While it might be tempting to avoid calling the police after your car accident in Texas (especially if you believe no one was injured or if your accident was minor), you should always call the police to make an official police report. Why? Some injuries, like traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder may not always be apparent at the scene of a crash, and even a minor crash can sometimes cause these types of injuries. Even if everyone says they are fine at the crash scene, if a victim comes forward later claiming an injury, it could be difficult to get your insurance to pay the claim if you don’t have an official crash report. A police report can offer key details about what happened during a crash and can help your insurance company determine who was negligent or at fault for your crash. Without a police report, it’s just your word against the other driver’s word. If the other driver tries to blame you for the crash, you could end up footing the bill or facing higher insurance premiums if your insurance needs to cover damages.
You are also legally required to report to the police any accident involving more than $1000 in damage or any accident involving injuries or death. At the scene of a crash, your adrenaline might be pumping and the stress might be high. It can be hard to make rational assessments of the situation in these cases. Don’t try to handle it yourself. Call the police. Not sure if the damage is $1000? Not sure if there are or aren’t injuries? Report the crash to police. The police can help you also take the next steps you might need to take to protect your rights.
The takeaway? If you’ve been in a car accident in Texas, always report the car accident to the police. When you call the police, an officer may come to the crash scene, interview witnesses, speak to both parties, and can even ask one or both parties to submit to breath testing if alcohol or drug use is suspected. If you have been in a crash and this is an emergency, always call 911. However, if you are at the scene of your accident, and no one needs emergency services, you can call 713-884-3131 to request non-emergency police services. Finally, if you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident in Texas, consider speaking to the Cooper Law Firm, car accident attorneys today. Our personal injury lawyers can review your police report, crash report, and help you understand whether you have a case or whether you may be entitled to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free, initial consultation.
How to Request Your Crash Report in Texas
When you schedule your free initial consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the Cooper Law Firm in Texas, one of the pieces of information you might want to bring is a copy of your crash report. You may also want to bring any information police gave you at the scene of the crash. You can visit the Texas Department of Transportation website to get a copy of your crash report. Alternatively, if you need assistance obtaining your crash report, the Cooper Law Firm are Texas personal injury lawyers who may be able to help you get a crash report.
What If I Couldn’t Report the Crash?
There are certain situations where it is not possible to report a crash to police. If an accident takes place on private property, like a drive way or a parking lot, and emergency personnel are not needed at the scene of the crash, the police may not be able to come and make a report. However, you may still be able to visit a police station and file a report, and you should do so as soon as possible. There are also things you can do at the scene of the crash to best protect your rights in this situation. What are some things you can do?
- Get the contact information of witnesses and the other driver, and the other driver’s insurance information, driver’s license number, phone number, and the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number.
- Take pictures of the scene of the crash and any damage to your vehicle. If you have suffered minor injuries like scrapes or bruises, take photos and consider seeking medical help.
- Write down as much information as you can. What is the time? What is the date? What’s the weather like? What’s the road like? Did the other driver say anything or do anything that could be considered suspicious? Was he or she using a cell phone while driving or was he or she leaving a bar or party? All of this information can help you should you need to pursue a claim. If there were witnesses who saw the crash, you might want to get their information as well.
- Ask parking lot owners or store owners if they might have video footage of the crash. Many parking lots and garages have cameras. If the private property owner has surveillance of the accident, this may be able to help you should you need to make a claim.
If you have been in an accident on private property or don’t have a police report, don’t despair. There are still ways your personal injury lawyer like the Cooper Law Firm in Texas can help you with your claim. Contact our firm today for a free, initial consultation.
Contact the Cooper Law Firm in Texas Today
Filing a police report is just one step you should take following your Texas car accident. Other steps include seeking medical attention, contacting your insurance company about the accident, and speaking to a personal injury lawyer like the Cooper Law Firm in Texas today. If you have questions about whether you may be entitled to seek damages for your lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, or pain and suffering, the Cooper Law Firm are Texas personal injury lawyers who may have answers.