Do You Need a Police Report to File a Car Accident Claim in San Antonio?
There’s no law or technical requirement that you have a police report to file a San Antonio car accident claim. Still, there are many good reasons to make a police report after a car accident, and to obtain a copy of that report. One key reason is that you may be breaking the law if you don’t. But, that’s far from the only reason to document your motor vehicle accident with the proper authorities.
Reasons to Make a Police Report after a San Antonio Car Accident
Here are some of the most significant reasons to contact the police after you’ve been involved in a Texas car accident.
You May Be Legally Required to Make a Police Report
Texas law requires people who have been involved in an automobile accident to call the police immediately in several different circumstances. These include:
- When someone is killed in the accident
- When someone is injured in the accident
- When any vehicle is damages to the point that it can’t be driven normally
You’re also legally obligated to call the police in certain other situations, such as when you damage someone’s property and can’t locate the owner.
It’s also in your best interest to call the police right away if you believe the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if someone involved in the accident doesn’t have insurance or leaves the scene without exchanging the required information.
Generally, if you’re not sure whether or not you need to call the police, make the call. Failing to fulfill certain legal obligations after a motor vehicle accident can result in criminal charges.
The Police Report Provides Documentation of Key Facts
Sometimes, it’s in your best interest to get a police report even if you aren’t legally required to do so. The information contained in the report may help you with your San Antonio car accident claim in many different ways, from documenting information that you may not have been aware of or may not recall after the crash to providing exact time, location and other information your attorney may need to investigate.
If the other driver was speeding, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise violated traffic safety laws, the police may make a determination of fault. They may even issue a ticket to the responsible driver for disregarding a traffic signal, driving too fast for conditions, or some other action that will help you prove the other driver was negligent.
How a Police Report Can Help Your Car Accident Claim
Insurance companies don’t like to pay claims. Their entire business model relies on taking in more money in premiums than they pay out for property damage, medical care, and other losses. If there’s a reason to deny a claim or minimize the amount of compensation, they’re likely to take advantage of it.
If you’re in a car crash and don’t have a police report, the insurance company has only your word–and perhaps the word of the other driver–that the collision happened at the time and place you claim, and in the way you describe. Even that very basic information may be critical when you have to prove that your injuries and other damages resulted from the accident.
You can obtain a copy of your San Antonio car accident report for your records, or to share with your attorney, for a small fee.
Reporting Your San Antonio Car Accident
If a motor vehicle crash is serious enough that someone is seriously injured, or if cars are damaged in such a way that they may present a danger, you can dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone to reach the proper authorities. The 911 dispatcher can send police and, if necessary, an ambulance.
If it’s not an emergency, here’s how to determine who to call:
- If you’re in a municipality–for instance, in the city of San Antonio–call the local police department
- If the accident occurs outside city limits, call the local Sheriff’s department
If the crash takes place outside the city limits but within 100 feet of the municipal boundary, you may contact either the city police department or the Sheriff’s department.
Talk to a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney
Contacting law enforcement to get a police report after a car accident is just the first step toward protecting yourself and your claim for damages. To avoid potentially costly mistakes, missed deadlines, and other pitfalls, it’s best to talk to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, we understand how important it is for people who have been injured in car accidents to have reliable, accurate information about their rights and options. That’s why we offer free consultations to San Antonio car accident victims. Contact us right now to schedule yours.
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