If you’ve found your way to this page, we feel for you. Finding yourself in a position where you’re seeking a police report, means that you or someone you love has recently experienced some misfortune and frustration.
Police Reports, also referred to as Accident Reports or Crash Reports, are one of the most valuable documents you can have in auto accident cases. These authoritative documents carry weight in insurance negotiations by effectively and consistently describing events and providing evidence from an agreed-upon authoritative and objective source. As soon as it is safe to do so after the accident, you should call the police to come out to the scene of the accident and make a report. If the crash is severe and there are injuries, call emergency line 911. If the crash is minor and injuries are unknown, you can call the local police department’s non-emergency number to request that an officer come out. From there, all you need to do is check your options and the steps below to receive a copy of your report. Share that report with your dedicated auto accident attorney and you are well on your way to a strong and successful personal injury case.
Steps to Getting Your Police Report
In Texas, accident reports are officially referred to as Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Reports. Alternately, you may hear them referred to by their technical name, CR-3. Variations in form names and differences in requesting forms between various jurisdictions can be confusing, but this guide is designed to help simplify the options.
Different jurisdictions have different protocols for requesting your crash report. For example, some precincts do not directly manage crash reports online or even provide online avenues for searching crash reports. If you’ve been in a car accident in San Antonio, for example, you can see the options available to you on the City of San Antonio’s website. Luckily, TXDOT maintains a database of all reports for the state of Texas, which increases access to reports for many more Texans. If you’re wondering, “How Do I Get a Police Report?” – here are your options:
- Online– There are a few ways to request police reports online. If the online search is available directly through the police department that made your report, you can search or request the info using the name of a person involved, the accident location, the date of the incident, the Police Service Number, the vehicle identification number (VIN), and/or license plate numbers. Most search portals require at least a couple of these ID’s in order to locate the proper record. In addition to the local police department’s online systems and the TXDOT C.R.I.S. system, you may be directed to utilize the Lexis Nexis Police Records portal. This is another online reporting service that many police stations use for their records. You can search by creating an account and using the same sorts of criteria. Online crash report requests have a fee between $6.00 and $8.00, and are available 4-10 working days after the accident.
- By Mail– Key information you must provide to the request includes: name of a person involved in the accident, the location of the accident and/or the date of the accident. Having the Police Service Number can expedite record locating as well. Accident reports are generally available 5-7 working days after the accident. There is a $6.00 fee for the record.
- By Phone– Some jurisdictions such as Dallas do not release crash report information over the telephone. However, you can always call the precinct non-emergency line for questions or support locating the record you need.
- In-Person– Check the website or call the police station you need your report from before arriving in person, as some locations may have limited operating hours or access due to COVID-19 precautions. Otherwise, departments have records desks or customer service windows where you can make the request. There is a $6.00 fee for this method as well, and you should be prepared with a name of a person in the accident, accident location and/or date of the accident, plus the Police Service Number if possible. Reports are typically available 5-7 working days after the accident.
To get started locating your crash report, start here. Once you’ve received your report, the CR-3 reference sheet is located here, to help you decipher the report details.
Need Help? Thompson Law is Here
Thompson Law’s experienced personal injury attorneys are dedicated to winning your claim and case. Even with over $1.8 billion won for our clients to date, each new client we take on receives the same great care, attention, and help that they deserve. Our promise to you is not only our very best legal expertise to help you win a great insurance settlement or case verdict, but also a 5-star client experience throughout that process.
If you have been injured or suffered losses in a car or truck accident, workplace accident, premises liability accident, or through some other negligent act by the fault of another’s actions, you deserve help and you deserve justice. Reach out to Thompson Law for a free, no-risk consultation at your convenience. 24/7/365, we are available to offer you our services and guidance. A 15-minute phone call could make all the difference in your case.
Accident Report Resources
Different cities have slight variations in protocol when it comes to crash reports. Below is a list of links and resources for locating your crash report in different jurisdictions. If you don’t see the city where your crash occurred, or you have other questions, you can visit the TXDOT Crash Reporting Page for the state-managed crash reporting system – C.R.I.S. Purchase. TXDOT is the custodian of crash reports for the state of Texas, and it is one of the most convenient and accessible options to obtain your record, though there is a $6.00 fee per download. Besides TXDOT, Lexis Nexis is an online platform used by many police departments. If your crash occurred in a jurisdiction that uses Lexis Nexis, you can download your report using the same accident search criteria as TXDOT, typically for a fee of $8.00.
And of course, if you are having trouble locating or receiving your report, you can always call Thompson Law.
If you found this article helpful, you may also like:
What Happens After a Car Accident with No Police Report?
Why You Should Invest in a Dash Camera
How Do Lawyers Charge For Personal Injury Cases?
The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered after being hurt in an auto accident or any other type of accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. However, delayed onset injuries are no less deserving of justice. If you’ve been hesitating to reach out, don’t delay any further. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim.