How Do I Get a Copy of a Police Report from My Car Accident?

Mar 28, 2023 | Personal Injury

If you’ve been in a car accident and wondering how to proceed with recovering damages, getting a copy of a police report from the accident is a relatively straightforward part of the process. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Contact the police department

Contact the police department that responded to the scene of the accident. You can usually find this information on the business card the officer gave you at the scene, or by searching online for the police department in the area where the accident occurred.

The City of San Diego website, for example, provides instructions on how to get a police report by type and allows you to submit an online request for vehicle accident reports.

2. Request the report

You can request a copy of the report either in person, by phone, or by email/online, depending on the accident location. 

You will need to provide your name, the date and time of the accident, and the location of the accident. If you are not the driver, you will also need to provide the name of the driver.

3. Pay the fee

There is usually a small processing fee for obtaining a copy of a police report, which can vary from one police department to another. Some departments may accept payment by credit card over the phone, while others may require payment in person or by mail. 

4. Wait for the report

It can take several days to several weeks to receive a copy of a police report, depending on the police department. If you need the report sooner, you may be able to expedite the process by paying an additional fee.

On the website, they mention the following for processing time: “Please allow 3 – 10 business days from the date of the accident so the report can be submitted, processed, and approved for release”.

5. Review the report

Once you receive the report, review it carefully to ensure that the information is accurate. If you find any errors, you can request that they be corrected.

Note that some police departments may have restrictions on who can obtain a copy of a police report. For example, some departments may only release the report to the parties involved in the accident or to their attorneys. 

If you are unable to obtain a copy of the report, you may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer for assistance.

Need an attorney? Call the San Diego, CA, law firm of Gallagher Krich, APC at (858) 926-5797, use our contact form, or email our lawyers at info [at]

Latest News & Updates

Meet Our San Diego Attorneys

Thomas F. Gallagher, Esq.

Troy B. Krich, Esq.

Contact Gallagher Krich, APC

What Clients Say:

Mike K., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 11, 2023

Thank you so much for all your help in resolving a real estate matter so quickly and efficiently.

Mike K

What Clients Say:

Jonas Y., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
December 28, 2022

If you need a “ Closer”, go see Troy. Troy has been one of the best attorneys I have ever worked with. I don’t typically give reviews but after the last case Troy helped me settle out of court, I won’t hesitate to use Troy again! Thanks for all you do Troy !

Jonas Y

What Clients Say:

Daniel E., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
October 11, 2022

I left a voicemail for Tom late Sunday evening and received a phone call first thing the next morning.

Tom was very quick to reply to any questions I had, and if he was caught up in a meeting, he was sure to return my call promptly.

Tom provided sound and logical advice, during a very stressful and uncertain time. At times I asked him to be more aggressive and was often met with the pros and cons of that decision, allowing me to understand the approach and thought process behind his strategy.

Ultimately he provided options for several paths for us to take, worked swiftly, and got us where we needed to be.

He reached out several times to check on my sanity and make sure I was good.

As someone with very high expectations, I would highly recommend his services. He provided expertise that proved to be successful, and also took the time to make sure I was emotionally solid.

Tom assisted with me with a 50% / 50% ownership conflict.

Daniel E

What Clients Say:


Rated 5.0 out of 5
February 23, 2022

Really informative and actionable, very grateful to have connected and I look forward to working more with them in the future.


What Clients Say:


Rated 5.0 out of 5
February 8, 2022

i liked that a lawyer, and not a staff member, called me to get the details and he gave me his opinion of what his initial thoughts are about my case.


What Clients Say:

Bob W., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 30, 2021

What was thought to be a simple breach of contract turned into a nightmare. Through their tenacity and their deep knowledge of the law, we were successful. There is no reason to look any further as you will not get any better representation than this firm. I highly recommend them and strongly suggest that if you are considering starting a business or are already managing one, this firm will guide you, avoiding the troubled waters businesses sometimes find themselves in.

Bob W

What Clients Say:

Rasmita M., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 13, 2021

Johnny Nitti helped us with our estate plan. He was very meticulous while drafting the plan and spent enough time to explain the details to us. He filed the deed with county recorder and paid for the fees himself. Overall, Johnny did a great job and we definitely plan to work with him in the future for any updates to our EP.

Rasmita M

What Clients Say:

George A., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 7, 2021

Johnny Nitti helped me with my estate planning (will, living trust, etc.) and made the process smooth. He is very responsive and organized. I highly recommend contacting Johnny.

George A

What Clients Say:

Ashley C., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
July 18, 2020

Tom Gallagher is very knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to business law. I reached out to him reguarding the Pandemic and my salon and I’m so glad I did. Many times stress and hard times can fog clarity and he really helped me understand the laws.

Thanks Tom!!!

Ashley C

What Clients Say:

Evan D., Google

Rated 5.0 out of 5
July 16, 2019

Thank you Troy for everything! Professional, prompt, and smooth handling of my case. I will be recommending to anyone that is in need of a lawyer.

Evan D