Roderick C. Lopez | May 23, 2023 | Car Accidents
People do not get into their cars expecting to be involved in an accident. For that reason, they might not know when to file a police report for car damage versus calling 911 to report a car accident. In this blog post, our experienced legal team answers these questions and other FAQs about car accident reports in Texas.
When Should I Report a Car Accident?
It is wise to report a car accident as soon as possible after the crash. Having an official police report helps when you file an insurance claim or personal injury claim. Even if you do not believe you are seriously injured, you do not want to be in the position of arguing whether the accident occurred because the other driver suddenly denies being involved.
How Long Do You Have To Report an Accident in Laredo, TX?
Texas law requires you to report car accidents that involve personal injury or property damage of $1,000 or more to the police immediately. Also, you should call the police from the accident scene if a driver is intoxicated or you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.
After investigating the accident, the officer has ten days to file a formal report. Because you cannot be sure if you were injured or the amount of property damage, it is usually best to call 911 after all accidents.
How Do I Report a Laredo Car Accident?
Calling 911 from the crash site is the quickest way to report a car accident. An emergency operator dispatches a police officer from the Laredo Police Department or another law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the accident scene. The operator can also send emergency medical services if someone is injured.
What Is a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report?
The Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) is the official document completed by the police officer who responds to the accident scene. The accident report is filed with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
A crash report includes important information about the crash including, but not limited to:
- Date, time, and location of the collision
- Make, model, year, and license plate of the vehicles involved
- Drivers’ names and contact information
- Vehicle owners’ names and contact information
- Passenger information
- Whether charges were filed
- Insurance information for each vehicle
- Factors that contributed to the cause of the accident
Copies of crash reports can be purchased online through the Crash Report Online Purchase System. If you hire a Laredo car accident lawyer, your attorney will order a copy of the car accident report while investigating your claim.
What Happens If I Don’t Report an Accident in Texas?
At the very least, you might have trouble recovering compensation for your damages after a car accident. However, failing to report a car crash required by law could result in penalties, including fines and license suspension. Filing a formal car accident report after a car wreck is the best way to protect your legal rights.
What Should I Do After Calling 911 to Report an Accident in Texas?
If possible, try to collect evidence from the accident scene. Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims. Therefore, you must prove that the other driver caused the crash before you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
Take photographs of the accident scene, including the vehicles and property damage. Making a video with your cell phone is also helpful for capturing the entire area and anything you might have missed when taking pictures.
If anyone stopped to offer assistance, ask them for their names and contact information. Without video evidence of the collision, eyewitness testimony can help establish fault for the cause of the crash.
Avoid discussing the crash with anyone other than the police officer. Do not apologize or admit fault. Doing so could raise allegations of contributory fault, potentially reducing the amount you receive for a personal injury claim.
Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. You must link the accident to the cause of your injuries. Delays in medical care can make it more challenging to prove causation.
Seek Legal Advice About a Car Accident Claim
Car accident victims can receive compensation for economic damages, such as out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and medical bills. They can also recover compensation for their non-economic damages, including emotional distress, pain, and suffering.
Most car accident claims begin with an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company. However, you should talk with a lawyer before discussing the case with the insurance company, especially if you do not know how much your case is worth.
Insurance companies often undervalue damages and push settlement offers below the case’s value. Talking with a lawyer ensures you do not accept a settlement offer below the amount you deserve for a car accident settlement.