Police reports and your accident claim: Are they really important?
After an accident occurs, most people know that you need to exchange information. However, most people are reluctant to call the police for one reason or another. By not reporting the accident to the police department your accident doesn’t receive sought after police reports. In the end, it could end up damaging your auto accident claim.
Police reports, or accident reports, are detrimental to any claim, especially to an auto accident claim. The reports produced after an accident contain important information. They include:
Name of drivers
Name of passengers
Location of the accident
Vehicle information of all parties
Insurance information of all vehicles involved
Any citations a person has received
Description of how the accident occurred
Witness information, if any
Estimate of damages
Ambulance and hospital information (For anyone taken to a hospital directly from the scene of the accident)
Benefits of having a police report
As mentioned above, having a police report is a good thing for filing an auto accident claim. Police reports can help solidify your claim of not being at fault for the accident. Shock affects everyone in an accident. After a while, memories fade and we forget important details. An accident report filed preserves the details of an accident.
The written style of a police report is another benefit. Police reports are objective and written from a third party’s prospective. This means that the police office stated facts and what he or she observed rather than opinions. That is very crucial to an auto accident case because it eliminates the “word-vs-word” scenario. Insurance companies will usually take their claimants side in a “word-vs-word” scenario but will have to yield their position if a police report puts their client at fault.
When you may not need a police report
The Texas Department Transportation Code, states that accident reports must be filed when certain criteria are met. Accident reports are required when:
An accident caused injury to a person
An accident caused the death of a person
Property damage caused by an accident was more than $1,000
Law enforcement agents are required to file reports for any accidents they’ve assessed that meet the above criteria. If not, the people involved in the accident are responsible to file the report. Reports must be filed no later than 10 days after the accident has occurred. If you fail to file a report when your accident includes one of the mentioned criteria, you can face jail time and/or a fine of $5,000.
Minor occurring accidents do not need a report filed. Accidents without injuries do not need a report filed either. Accidents occurring on private property usually do not need police reports either, however, we strongly suggest contacting the police still. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay a claim without a police report, especially if it occurred on private property.
How long until you receive a police report?
In Texas, reports are required to be filed no more than 10 days after the date the accident occurred. After that, accident reports should be available to be viewed between 12-14 business days. We typically get any and all reports for our clients involved in an accident. If our clients would like a copy of their accident report, we will be happy to provide it.
Tran Law Group can help
Police reports can benefit anyone filing an auto accident claim against another. Due to the myriad of information found on the report, claimants can easily find information that may be missed or forgotten after the accident occurred. It can also strengthen a case against the insurance company and their client.
We at Tran Law Group know the importance of an accident report to an auto accident claim. It doesn’t happen often, but errors can be found on reports. If this happens on your report, we can help correct the error. Correcting errors can play a deciding factor in getting the insurance company to admit their client’s fault.
If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident, don’t delay your compensation! Contact our firm at 713-789-5200 as soon as possible. Let us be your legal team in your time of need.