Obtaining a copy of your car accident police report is vital to your case as it provides an objective overview of the facts, as well as valuable information about your accident.
Accident reports can include contact information for the other parties, their insurance information, vehicle information, date and location of the collision, and so much more. An accurate accident report can mean a world of difference when it comes to pursuing a personal injury claim against the other driver.
The reason that obtaining a police report is so important is rather obvious; it can prove who was liable for the car accident. More-accurately, it can go a long way toward proving who was at fault for the accident. If the other party reports to his insurance company that they were not at fault, the insurance company will simply deny your claim. Without a police report showing otherwise, there’s no reason for the insurance company to accept liability.
Accident reports are not always 100% accurate though, and in some cases, they can be completely incorrect. The sooner you obtain a copy of the accident report, the sooner you (and your attorney) can request that the police report be amended or supplemented, if incorrect. While police officers do their best to report the facts of the accident correctly, you must understand that they are not accident reconstructionists, and were not witnesses to the actual crash. If you feel as though the police report is inaccurate, your attorney may be able to perform an independent accident investigation.
How to obtain a Texas accident report (CR-3 form).
In Texas, an accident report is officially referred to as a “Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report,” but may also be referred to as a CR-3 form. These accident reports can be obtained in a number of ways, including:
- Hiring an accident attorney, as requesting your accident report will be one of the first things they do (and it costs you nothing).
- Sending a request in writing (and a check or money order) to the Dallas Police Records Section, 1400 S. Lamar Street, Dallas, TX. 75215.
- Purchasing a digital copy of your crash report through the Texas accident report database.
In Dallas, accident reports are not usually available until 7-10 days after the accident report was taken (sometimes longer), and often take an additional 7-10 days to be delivered by mail. If you were not given an incident number by the responding officer, you still may be able to obtain the report by verifying the following:
- The name of one of the individuals involved in the accident.
- The date and time of the accident.
- The exact location of the accident.
Perhaps the most important section in any Texas car accident report is box 36, since it contains the factors contributing to the cause of the accident. This section will assign a number against each factor. These codes can be difficult to understand, but your attorney can explain exactly what each of them mean.
Driver’s crash reports (CR-2 blue report).
Not all car accidents warrant a police report, and many north Texas cities will not even respond to an accident unless there is serious bodily injury. Texas law states that for a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report to be filed, at least one party must have sustained an injury, and damages arising from these injuries should total more than $1,000. If these two requirements are not met, your only option may be to file what’s called a “Driver’s Crash Report,” also known as a CR-2 form or “blue form.”
Don’t be afraid of speaking with a lawyer.
If you were injured, you have more-important things to deal with than requesting documents and fighting with the insurance company. Most victims don’t realize this, but personal injury attorneys only work on contingency. This literally means that you never have to pay a penny in attorneys fees unless your attorney wins your case.
Our Dallas lawyers are happy to review the facts of your case for free over the phone (or email) and explain the options available to you. We’ll also provide you with a copy of your accident report as soon as it’s available, and will handle all communication with the insurance company going forward. For more information, call Rasansky Law Firm today at 1-877-405-4313.