Skip to main content
  • What is a Police Traffic Investigation Report in California?

    How to Get a Copy of My LAPD Car Accident Report?

So you got run over by a car or were injured in a City of Los Angeles automobile collision. You are probably trying to track down a copy of the accident report. By now, the insurance company is either denying liability or saying they can’t make a decision till they see what the LAPD wrote down in the traffic collision report, defined here.

The Los Angeles Police are notorious for delaying, as any experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles already knows. Requesting a copy of the collision report is easy enough, but you must know a few things about making a traffic collision report request. But why is it so important, and what’s in your Los Angeles accident report that insurance companies are so concerned over?

Below, our most experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney, Michael Ehline, will explain the importance and how to get one in either Spanish or English as swiftly as humanly possible after experiencing a Los Angeles car accident. If one is made, the LAPD officer or other public safety officer on scene will generally give you an incident number, a description of the vehicles involved and contact information of the other driver, and their insurance information.

How to Get a Copy of My LAPD Car Accident Report?
Biased LAPD means motorcycle accident problems

Complete reports over a car accident in Los Angeles that are made can be ordered from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

They can be ordered in person, online, or by requesting one through the United States Mail /Postal Service.

Quick LAPD Order a Police Report Guide:

To make an LAPD accident report request online in English, click here.

To make a request for an LAPD accident report online in Spanish – Español, click here.

If you seek to request an LAPD traffic collision report through the U.S. Mail, you must:

  1. Login to the LAPD website, download and complete a Traffic Collision Report Request
  2. Mail the request to LAPD and a check or money order for USD 16.00, payable to the LAPD. The LAPD is not allowed to accept cash as a form of payment.

Mail your finalized report, request, and financial payment to:

Los Angeles Police Department
Records and Identification Division
Document Processing Unit
P.O. Box 30158
Los Angeles, CA 90030

If you need answers to related questions, you can contact 1-800-ASK-LAPD (1-877-275-5273) t speak with the accident report department. Are you seeking to have your report released online? You use the LAPD online by typing

Note that a traffic collision report typically will include the posted speed limit, vehicle registration numbers, license plate number of any involved vehicle, the requestor’s date of request, as well as the parties listed and the date of birth listed in the report taken at the crash site. It should also document any witness statement given at the crash location.

This basically a true and correct document designed to summarize certain details about victims, witnesses, and defendants in a car accident. The responding police officer usually prepares the document. Upon arriving at the incident scene, LAPD will check for injuries and alcohol use, as well as the people’s names, addresses, and phone numbers at the vehicle crash scene.

If someone was speeding, the LAPD may cite the liable party for a traffic violation and write this down as a potential cause of legal liability. Anyone cited will usually be required to sign and date a notice to appear in court, assuming they are not arrested for a DUI, reckless driving on the spot for causing fatalities, etc.

Parties seeking compensation will need this information, including any arrests made, as it documents they are entitled to compensation damages since they are not at fault for this case. Make sure your return address is correct, or you will be unable to receive the requested information in a timely fashion.

Importance of Report Number to Getting a Copy From the Los Angeles Police Department

The report number your LAPD officer gives you will help you pursue the true report from the LAPD once it’s finally ready for publication. To obtain a copy with no report number is harder, so do your best to get that information from authorized persons before making a verbal or written request in your case.

1. Who Can Obtain a Copy of a Los Angeles, California Traffic Collision Report?

Under California Vehicle Code Section 20012, the following parties can seek and order an LAPD report:

  • Any motorists or pedestrians involved in the crash
  • Any legal caretaker or guardian ad litem acts on behalf of the driver, passenger, or other person involved in the collision, including a minor child or elder
  • Any legally competent person injured in the wreck
  • Any person or entity who suffered personal or real property damage as a result of the accident
  • Any person potentially at fault for causing the accident
  • The legal, licensed attorney representing any of the people listed above.

