Reporting a Car Accident to Police in Texas (2024)

Texas features some of the most dangerous highways in the United States. Among these, Interstate 45 stands out for having the highest annual number of fatal accidents, making it especially hazardous. However, this is not the only troubling statistic. Recent research reveals that Texas is home to seven of the 25 most dangerous interstates in the country. Whether it's a minor fender-bender or a major collision, how you handle the situation will impact your safety and any legal implications that follow.

Why It’s Important to Report a Car Accident

Legal Requirements in Texas

Texas law mandates that you report car accidents that fit specific criteria to the police. Specifically, if the accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000, you must notify law enforcement within 10 days of the accident. Failing to do so can result in fines or criminal charges, so understanding state regulations is key.

Ensuring Safety and Accountability

Reporting an accident helps ensure everyone's safety and holds all parties accountable. When police arrive at the scene, they can provide medical assistance and manage traffic, reducing the risk of further incidents. Additionally, an official police report serves as a reliable record for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Protection Against Insurance Fraud

Another important reason to report accidents is to protect yourself against insurance fraud. A police report provides an unbiased account of the incident, which can be crucial if the other party tries to exaggerate damages or injuries. It’s a safeguard that ensures you’re not wrongfully held liable.

When to Call the Police

Reporting a Car Accident to Police in Texas (1)

Accidents Involving Injuries or Fatalities

You are legally required to call the police if the accident has resulted in injuries or fatalities. Immediate reporting ensures that emergency services are dispatched quickly, potentially saving lives.

Significant Property Damage

If any vehicle or property damage exceeds $1,000, you must report the accident to the police. This threshold is essential for understanding when to involve law enforcement, even if no one is injured.

Situations with Suspicious Behavior

If you suspect that the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if they attempt to flee the scene, calling the police is imperative. Reporting such behavior can prevent further harm and ensure a fair investigation.

What Information to Provide to the Police

Basic Details of the Accident

When the police arrive, provide them with a clear and concise account of what happened. Include the time, location, and conditions (e.g., weather, road type) at the time of the accident. Being thorough and honest will aid in creating an accurate police report.

Witness Statements

If there are any witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their contact information and statements. Witnesses can provide unbiased accounts of the incident, which can be invaluable for the police report and any subsequent investigations.

Photographic Evidence

Take photos of the accident, including vehicle damage, license plates, and any relevant road signs or signals. Visual evidence can corroborate your account of the accident and serve as a crucial reference for police and insurance companies.

What Happens When the Police Arrive

Police Investigation

Once the police arrive, they will assess the scene, interview involved parties, and gather evidence. Their primary goal is to determine the cause of the accident and document it accurately. Cooperate fully to ensure a comprehensive and fair investigation.

Issuing Citations

Based on their investigation, police officers may issue citations for traffic violations that contributed to the accident. These citations can range from speeding tickets to more severe charges like reckless driving. Understanding this process helps you prepare for any legal consequences.

Creating a Police Report

The police will compile all gathered information into an official accident report. This document will include details about the involved parties, witness statements, citations issued, and the officer’s conclusions about the accident’s cause. Obtaining a copy of this report is vital for insurance and legal purposes.

How to Obtain a Copy of the Police Report

Request from the Police Department

You can request a copy of the police report from the department that responded to the accident. Some departments offer online request forms, while others may require you to visit in person. Be prepared to provide details like the date, location, and report number.

Fees and Processing Time

There is typically a small fee associated with obtaining a police report. Processing times can vary, but it usually takes a few days to a week. Knowing these details can help you plan accordingly and ensure you have the report when needed.

Importance of Keeping a Copy

Having your own copy of the police report is crucial for settling insurance claims and any potential legal disputes. It serves as an official record of the incident, providing a reliable reference for all parties involved.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Not Reporting Minor Accidents

Even if the accident seems minor, failing to report it to the police can lead to complications later. Minor damages can turn into significant issues, and having an official report can protect you from unexpected claims.

Admitting Fault

Avoid admitting fault at the scene of the accident. Statements made in the heat of the moment can be used against you later. Stick to the facts when speaking to the police and other parties involved.

Delaying Medical Attention

Seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and having a medical record can be crucial for any insurance or legal claims.

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys at MAS Law Today

Being involved in a car accident in Texas involves several critical steps, from ensuring immediate safety to interacting with law enforcement and filing insurance claims. By understanding and following these steps, Texas drivers can protect their rights, secure necessary documentation, and streamline the post-accident process.

It is important to contact a car accident attorney if you have been involved in a collision that caused significant damage, injuries, or legal complications. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and potential lawsuits, ensuring your rights are protected.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas, contact the car accident attorneys at MAS Law today by phone at (972) 460-9339 or online right now.

Reporting a Car Accident to Police in Texas (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated:

Views: 6293

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.