Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

November 30, 2020

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in San Diego, you probably have a lot of questions, from who is responsible for paying, to whether you need to report your claim. 

Here, we have you covered: these are the most frequently asked questions our experienced San Diego insurance car accident attorneys answer for our clients every day.

Do I need to report my car accident to my insurance company?

You should report your car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible after your accident. You will want to provide your insurance company with the basic information about the accident so they can begin the claims process. Reasons for reporting your accident include:

  • Your policy probably has a clause requiring you to report any accident promptly.
  • By filing a prompt report, the insurance company will have plenty of time to conduct a proper investigation.
  • Your insurance company could reject your claim because of a delayed report.

How do I obtain a copy of my car accident report in San Diego?

Your San Diego insurance car accident attorney can obtain a copy of your report for you. If you would like a copy before hiring a lawyer, there are a few ways to get one. If the San Diego Police Department prepared the report, you can:

  • Print the Report Online: You can access the report using this link. This will cost $10.
  • Request by Mail: Mail your request to SDPD Records MS#726, P.O. Box 121431, San Diego, CA, 92112-1431. Remember to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a check or money order for the $12 fee made out to the City Treasurer.
  • Request in Person: For $12, you can request a report in-person at the SDPD Records Division, 1401 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

If the California Highway Patrol issued the report, you must fill out and mail in an Application for Release of Information, which costs $10. Include a copy of your driver’s license or ID card to show you are an interested party and are entitled to a copy.

Should I call the police after a car accident in San Diego?

If someone was injured or killed in the accident, contact the San Diego Police Department. If the accident occured on the highway, call the California Highway Patrol.

Even if there were no injuries, it is good practice to contact the police to file a report. A copy of the police report will assist the insurance companies with the claims process.

What happens if I am in a hit-and-run accident?

It is a crime in California for a driver to leave the scene of an accident without providing their information. When this happens, it can be difficult to recover compensation. However, there are still options: if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.

What if the driver responsible for my car accident does not have insurance?

California law requires all drivers to purchase insurance, but unfortunately, not all do. If the other driver was at fault and does not have insurance, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist insurance. Our San Diego insurance car accident attorneys can help you determine what kind of coverage you hold and how to file a claim with your insurance company.

In some cases, your attorney may recommend filing a claim against the other driver directly instead of going through insurance. Unfortunately, though, drivers who cannot afford insurance (or who can’t be bothered to apply for it) may lack the funds to pay for your damages. 

Do I need to hire a car accident attorney?

There is no requirement that you hire a car accident attorney. However, you will be up against insurance companies who are used to dealing with accident claims like yours every day. By hiring a San Diego insurance car accident attorney who knows how to fight back, you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.

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