Getting a Police Report After Your Car Crash
When a vehicle collision causes injuries or results in substantial property damage, a police officer will likely visit the scene, investigate the accident, and file a police report. Collisions can be scary and confusing, so it’s helpful to know when and how to obtain a police report before the accident occurs.
The Police Report
A police report may or may not include the responding officer’s conclusions regarding the primary cause of an accident, but it typically contains:
- The date, time, and accident location.
- The names of the owners and drivers of all vehicles, and any passengers.
- A description of the weather, lighting, and traffic conditions.
- The names and addresses of injury victims and a description of their injuries.
- The names of any witnesses.
- A description of the vehicles involved.
- A diagram of the accident scene, displaying the intersection, traffic lanes, vehicle positions, and skid marks.
- A description of any property damage.
Obtaining the Police Report
You can obtain a copy of the report by contacting the police department responding to the accident. In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is the custodian of crash records for the state. A copy of the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) is available from TxDOT online. This system delivers a certified copy of the report immediately, at a cost of eight dollars. Copies may also be purchased by mail by completing and mailing a request form (CR-91) and payment. In some cases, a report may also be obtained by contacting the local police department.
You Need Your Police Report
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision, a police report can be helpful when dealing with insurance companies or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can obtain and evaluate this vital piece of evidence on your behalf, to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
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