FAQs: Car Accident Reports in Texas

When you are involved in a car accident lawsuit, your lawyer might need a copy of your car accident report to support your case. If this is your first accident, you may be wondering what is in this report, why it is so important, and who created it.

Who Creates a Car Accident Report in Texas?

Typically, Texas police officers create car accident reports. Texas law requires police officers to create and file a crash report for any accident that they encounter during their normal duties where someone was injured or killed. An accident report is also necessary for crashes involving at least $1000 in property damage.

What if a Police Officer Isn’t Present at the Accident Scene?

If a police officer isn’t present at the accident for any reason, you may be under an obligation to provide the DMV with an accident report of your own. If there were any injuries or fatalities in your crash, or at least $1000 worth of property damage, then you will need to file a crash report within 10 days.

How Do I Submit an Accident Report in Texas?

You can download a copy of the accident report form from the DMV website. Once you complete it, make sure to mail it to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) with any supporting documents the report requires. The address for the TxDOT is easily available on the DMV website as well.

What Additional Information Is Required in an Accident Report?

You will need to provide proof that you have an up-to-date car insurance policy when you submit your accident report.

What Is the Difference Between an Accident Report I Submit and One Created by a Police Officer?

An accident report filed by a police officer may include more extensive information about the accident. For example, a police officer’s report usually contains the contact information for all parties involved and may also have contact information for witnesses.

A police report will also include details about the accident, such as opinions the police officer formed regarding which party was at fault in the accident. This information can be important if you are involved in a lawsuit after the crash.

How Can I or My Lawyer Get a Copy of the Crash Report?

You or your attorney can request a copy of the accident report at the TxDOT website. However, the TxDOT only maintains records of crash reports filed by police officers. It does not maintain records of accident reports created by drivers. Thus, if you file a report, you should keep a copy for yourself so that you don’t lose the record.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Crash Report?

Accident reports are relatively inexpensive to obtain copies of. Currently, the state charges $6 for a regular copy or $8 if you want a certified copy.

What Will My Attorney Do with the Accident Report?

Your attorney may use the crash report as a starting place for your car accident lawsuit. If the reporting officer indicates that the other driver was distracted, for example, they can be subpoenaed to testify to this in court.

Additionally, this document helps your attorney investigate the case. It may provide clues as to where to find witnesses or offer hints on where physical evidence can be found.

Accident Reports Can Affect Your Compensation

The information in an accident report is often considered fact unless other evidence contradicts it. Thus, if you are seeking compensation after a car crash, an accident report can be instrumental in determining who is at fault in your accident and how much compensation you are owed.

An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate the details of an accident report and decide how best to use them to support your case.