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How to Read a California Accident Report

An attorney can make a difference in your case right from the start. After a car accident in California, the driver involved is required to fill out a form reporting the accident to the DMV. Called a “Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California,” this 3-page document could turn out to be one of the most important pieces of evidence for your auto accident case. That’s why it’s critical that all the information written on this form accurately describes your accident. Otherwise, you could jeopardize how much money you receive after your accident.

At Ardalan & Associates, we understand the importance of doing things right. We can help you fill out an accident report or review one prepared by another driver. If you notice anything wrong, we can help you set the record straight. We’re here for you, every step of the way. Contact our law firm if you’ve been involved in an accident.

You can also click here to download a printable PDF.

Top section

  • Number of vehicles involved
  • Time and date
  • Location (City/County, plus whether it was on private property)

“Reporting Party’s Information” section

  • What the vehicle was doing at the time of the accident, and whether the driver was driving for their employer.
  • Contact information for the driver.
  • Information on the vehicle.
  • Insurance information.
  • Whether damage to this vehicle was over $750.
    • Note that in California, any accident causing more than $750 in property damage must be reported to the DMV.

“Other Party’s Information” section

  • Includes same information as in the previous section.

Injury/Death Property Damage section

  • Name and address of anyone injured in the accident.
    • Note that in California, any accident resulting in an injury or fatality must be reported to the DMV.
    • Checkboxes indicate injury versus death and status at the time of the accident (driver, passenger, cyclist, pedestrian).
    • Any non-vehicle property damage is described here, along with the name and address of the owner.

The reporting person signs and dates at the bottom.

The reverse side must be filled out with insurance information – otherwise, the DMV will suspend your license for driving without insurance.