The Truth About Police Reports and Car Accidents
If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to know what to expect when the police show up. Many people believe that the police report will automatically determine who is at fault in the accident, but this isn’t always the case.
In fact, the incident report can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Here’s what you need to know about police reports and car accidents.
What is a police report and why is it important after a car accident?
A police report is an official document released by the police department that includes all the facts and details of an incident. For a car accident case, the report is called a Crash Report. The Texas Department of Transportation works on the collecting and releasing of Crash reports and records.
If you are part of a road accident, you need to have this official record to be able to process an insurance claim. It’s extra important if there were any property damages, car accident injuries, and even wrongful death. A crash report can provide an objective and non-biased re-telling of what has happened.
All types of road accidents should be recorded via a crash report such as cars, motor vehicles, trucks, and bicycles. Pedestrians who get hit by any vehicles should also get a crash report.
How do you get a copy of the police report after an accident in your state or province?
First of all, when you get into a road accident, please call the police to help in filling a report. It’s important to note that not all accidents require you to call for a police officer.
In Texas, you are not required to call the police if:
- Both parties do not have any injuries.
- There is no death to any of the affected in the accident.
- The property damage is less than $1,000.
If there is a police officer on the premises and proceeded with the investigation, even if your accident ticked off the boxes above, it is okay.
So, the next question is: How will I file a report so I can process my accident claims?
For any accidents that did not cause injuries, wrongful death, or extensive property damages, the drivers should still file a report via the Crash Report Online Purchase System. It’s great that the Department of Transportation has implemented online reporting
IMPORTANT NOTE: You only have 10 days from the date of the accident to file a report. If you file later than sooner, it’ll be suspicious and you may need to provide more evidence to substantiate your report. Be careful! Filing a false police report is a crime.
What information is included in a police report following an accident, and what isn’t included?
When filing a crash report, it’s important that you put in all the required details. The main items are:
- Legal names of all involved in the crash
- Other information of those involved like date of birth, address, contact numbers
- Accident details: Date, Type of Crash, # of vehicles involved
- A narration of the accident
- List of all people who were injured
There are many more items needed to fill in for the Crash Report. This is why you need to make sure to gather evidence of when the accident happened. What’s not included are some supplementary items such as medical bills.
You can see a copy of a CR3 Crash Report form here.
Who can help me if I get into a car accident?
Aside from the medical staff and police officers on the scene, you can get help from a car accident lawyer. We don’t stress this enough, but you should always hire a car accident lawyer to process your insurance claims. You want to make sure you get paid–not played.
If you are ever in an accident, it’s important to have all the facts. The police report is one of the most important pieces of evidence when it comes to car accidents. If you hire a lawyer immediately, your auto accident attorney can even guide you in filing and understanding your crash report.
Here at Roxell Richards Law Firm, we want to make sure you have everything you need before and after an accident. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on understanding police reports and what they mean for your case. We also want to remind you that if they find themselves in this situation, they can always get in touch with us for help.
Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers will take care of you and ensure that you receive the best possible legal representation. Call us at the local number (713) 974-0388 or toll-free 1-855-GOT-INJURED for a free case review!