How to Get a Copy of Your Accident Report in Texas
If you have been injured in a traffic collision in Texas, a copy of your accident report could be of vital importance as you consider a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. A law enforcement officer with a specific law enforcement agency will fill out the accident report, which provides a wealth of information regarding the details of the accident. We will discuss why an accident report is relevant to your personal injury case and how to obtain a copy.
Contact Willie D. Powells III and Associates today if you have questions regarding accident reports in Texas. Call us at (713) 360-0062 to learn more about the legal services we offer. Retaining a personal injury attorney is one of the best things you can do after suffering injuries during an accident.
How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Accident Report in Texas?
An attorney can request a copy of a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). However, if you want to read a copy of the report before you have your first consultation with a personal injury lawyer you can request the document yourself. Note that the law enforcement officer is required to submit the report no more than 10 days after the accident.
Visit the website Free Texas Accident Report to request a copy of an accident report. Completing a request is simple, and you can expect to receive a digital copy of your report in a matter of days. Under Chapter 550 of the Texas Transportation Code, any person involved with your case can obtain a copy of your vehicle accident report.
You can also request a standard or certified copy of your vehicle accident report from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). A standard copy of the report costs $6, and a certified copy of the report costs $8.
An accident report will only be provided to individuals concerned with the accident. These individuals include the following:
- Any individual who is financially responsible for a vehicle in the car accident
- Parents, legal guardians, and employers of individuals involved in the car accident
- Drivers involved in the car accident
- Legal representatives of individuals involved in the car accident
- Any individual who was involved in the car accident
If TxDOT is not able to verify your information online, it will be necessary to obtain your CR-3 via mail.
What Is In a Texas Accident Report?
Accident reports often contain a narrative of the events related to the accident and contact information regarding the parties involved in the accident. Law enforcement officers draft police reports after observing the accident scene and interviewing the parties. An officer typically makes a determination of cause that states what the officer thinks caused the accident.
The following information is included in a standard Texas accident report:
- The officer’s determination of the cause
- The precise time and place where the accident occurred
- Any statutes violated by the parties
- Contact information of the parties
- A sketch of the accident scene
- Automobile insurance information for both parties
- A description of the weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Contact information of any witnesses
- A description of any property damage caused by the accident
- The injuries suffered by the parties
Under Texas law, an officer is not mandated to produce accident reports for every motor vehicle accident. Oftentimes, officers will only be required to produce accident reports for collisions involving injuries, fatalities, or property damage that exceeds $1,000. If your accident does not meet that threshold, you can fill out and submit your own crash report (CR-2) on TxDOT.
How Could An Accident Report Bolster My Personal Injury Claim?
An accident report contains a description of the accident from an objective party who is not involved in the accident. When you attempt to prove your damages you need substantive evidence regarding your injuries and the causes of the accident. An accident report provides information recorded by a neutral third party who assesses accident scenes every day.
By producing an accident report you can establish that the responsible party caused your injuries. The accident report may contain evidence of the other party’s negligent actions which caused the accident. For example, the officer may note that the other driver was intoxicated at the scene of the accident.
What Happens If the Crash Report Doesn’t Prove that the Other Party Was at Fault?
A personal injury attorney can use an accident report to establish facts and circumstances regarding your personal injury claims. Even though the report itself may not constitute conclusive proof of the defendant’s liability, it does provide an experienced attorney with valuable information regarding the facts of the case.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can use witness statements, photographs, and other investigative means to develop arguments regarding the defendant’s negligent actions that caused the accident, as well. It is important for you to provide your personal injury attorney with any photographs of the accident scene.
Also, photographs can provide evidence of the weather conditions that existed at the time of the accident. If you produce documentary evidence you will have a greater chance of establishing the responsible party’s liability. Witness statements and photographs are great sources of evidence that may contain information regarding how an accident occurred.
Can I Still Recover Compensation if I Was Partially at Fault for a Crash in Texas?
Under Texas law, an injured victim may not obtain financial compensation if they were greater than 50 percent at fault for the motor vehicle collision.
However, if the injured victim was less than 50 percent responsible for the accident then the liable party may have to pay damages. Any recovery will be reduced by the amount the injured victim contributed to causing the accident.
How a Houston Car Accident Attorney Could Help
Obtaining a copy of an accident report is essential when you have suffered injuries during the course of a vehicle collision. Retaining a personal injury attorney is one of the best things you can do in the aftermath, as well. A skilled personal injury attorney can gather evidence, subpoena documents, and interview witnesses.
When you retain a personal injury attorney you will have a greater chance of recovering a just settlement amount. Contact Willie D. Powells III and Associates today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. Willie D. Powells III and Associates are fiercely committed to pursuing justice for those who have been injured by others. Call our office at (713) 360-0062 to learn more about the legal services we offer.