How to Get a Houston Accident Report
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Houston has more car accidents than any other city in Texas. According to TXDOT, Houston had over 58,000 crashes in the city limits added in the greater Houston area, and that number doubled.
If you have been in an auto accident and there were injuries or property damage over $1000. The odds are pretty good that an accident report will be part of a claim.
Getting a crash report, knowing how to read a crash report and how an accident report may be used are important to know if you are making a claim.
This guide will take you through the steps and costs to obtain your Houston accident report, how to read it, and how the information may be used.
Getting a Houston Accident Report
What information is needed to get a copy of the accident report
Here is the form you must fill out.
- The ID number you received from the investigating officer
- Your name and the name of the other drivers
- Date of the accident
- Location the crash occurred
What is the cost of a copy of the accident report?
The cost for an accident report is six dollars for a regular copy or eight dollars for a certified copy. We suggest getting a certified copy if you expect to make an injury claim.
Why get a certified copy?
If your case gets to court, some parts of the crash report may be admissible as evidence. Getting a certified copy helps in that event.
Here is how to obtain a Houston crash report!
- In person-You can fill out a request form and go to the Houston Police Department at 1200 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002 and buy a copy for six dollars.
- By mail– Mail in the request form and include a six-dollar money order and a self-addressed and pre-stamped envelope.
- On-line-You can buy the HPD crash report online from the Texas Department of Transportation by following this link https://cris.dot.state.tx.us/public/Purchase/app/home/welcome
When are accident reports required?
In Texas, if the crash results in an injury, death, or where the vehicle involved has more than $1000 in damages. The written crash reports should be turned in by the investigating officer within ten days of the wreck according to law. If you are injured in an At accident you should always wait for the police to arrive.
How long does it take to get a Houston accident report?
Seven to ten days is the average wait for a report to be completed. The Texas Department of Transportation gets reports from all over the state for collisions on public roads in Texas. Usually, you must wait at least a week before the crash report is ready.
If the accident involved a fatality, the reports would always take longer, as the investigation is more thorough. In some cases, the accident report may be ready in five days. But, for non-fatal accidents, the reports can take up to 14 days.
What is in a Texas Crash Report?
Texas crash reports contain much helpful information if you make a personal injury claim. The basic information includes the vehicles, people, insurance, date, and location.
Also, a crash report can include witness comments, scene details, tickets issued, and the officer’s opinion on the causes of the crash (listed under “factors and conditions“).
How to Read a Texas Crash Report
A guide to a Texas Peace Officer’s Report
Texas has a standard form used to report all accidents in the state. The form is called CR-3.
The crash report lists details about the accident, such as persons involved, vehicles, insurance, opinions regarding fault, and much more.
The images below highlight what to look for in the accident report and where that information is listed.
It is essential to understand that just because the investigating officer found fault or issued a ticket does not make the officer’s conclusions binding on an insurance company when you make an injury or property damage claim.
How Adjusters Use Crash Reports
If you have been injured in a car or truck accident that was not your fault or sustained damage to your vehicle, the insurance company will analyze the findings in a crash report.
If the crash report lists you as at fault, partially or solely, you can expect the adjuster for the at-fault party to deny your claim, even when the officer got it wrong.
However, a crash report may also have enough admissible evidence that an adverse adjuster may accept the claim. The adjuster will usually accept a claim when the crash report contains:
- Drinking or drug use by the other driver
- Independent witnesses to the crash that fault their insured
- Statements made by their insured to an officer admitting fault.
- Crystal clear liability.
How are crash reports used in a trial?
If a personal injury claim from an auto accident or motorcycle crash is denied or a reasonable settlement is not possible, a trial may happen to decide the matter. In which case, Texas crash reports can come into evidence, but they may be partially redacted.
Insurance is almost always redacted before a jury sees a report in a trial.
The admissibility of an officer’s opinion in the crash report regarding the cause of the crash depends on the officer’s qualifications and the work done investigating the case.
Consult with a personal injury law firm in Houston for more importation about crash reports and trials.
Have questions about an accident report or a car crash claim?
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