How To Report A Car Accident In Texas?

Getting into a car accident often causes considerable stress and anxiety. Even minor accidents like fender benders can lead to whiplash and thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle. No matter the scale of the auto accident Texas, you may need to report it to the police. If you need help navigating this entire process, call our auto accident lawyer today. In this guide, you’ll discover how to properly report an auto accident in Texas.

Should You Report a Car Accident Texas?

It’s always a good idea to file an accident report. When you’re involved in an auto crash Texas, you don’t know how much it will cost to repair the damage to your vehicle. The extent of any injuries you sustained during the accident may not be evident until weeks or months later, which is why filing a report is highly recommended. Filing a report is also required by Texas law in many situations. If the accident resulted in someone’s death, serious injuries, or property damage that amounts to $1,000 or more, you must report the accident. The consequences of not doing so are severe.

People often make the mistake of handling minor accidents without calling the police. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, they might offer you cash or decide to exchange insurance information. The problem with this approach is that insurance companies need to verify the details about the accident, which is only possible with a police report.

When you call the police and they arrive at the scene of the accident, they’ll likely secure the scene to do an investigation. If your vehicle is in the middle of the road, they can also help you move it to a safe area. The information that’s collected by police officers at the scene includes witness statements, which can be highly useful when you’re seeking compensation. The final police report will include details that identify the cause of the accident as well. If it’s just your word against the other driver’s recollection of the accident, the insurance company’s decision to approve or deny your claim may not be as favorable as you’d like.

Consequences of Not Filing a Report

If you’re in an accident and no one reports it, you could get in trouble with the law. Even though it’s common for people to feel disoriented following an accident, it’s important that you take the right steps in the immediate aftermath. If the damage is minor and no injuries have occurred, there shouldn’t be an issue with not calling the police. However, the primary drawback of not reporting the accident is that all parties involved may tell different stories to their insurance providers.

Without having a police report in place, the other driver could sue you to obtain compensation for their injuries and any damage to their vehicle. Even if the other driver was at fault, they could still win the case. Having an experienced attorney by your side is often the only way to win a case that doesn’t have a police report.

If the accident causes a serious injury or more than $1,000 in damage, the consequences of not filing a report can amount to incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines. Your license can also be suspended. Without a report in hand, you may be unable to obtain a rental car from your insurance company.

How to Report an Accident

Reporting an accident is an easy process that starts by calling the police immediately. You must also report your accident directly to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). As long as the accident adheres to the parameters mentioned previously, the accident should be reported to both entities. Even if the police don’t arrive at the scene of your accident, TxDOT should still be notified. You have a deadline of 10 days following the crash to file the report.

You can find a crash report form on the TxDOT website. It’s possible to fill out and submit this form online. Keep in mind, however, that an officer will submit this report for you if they arrive at the scene of your accident. The pieces of information you’ll need to provide when completing a CR-2 report include the following:

  • Location and time of your accident
  • Comprehensive details of every driver involved with the accident
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Driver’s license number
  • State of license
  • Plate number and state
  • Insurance details, which must include the name of the insurance policy as well as the policyholder
  • An in-depth summary of the events that caused the accident
  • Road and weather conditions when the accident took place

Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Provider

Along with the police and TxDOT, you’ll also be tasked with reporting the accident to your insurance provider. Even if you weren’t at fault, the accident needs to be reported. It’s highly recommended that you call your insurance provider on the day of the accident. In fact, your insurance policy may contain this requirement. If you don’t report the accident promptly, your insurer could cancel your policy altogether.

There are also many additional reasons why it’s crucial that you report the accident to your insurance company. Let’s say that the driver who was responsible for the accident doesn’t have insurance. If you have underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) or uninsured motorist coverage (UM), you’ll need to inform your insurer immediately to benefit from this part of your policy.

While drivers who hold a Texas driver’s license aren’t required to carry UIM or UM coverage, every insurance company in the state offers it. A sizable percentage of drivers in Texas don’t have auto insurance, which is why you should consider UM or UIM coverage. Without adding this coverage to your policy, you could end up paying for any damage to your vehicle that was done by an uninsured driver.

Information Found in Auto Accident Report

When you call the police and report your accident, officers will eventually arrive at the scene and perform an investigation. During this investigation, they’ll take extensive notes to ensure their final report is exhaustive. Keep in mind that it takes time for the police to file their report.

Check the TxDOT website daily to see if the police report has been filed. If you think there’s a problem with the report, you can call the TxDOT. On the day of the accident, you should have received an ID number for this document from the investigating officer, which you can give to the TxDOT. If you have the name of the officer, this can also be helpful in locating the document.

Police officers include a lot of information in the reports they take. The information that can usually be found in crash reports include the following:

  • Witness statements
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Location, time, and date of the accident
  • Contact info for each driver, passenger, and witness
  • Vehicle descriptions
  • Injury descriptions
  • Diagram of accident scene
  • Comments from the investigating officer

If you hire a lawyer, they can use the information in this report to prove that your injuries were caused by another driver. Make sure you download a copy of your crash report immediately after you find it on the TxDOT website. Keep a copy for your personal records and another one for your legal team.

Seeking Help from an Auto Accident Attorney

When you get into a car crash Texas, the first steps you take should involve reporting the accident to the police, your insurance company, and the TxDOT. Once you’ve reported the accident to the necessary parties, you may want to call a car accident attorney in Texas.

If you believe that the other driver was at fault for the crash, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and any damage that was done to your vehicle. However, you’ll be dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. They may attempt to deny the claim altogether or provide only a small amount of compensation. A car accident lawyer like ours can help you navigate this entire process.

When you hire a lawyer, they’ll perform a thorough investigation of the crash, identify the extent of your injuries, speak with the insurance company, and explore opportunities for compensation and damages. Compensation from a car accident can be received by filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash, our lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you’re owed. From filling out paperwork to arguing the case in court, we handle every facet of these proceedings so that you can relax and heal. Call our car accident attorney today if you have questions about how to file an accident report or would like to schedule a consultation.