Q: I’ve been involved in a car accident. Should I try to obtain a copy of the police report?
Yes, having a copy of your vehicle accident police report will be very helpful. In Texas, the law requires police officers to file a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) when investigating a vehicle collision resulting in injury, death, or apparent damage of $1,000 or more to one person’s property. This report details the officer’s observations from the accident scene and notes whether any traffic tickets were issued.
Why You Need Your Car Accident Police Report
There are a couple of benefits to obtaining a police report:
- It speeds up the insurance claims process. You normally won’t be required to provide a police report to file a claim with your insurance company unless the other driver flees the scene or a crime occurs. However, police reports are very persuasive evidence in personal injury claims. Since the officer was present at the accident scene, and because he is trained to evaluate the causes of a vehicle collision, insurance claims adjusters will typically accept his version of events. Therefore, giving your insurance company a copy of the police report can result in a swifter resolution of your claim.
- It gives you a chance to correct false information. If the police report contains errors, your attorney can challenge these mistakes. Officers aren’t infallible, and an unfavorable report doesn’t prevent you from recovering damages. The police aren’t traffic accident experts, and a police report does not provide traffic accident analysis. Simple factual errors, such as inaccurate insurance information, can be corrected by simply providing documentation to the police. Challenging disputed facts such as a determination of fault is far more difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Your attorney can bring in an expert traffic accident analyst to overcome a harmful police report.
How to Obtain Your Car Accident Police Report
The Texas Department of Transportation is the custodian of crash records for the state, and the agency provides an online purchase system for police accident reports. This system delivers certified reports immediately for an $8 fee. You also have the option of ordering a crash report by mail.
When you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision, you need professional representation by an experienced attorney in order to receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.