Should I File a Police Report for a Car Accident?
Hanging around after a car accident might sound like a terrible idea; why would victims want to hang around after a stressful, overwhelming experience? Unfortunately, you’re going to have to stick close to the scene so that you can file a police report for a car accident, and the Houston injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta are here to tell you why.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident and need a car accident attorney in Houston, you need to contact the winning personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta. Call us today at (713) 224-7644. We won’t stop fighting until our clients get what they deserve.
Can you claim a car accident without a police report?
Do you need a police report to file an insurance claim in Texas? You do not need a police report in order to make an insurance claim in Texas, but it can be incredibly helpful to have one. Additionally, if you don’t call the police and the other party decides to, you may be opening yourself up to liability. How?
Say you leave the scene with the other driver’s insurance information. You think that you’re done with the accident, and you’re getting ready to call your insurance company to report it. Meanwhile, the other driver is calling the police and accusing you of a hit and run. How can that be? If you got their information and reported the accident, you’re clearly following the law, but scenarios like this happen all the time.
So, yes, you can make a claim without filing a police report, but the bottom line is that filing a police report can protect you in a myriad of situations.
How do I report an auto accident in Texas?
Those wondering how to file a police report in Houston or Texas at large will be happy to hear that it is incredibly easy.
- After the accident, call the police the moment you are able to do so. If you are hurt, have someone else call the police if you can.
- Tell the dispatcher whether you need an ambulance or not, if anyone that has been involved in the accident is hurt, even if it doesn’t seem serious, you should default to calling one.
- When the officer arrives on the scene, they will interview you about what took place during the accident.
- Make sure that you get a copy of the police report.
Filing a Houston police department accident report is very simple, but what does a police report contain? How does it help my claim? A police report will document the following:
- The exact location and time of the accident’s occurrence
- Details of the damage to each vehicle and other property
- Details of injuries sustained by anybody involved in the accident
- Statements and information from eyewitnesses
- Statements from those involved in the accident
- Important information about the state of the road, the weather, and the drivers themselves
- The officer’s overall impression of the accident and its cause
Once you’ve filed a report, you may be wondering “How do I get an accident report in Houston?” You can receive a copy of your report either by mail, online, or in person, but it does take a few hours to process. You can (and should) ask for a copy for your own records and request that a copy be sent to your attorney.
Why should you file a police report for a car accident?
There are many benefits to filing a police report after a car accident. Among other things, filing a police report after your accident can do the following:
- Establish an official record of the accident. Police reports generally feature a detailed account of the accident, information on the parties involved, eyewitness statements, and the impressions of the officer who responded to the accident. An official record of the accident can help settle disputes or inconsistencies in court or during insurance adjustments.
- Ensure accuracy and objectivity. A thorough investigation of the scene of the accident can ensure that details will not be overlooked. If you choose not to file a police report, the burden is on you to gather all of your own car accident evidence to strengthen your own claim.
- Meet legal obligations. Under very specific circumstances you can actually get in trouble for not filing a police report. For most accidents with non-commercial vehicles you don’t have to worry, but filing a police report is always a good idea just to be sure.
- Support claims. Ultimately, you want to file a police report because it will support your claim. If fault or liability is being disputed, either in court or by the insurance company, an objective record will go a long way, and give your attorney a solid foundation on which to pursue damages in court* or negotiate with insurance companies.
Whether you’re protecting yourself against a liability dispute, a false claim made by another driver, or an insurance company trying to give you a lowball offer for your injuries, filing a police report after a car accident can help protect you.
Keep reading: What are damages in a lawsuit?
Should you file a police report for a car accident in Texas? Only if you want to support your claim.
Filing a police report for a car accident might seem like a hassle, but we assure you that it’s not. Establishing an official record for the benefit of your insurance or your personal injury claim will ensure objectivity and protect you from any malfeasance.
The Houston personal injury lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta have been fighting the insurance companies and winning personal injury claims for their clients in Texas for decades. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, whether or not you filed a police report after it, you need to contact the Houston personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta as soon as possible.
Call us today at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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