The last thing you might think you need after a car accident upends your life is another piece of paperwork, but the police report taken at the scene of an accident can greatly help your case, help you streamline insurance issues, and in some situations, are legally necessary.
Here are some tips that will answer all of your questions about your police report, its importance, and how your lawyer can use it to help you seek justice.
How Critical Is It to Have a Police Report when Filing an Insurance Claim?
A question we often get asked is how necessary police reports are for insurance claims. Our answer? Absolutely necessary.
It’s best to call an officer to the scene of any accident. There, they can take a neutral statement and collect the facts in an official document, including who they believe was at fault. This report can help you receive compensation from insurance companies, especially if you held no fault in the accident. By having a document that states when and where the accident happened and who was involved, you have a legal document that will make it harder for your insurance company to dispute; it can also corroborate your side of the story in court if your case gets to that stage.
Additionally, police reports are often essential. In cases where the other driver is underinsured or uninsured, police reports can go a long way to smoothing things over with insurance companies. In accident situations where injury, death, or property damage in excess of $1,000 occurs, Texas law states that you must file a police report after an accident. Even if you think the damage to your property or car is minor, it’s a good idea to get a police report in case there’s internal damage that you can’t initially see.
Do I Need a Police Report to File an Insurance Claim in Texas After an Accident?
If you don’t want to get mired down waiting for your insurance claim to pay for medical bills, it’s important to have an accurate police report to help you make your case. Some insurance companies won’t process the claim without a police report. A police report helps make your claim legitimate and lists important facts including:
- Where and when the accident took place
- Names and contact information for the drivers and passengers
- Details of injuries
- Details of property damage
- Weather conditions
- Which party is responsible for the crash
Filing a police report is an important step in the accident process and can be a key part of a personal injury case.
Where Do I Get A Police Accident Report?
It’s very important that you always ask for an officer to put together a crash report in your accident, specially when you are injured. However, if you don’t call an officer to the accident scene and file a police report, you have 10 days to report it. You can find a Texas police report online and mail it to the Department of Transportation. Make sure that you keep a copy for your records.
If a police officer took your report and you didn’t receive a copy, you may need to call the station to request one, or you can also request it through the Department of Transportation for a small fee.
What Do I Do If My Police Report is Wrong or I Think There’s Inaccurate Information on My Police Report?
If your police report contains false information that paints you as the responsible party, or if the officer at the scene misinterpreted the situation, there is good news: you can get your police report altered by attempting the following steps:
- You can ask the officer at the scene to adjust the report.
- If they do not make the changes, and the errors are incorrectly blaming you for the crash, you need to gather evidence and present this to the attorney who can help you present the case to the liable insurance company.
The car accident attorneys at Pastrana & García Injury Law can formally request that the report be changed when there is providing contrasting evidence, such as independent witness who can provided a testimony to the police officer about what they saw.
What If the Police Never Filed My Report?
In some minor accidents, the police might not file a report, as the damage is considered “too minor.” In that case, it’s a good idea to fill out a CR-2 form for your own records. Although this document isn’t collected by the state, you can still show it to the insurance company.
It’s also advised that you write down everything you can remember from the accident as soon as possible after it occurs to create your own written record.
Contact Pastana & García Injury Law
We’re aware of how frustrating dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be. Let a car accident lawyer help you through this difficult time. Contact us through our website, or call us today. Our Pflugerville law firm is here to help you start the process of recovery.