Houston has hundreds of car accidents daily, leading the nation in fatal truck accidents. Filing a police report after a car accident in Houston is a vital part of making a claim after an accident. Do you need a police report to file a claim in Houston? Not necessarily. But, having the police report can make the claim easier to collect.
What is in a Houston Crash Report?
A police report contains Various information about the parties, the scene, the location, and many other items. Typically, the following may be included in a Houston police report:
- The names of the people involved in the accident.
- witness’s names and contact information
- the location of the accident
- driver’s license and insurance information for both drivers
- seat belt use
- description of the crash
- officers’ opinion on the cause of the accident
- a diagram of the crash scene from the officer
- statements made by either driver.
One of the best reasons for waiting for the police to arrive after a significant car accident is that the officer’s investigation can be helpful for an insurance claim. All too often, when a police officer does not investigate, the stories seem to change once the negligent driver talks to their insurance company.
While you can still make an insurance claim without a police report, it is much harder to do unless you have witnesses that will verify what happened at the scene. Much of a Houston police report is admissible in court.
How to Get a Houston Crash Report
Getting a Houston police report can be done online. You could also pick up a copy of a crash report from the records division of the Houston Police Department. It usually takes about a week before your crash report will be ready. It is advisable to call first before traveling to pick up your report.
It is important that you provide essential information to obtain the report. This will include at least the following information:
- The date of the accident
- Where the accident occurred.
- The incident report number that the officer provided.
- The names of the drivers involved and driver’s licenses.
It costs $6 for a crash report, and we suggest you get a certified copy if you anticipate making an injury claim.
Filing an Insurance Claim Without a Crash Report
As you can probably tell, having a crash report can make it much easier to make a personal injury claim with an insurance company. Many adjusters will want a crash report to verify facts regarding the crash. Nevertheless, if the negligent party to the crash admits fault to their insurance company, making a claim without a crash report can still bear fruit.
It is not an element of making a claim. If you can establish liability for that car accident through other means, such as dashcams or disinterested eyewitnesses, you may still be able to settle the case without filing a lawsuit.
Not having a crash report just makes it more difficult to prove your claim. It may make it harder for you to find an attorney as well. Personal injury attorneys take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis in Houston.
If the case boils down to a swearing match between the two drivers as to who was at fault, it may be difficult to find an attorney willing to risk their time and money on a 50/50 proposition.
Getting an Accident Lawyer Can Help Make Your Case.
Most car accidents that involve significant injury will have a crash report. Sometimes, a crash report is not done on a significant accident due to the extreme workload of investigating officers. If you have a crash report substantiating your side of the story, it goes a long way to resolving the case short of trial.
Get a Free Consultation from Houston Car Accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069