An accident report is a written account that contains information about a particular accident or occurrence. People usually associate an accident report with motor vehicle accidents, but they can be any account of an event or situation.
What You Need to Know About Accident Reports in Texas
In Texas, accident reports are known as the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, all on-duty law enforcement officers called to a motor vehicle accident must complete this report.
Peace officers must make a report for all motor vehicle accidents on public roadways that:
- Result in injury or loss of life
- Property damage of any one person exceeding $1,000 or more
If you do not call the police to the scene, you can file an accident report yourself. This is a good way to establish the accident occurred. This can be helpful if you later decide to file a claim or if the other driver claims the accident did not occur.
You Have the Right to Read This Report
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury, loss of life, or property damage, you have the right to read this official report. You may purchase a regular or certified report for a nominal fee from the Texas Department of Transportation. These reports are not available to the public because they have personal and confidential information. You must give certain information to prove that you are one of the involved parties. This information might include:
- Driver’s license number
- Date of birth
Insurance Company and Driver Accident Reports
The insurance company or companies involved will file their own accident report. Depending on privacy laws, you may be allowed to see these documents.
Information on an Accident Report
Accident reports should include:
- Date and time
- People involved
- Exact location
- Environmental factors (for example, sleet)
Accident Reports Are Helpful in Determining Who Is Liable
Accident reports play a key role in figuring out who is at fault for the accident. That is why a good accident report will likely also include:
- Photographs of the accident scene including skid marks, tire tracks, debris, and damaged vehicles
- Map or diagram of events that includes the location of vehicles at the impact and where they ended up
There are other factors that decide who is liable for the accident. These include witness statements, your personal account, and any footage from red-light or closed-circuit traffic cameras. A car accident lawyer will use this information to determine if you qualify for compensation for another’s negligence.
If you were involved in an accident and have questions, please contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC for a free case evaluation. Call 713-850-8600. We can help you obtain your accident report and build a case against the other driver.
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