Although we may not pay them much mind, accidents are far from uncommon. In fact, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, a reportable car accident happens every 57 seconds in the state of Texas. If you were involved in an accident and were injured, it is important to ensure there was a car accident report filed. Even if the injuries or damages seem minor, you should still get a police report since:
- Injuries don’t always appear right away or may seem minor at first but get worse
- Damage to your vehicle isn’t always evident
- The other party may lie about how much damage you caused or who was at fault
- Police reports smooth out the insurance claims process so that you can get paid quicker
- It is important for your attorney to have a copy of the police report
Here are a few guidelines you should know so that you are prepared and knowledgeable about making a car accident report in Texas should the need arise.
How to File a Police Report in Texas
There are two ways to file a police report in the state of Texas: You can either file it with the police officer who shows at the scene or with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) after the accident. If the car accident does not cause injury, significant or apparent damage that would result in over $1000 repair fees, or in death, then you may make a report after the fact, especially if the officers were busy at the time. Still, you will need to collect witness statements, pictures of the accident, and pictures of any injury or damages before you leave the scene.
Remember, filing a police report does not automatically translate to filing an insurance claim. You can still file a report, even if both parties have agreed to settle things without the involvement of the insurance company.
Car Accident Report Overview
The information provided is based on the current Texas Transportation Code 601.004
When To Report an Accident With Police or TxDOT
It is mandatory that a car accident report is filed within 10 days of an accident if the accident resulted in the injury, death, or damages of property that exceed $1000. The owner of their vehicle must fill out a CR-2 Form (also known as “The Blue Form) and submit it to the DOT. To fill out the Crash Report form or form CR-2, you will need to gather the following information:
- Place and time of the accident
- Information of all drivers involved in the accident. This information should include:
- Date of Birth
- Driver’s license information
- State of license and license number
- The driver’s license plate number and state
- Insurance information
- Name and address of policyholder and the name of the insurance policy
- A summary of what happened
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
What Happens If I Do Not File a Report?
If you do not get a police report filed at the scene of the accident or later through TxDOT, then you may risk having your driver’s license suspended. However, this is only true if someone in the accident sustained a bodily injury, died, or there was damage exceeding $1000. It is important to keep in mind that greater damages and injuries can be revealed as time goes on, though, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
What Happens Next?
After you file a police report, calling your insurance company may be the next step in the process. However, we also advise you to call an attorney. Insurance companies will try to give you as little compensation as possible for your claim. Having an experienced auto accident attorney who knows how to handle the insurance companies can help ensure that you are getting the compensation you deserve.
The dedicated attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. will make sure that the insurance companies don’t manipulate or harass you into accepting a payment that is lower than you deserve. If you have been in a car accident, contact our team today!