Whenever you get into a car accident in Texas, it’s important to make a police report right away. Even if the injuries or damage seem minor, you should always get a police report. This is because
Injuries don’t always appear right away or may seem minor at first but get worse;
Damage to your vehicle isn’t always evident right away;
The other party may lie about how much damage you caused or who was at fault, even if they were honest with you at the scene;
Police reports smooth out the insurance claims process so that you can get paid quicker; and
It’s important for your attorney to have a copy of the police report.
Before you get into an auto accident, review these guidelines so that you know how to make a car accident police report in Texas.
How to File a Police Report in Texas
There are two ways to make a police report after a collision in Texas: with a police officer at the scene or at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) after the accident. If the car accident does not cause death, injury, or apparent damage over $1000 and it’s a busy time for the officers, it may take them a while to get to the scene. If you don’t have time to wait, filing a report after the fact may be the way to go. Remember to get any witness statements, pictures of the accident scene, pictures of the damages, and pictures of any injuries before you leave.
Filing a police report will not automatically translate to filing an insurance claim. You can file a report even if both parties have agreed to settle things without involving the insurance company.
You should also know that if there are injuries, deaths, or damages exceeding $1000, you are required to file a police report within 10 days of the crash.
What to Include in the Car Accident Police Report
When you make a car accident report in Texas, you should include:
A description of the accident. This should be a detailed account of what happened leading up to the collision and of the collision itself.
The number of passengers in the other car or cars involved in the collision.
The name of any other drivers and their insurance information. It’s also a good idea to get a picture of their driver’s license and license plate.
If there were any witnesses, take down their names and contact information. See if they’ll allow you to record them stating what they witnessed.
Any damages to your vehicle and any other vehicles.
The injuries that you or your passengers sustained.
What to Do Next
After filing a police report, most people think that calling their insurance company is the next step. However, it’s important that you call your attorney instead. Insurance companies will try to give you as little compensation as possible. An experienced auto accident attorney knows how to deal with your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company so that they don’t manipulate or harass you into accepting a low payment.
The attorneys at Juan Hernandez Law have several years of experience getting car collision victims compensation for their injuries and damages. If you’ve been in an auto collision, contact them today.
Juan Hernandez is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only two percent of lawyers have this certification. This means that Juan Hernandez is a specialist in these types of cases. When you need a personal injury lawyer, call a specialist.