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.
For example, a police officer may be called to the scene of a slip and fall accident and write a report. If a person was mugged in a parking lot, they may also call the police to write a report. Accident reports can serve as vital evidence in a variety of personal injury cases, such as a premises liability case.
What You Need to Know About Accident Reports in Texas
For collisions 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.
Police officers must make a report for all motor vehicle accidents on public roadways that:
- Result in injury or loss of life
- Cause 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 that 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 an 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. 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 your:
- 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.
An insurance adjuster will look at a police report when investigating an accident. They will use this to make a determination of fault. If an insurer claims you were more at fault for an accident than you were, they may try to undervalue or deny your claim. When this happens, a lawyer from our firm can help.
They can conduct an independent investigation to counter the insurance adjuster’s determination of fault.
Information in an Accident Report Includes the Following
Accident reports should include:
- The event’s date and time
- The names of the people involved
- The collision’s 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
- A 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 cameras. A personal injury lawyer will use this information to determine if you qualify for financial recovery for another’s negligence.
Other Forms of Evidence Can Greatly Affect Your Case’s Outcome
While it’s important to secure an official accident report when seeking financial recovery, other forms of evidence can come into play. You can be proactive by securing certain forms of evidence.
One of the best things you can do after an accident is to see a doctor. Aside from protecting your health, medical documentation can also serve your legal case. Your doctor can diagnose your injuries and link them to your accident. This can help us prove causation and hold a liable party accountable for your losses.
It can also help us document your expenses, including any ongoing medical care you may require. We want to make sure we account for all your losses, so you do not leave any money on the table during negotiations.
If you refuse medical care, an insurer could argue you worsened your condition. Do not let it diminish your claim. Seek medical attention immediately and protect your right to recovery.
Your Accident Description
When giving a statement to insurers, you will have to describe the accident. Make sure you stick to the facts and avoid making any comments about fault. Insurers may use your own words against you.
A lawyer from our firm can review your statement before you speak with an insurer.
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Can Handle Your Case
Accident reports factor into your pursuit of fair financial recovery. Our lawyers can file your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to seek justice. If you lost a loved one due to an accident, we can file a wrongful death case. You deserve to rest and recover after an accident. We can take care of everything else.
If you were involved in an accident and have questions, please contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ for a free case evaluation. We can help you obtain your accident report and build a case against the other party.
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