How To Get a Police Report From the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department

After a car accident in San Pablo or Contra Costa County, it’s crucial to understand what happened. Typically, a police officer creates a report with details, photos, and contact information for everyone involved in the accident. While this report isn’t accepted as evidence in court, it’s useful for insurance matters.

But you may be wondering how exactly you can obtain one of these reports. Particularly if you want to take legal action to cover any injuries and damages you suffered. Thus, it’s important to know what steps you need to take to get one of these reports. For the right legal help, contact my firm, the Law Office of Nikolaus W. Reed. We can guide you through the process, starting with a free consultation.

Police Reports in Contra Costa County

Outside of the city limits of San Pablo is patrolled by the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff (CCCSD). As a result, when there’s a car accident, they will be the ones to respond–and make a report.

Most of the time, these reports contain vital information from the car accident, like:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • The names and contact information of involved drivers
  • Witness statements
  • Description of the vehicles and damages
  • Early decision on fault

Although an accident report in California provides crucial details for determining fault and liability, it’s important to note that, according to California law, it cannot be used as evidence in a court case. Section 20013 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) mandates police officers to create a written report within 24 hours of a vehicle accident, containing necessary information. This requirement aims to maintain accurate records of traffic accidents. However, the report’s inadmissibility in court stems from the fact that it:

  • Relies on hearsay, as the responding officer typically did not witness the accident.

Regardless, the information in a police report is essential to your potential claim, so it’s important to know how to get one.

How Can You Get a Police Report From the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office?

Although a car accident is certainly stressful, it’s also a matter of public record. As such, if you were involved, you can request a copy of the accident report made by the sheriff’s office. In order to get one, you simply need to either contact or visit the CCCSD’s Records and ID Unit, which is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at:

2530 Arnold Drive, Suite 170

Martinez, CA  94553

Office: (925) 335-1570

Fax: (925) 335-1588

Currently, an accident report is set a $0.10 per page, so be sure to bring cash or a credit card to pay for your report. Once you have it, it’s important to know what you can use it for.

How Can You Use a Police Report After a Contra Costa County Car Accident?

Just because it’s not admissible as evidence in a Contra Costa County car accident claim doesn’t mean you can’t use it. In fact, these reports are extremely necessary for insurance purposes and for basically any use outside of court. Generally speaking, here’s how you can use a police report after a Contra Costa County car accident:

  • Insurance claims – If you’ve reported the accident to your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurance company, it’s likely that they’ve already requested the police report, since it contains valuable information about the accident. Still, it provides the insurance company with all the pertinent details they need to start investigating the claim.

  • Legal guidance – If you decide to pursue legal action, a police report can be valuable for my team. While the report itself may not be admissible in court, its contents can be used to gather evidence and build your case.

  • Negotiations – The police report can be a useful tool during settlement negotiations. It provides a comprehensive overview of the accident, helping you support your position regarding fault and liability.

  • Clarifying details – You should always review the police report for accuracy. If you find any discrepancies, work with the police department to correct them. An accurate report is essential for insurance claims and any potential legal proceedings.

  • Personal records – Keep a copy of the police report for your records. It can serve as a reference for the details of the accident, which may be helpful in the future.

The primary aim of a car accident case is to recover damages–benefits and support available under the law. In a successful California car accident case, potential recoverable damages include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and property damage.

Let NWR Law Help You After a Car Accident

Being in a car accident is stressful enough on its own, but when you have to also try to deal with the claims process, it can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where my firm comes in. At NWR Law, my team is ready to help you through the claims process and make sure you get the result you deserve in an injury claim after a car accident. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in San Pablo or Contra Costa County, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.