Many people know to call the police and their Houston accident injury attorney after a serious accident. However, what do you do for more minor accidents? In some cases, you will need to call the police after a car crash. However, in other cases, you may need to fill out your own driver’s crash report for your accident.
When do I need to call the police about a car accident?
We understand that many people are worried about calling the police about more minor car accidents. Many people worry that they are making too big of a deal about an accident, or that they’re using police resources unnecessarily. However, it’s also important to understand that Texas law requires you to report accidents that meet certain criteria. Also, having law enforcement investigate and file a report can help your Houston accident injury attorney fight your claim for compensation.
Here’s some guidance for what to do after a car accident:
- Call 911 if anyone is seriously injured.
- Call the non-emergency line at (713) 884-3131 if:
- You can’t move the vehicles out of the road
- The other driver doesn’t have a driver’s license or proof of insurance
- You believe there is $1000 or more worth of damage
If you are able to move the vehicles out of traffic, there are no injuries, and you estimate the damages are less than $1000, then you are not legally required to report the accident to the police. However, it can be a good idea to call the non-emergency line to see if a police officer can fill out a crash report. This report can help your Houston traffic accident lawyer, as it offers evidence of the accident and of fault. However, if a police officer didn’t document the issue, you can fill out your own crash report in Houston.
Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney Can Help You Fill Out the Driver’s Crash Report
The driver’s crash report, also known as a CR-2 or “The Blue Form,” is a report you fill out after an accident if an officer didn’t respond to the crash. Texas law requires you to fill this form out and submit it to the Texas Department of Transportation after an accident where there was an injury, death, or damages that totalled $1000 or more. An example is if you didn’t call the police after a car accident because you didn’t realize you were injured or underestimated how much it would cost to repair your vehicle and it is actually going to cost more than $1000. In these instances, you would need to fill out the CR-2 form.
In most cases, the driver must fill this form out, or your Houston accident injury attorney can do so for you. However, you only need to fill out the report if the police didn’t file their own crash report, which is form CR-3.
If you need to submit a CR-2, you must do so within 10 days of the accident. To fill out the report, it’s important to have some information handy. Even if your Houston accident injury attorney helps you fill out the form, you will still need this information about the accident:
- Date and time
- Make, model, year and license plate numbers of the vehicles involved
- Damages to vehicles and property
- Injuries from the accident
- Name and address of involved drivers
- Insurance information of drivers
- Description of what happened during the accident
Having as much information as possible can help provide accurate information in the CR-2 form, so make sure to take time to get all the necessary information right after a car crash. Don’t forget to keep a copy of the CR-2 for your records.
Obtaining a Copy of a Police Officer’s Crash Report
However, if you did call law enforcement, then they will fill out the crash report if your accident involved injury, death, or damages over $1000. These reports, also known as CR-3 forms, can help your Houston accident injury attorney with your case, especially since they feature an unbiased account of the accident from the responding officer. The officer will then file the report within 10 days of the accident. You can get a copy of the police report generally within 14 days of your accident. You can purchase a copy for $6 or a certified copy for $8. We usually recommend obtaining a certified copy in case you need it for your claim.
There are several ways you can get a copy of the police car crash report. One option is to purchase the copy online from the Texas Department of Transportation. You can also make the request by mail or even in-person on the first floor of the Edward A. Thomas Building located at 1200 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002.
CR-3 forms are not public record, so you will need some information to get a copy. For example, if the responding officer gives you an incident number. You may also need to provide information about the accident like date, location, and names of the drivers.
How can a crash report help my Houston accident injury attorney with my case?
So, why is it so important to have a crash report? Obviously, it’s required by law in some circumstances to file one for your accident. However, it can also help your Houston accident injury attorney gather evidence for your case. Often, insurance adjusters rely on crash reports to determine fault and compensation. Even if the police don’t file a report for your accident, the CR-2 form can still be valuable for your case. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure you have the right documentation for your car accident to help streamline the process.
At DeSimone Law Office, we’ve helped settle thousands of car accident cases. Whether you need a lawyer to help you with your car crash claim or you need a Houston bus accident attorney, our team is here to help fight for your rights. Call us today at (713) 526-0900 to talk to one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation.