance and financial responsibility information on the other driver the SR! needs to be filled out. The form has a section for our information and the other drivers, and all sections must be filled out. There lies the problem, after several attempts the investigator handling the case has told me, he's unable to give me any information until he completes his investigation, closes the case, and files his report. He has given us no time frame, or any indication of when that may be. In the mean time our insurance won't authorize the repairs until the SR1 has been filed, and my daughter has been without a car for a month. As the victims in this situation, do we have any rights to the information that's been gathered so far on the report? Is there any time limit that report information can be withheld?

#2 pg1067

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:00 AM

First, is your daughter a minor? If not, there is no "we" here.

Second, whether your daughter/you have any entitlement to a copy of the police report depends on the laws of your unidentified state. That said, since you have the other driver's license plate number, your/your daughter's insurer should have no difficulty whatsoever obtaining identification information from the DMV.

#3 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:08 AM

In the portion of the form that asks for the other driver's information you simple put "unknown--hit & run" and then the police agency investigating and their report number. If the damage to your daughter's vehicle was greater than $750, that report should have been filed within 10 days.

#4 nocrumpet

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:18 AM

In response to pg1067 We live in Orange County California,, perhaps I wasn't clear. We do not have the other drivers information. plate number etc. The information the witnesses provided was given to the police, not to us. We arrived after the witnesses had spoken to the police. If we did in fact have the information, there would be no need for us to access it from the report. ...
LegalwriterOne.. Yes we are aware that the SR1 was supposed to be filed within 10 days.. I brought that to the attention of the investigating officer the first time I spoke with him and asked for the plate number registered owner of the vehicle etc...He told me that because the vehicle was parked we did not have to send in an SR!..Regardless whether it's required by the state or DMV is irrelevant, our insured is requiring it of us, and I see no point in trying to argue their policies with them. Yes the damage will no doubt be over 750.00. and we will need to file a suit to recoup some of the costs we have incurred.... another reason we need to access the report information. So I'll ask the original question again.. As victims of the crime aren't we entitled to information on the report ? and is there a time frame that the information must be made available to us?

#5 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:45 AM

As victims of the crime aren't we entitled to information on the report ? and is there a time frame that the information must be made available to us?


WHEN the report is completed, your daughter can obtain a copy. There's no time limit for the cops to complete the report. It'll be done when it's done. Criminal prosecution, however, must be initiated within a year...civil action by your daughter or her insurance company has to be filed within 2 years.

#6 nocrumpet

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:16 AM

Thank you!! and I know of a certain traffic investigations officer that will soon be receiving some home-made delicious cookies!! and perhaps some other incentive gifts!!

#7 adjusterjack

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

Thank you!! and I know of a certain traffic investigations officer that will soon be receiving some home-made delicious cookies!! and perhaps some other incentive gifts!!


That would be illegal and the officer would have to decline them and report your attempt to his superiors.

A better route would be to find out where the accident records office for your PD is located and go there to see if the accident report is on file yet.

In most places they are typically available within 10 days after the accident. Two weeks max unless there is a significant bureaucratic backlog and you won't be able to do anything about that except wait.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.





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