2. How Long To Receive LAPD Police Report From Requester’s Date?

Although it could be more, or it could be less, you will typically be forced to wait approximately 45 days from the crash date to make your request to obtain an LAPD car accident report. The bloated LAPD claims they take so long because they need time to review and approve each Los Angeles accident report for accuracy before release. So don’t expect to obtain a copy as fast as you could get a police report from Santa Monica, or Long Beach PD, for example, from when the city records request date is completed.

Even LAPD’s website makes it clear there could be a minimum of two months for LAPD to process and provide any traffic collision report, so don’t take it personally.

If you want to obtain an update on how much longer it will take from an authorized representative at LAPD, you can telephone (213) 486-8100. You can also file a complaint to declare if you think your request claim form is being treated unfairly or unduly delayed.

3. Can You Get All Traffic Accident Reports Online?

Although parties can request the majority of accident reports online, some reports can only be obtained through the U.S. Mail or possibly in person with a court order or a lawyer. The only caveat is you must be a person legally authorized to receive the following information by signing a statement, and you date your request and declaration. So long as you declare this statement is true and correct under penalty of perjury, you can get a copy of the report.

These unavailable reports include:

  1. Traffic incidents involving a criminal arrest fatality or juvenile
  2. Any traffic accident reports created on or before February 1, 2016.

5. What Other Information Goes Into The LAPD Traffic Collision Report?

An LAPD officer typically responds to the scene of a vehicle collision shortly after a crash occurs. If it was near a Freeway, the CHP or even the Sheriff might also show up. Once the officers determine which agency has primary jurisdiction, the lead investigator will interview each driver and others as necessary. After responding, the lead officer will create and file the final, completed report, which is the summary of the investigation of the crash scene.

The LAPD report typically includes: information like:

  • Date and time, as well as accident location,
  • Weather and road conditions, including rain, light, wind, potholes, or roadway construction zones
  • Identity of parties, as well as witnesses, including name, driver’s license details, vehicle state of registration, license plate numbers, address, and phone numbers
  • Summary of physical damage to private and public property by vehicles involved in the collision
  • Whether or not a driver committed a traffic violation, like following too closely, making an illegal left turn, or was under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs like Xanax or Prozac, or illicit drugs like marijuana or cocaine.
  • LAPD officer’s conclusions, including any lay or professional opinions of what took occurred
  • An illustration and diagram showing a map of the accident scene, along with north, sith, east and west orientations of vehicles and obstructions, along with debris field path. However, as noted, the police general owes no duty to you. The police only owe a duty to protect the state, as noted in American common law history.

5. Can Our Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Help Obtain An Accident Report?

Yes. If you got into a car crash, get a free consultation with a swift, aggressive, competent car accident attorney in Los Angeles at Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, for the assistance you deserve.

An attorney at our law firm can assist you in:

  • Obtaining a copy of the LAPD report from the police officer or issuing department
  • Obtaining party insurance information and filing any required reports to the authorized insurance company(ies)
  • Filing any insurance claim or government claim with the applicable entity on your behalf
  • Conducting aggressive insurance settlement negotiations on your behalf
  • Aggressive evidence gathering and investigations against all parties accused of causing the car accident
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit on a contingency fee basis when settlement talks break down or fail to compensate your injuries fully.

Based on our experience and insurance company statistics, car accident attorneys obtain larger payouts for a serious injury crash or fatality than people who represent themselves. Feel free to contact our experienced and aggressive Los Angeles car accident attorneys online by using our convenient contact form.

You can dial our number 24/7 for a quick talk about you and how to pursue other drivers at (213) 596-9642. Before ordering traffic collision reports alone, call us for some free legal advice in confidence.


  1. California Vehicle Code Section (CVC) 20012.
  2., “Obtain a Traffic Collision Report.”
  3., “How Can I Make/Obtain a Traffic Collision Report?

Firm Archive

Main Los Angeles Location

633 W 5th Street #2890 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 596-9642.

Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

Go here for for More Verdicts and Settlements


Personal Injury News