Unfortunately, car accidents occur frequently in Texas. This can be a traumatic event leaving one injured, overwhelmed, and unsure of how to navigate the situation. It is important to be prepared for the event if it ever is to occur and to know what steps to take to ensure that you place yourself in the best possible situation.
When a police officer arrives at the scene of an accident, they will speak to the parties involved and any available witnesses to conduct a formal report known as Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (form CR-3). This Texas car accident police report typically contains:
Since a police officer is an unbiased third party with experience in spotting issues in a crash, the Texas car accident police report creates an objective outline of the relevant facts of the accident. There can often be conflicting descriptions from the parties involved of what happened and how it occurred. When this is the case, the Texas car accident police report serves as a basis of unbiased information to rely on.
The practical answer is “yes”, but it is not always required by law. If the accident results in over $1,000 of property damage, injury, or death then Texas law requires drivers to report a car accident. Failure to report this type of crash may result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment.
Based on reportable car accidents in 2019:
However, even if the crash is relatively mild, we still recommend that you file an accident report. Insurance claim adjusters usually accept police reports as the most accurate assessment of the accident. If you are considering filing a lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer will need a copy of the police report. This is important for a personal injury claim because the accident report serves as an unbiased method of communicating the facts of the accident to legal professionals. In the case that there is a discrepancy of fact among the parties involved, juries and courts will give deference to the accident report as an accurate record of events.
In certain circumstances—when the accident is so minor that damage is minimal or when the accident occurred on private property—the police may not conduct a police report. Given the importance of documenting the accident, you should still fill out a CR-2 Crash Report (Blue Form). This is a form that you will document yourself that has many of the same purposes as the CR-3 form. As of September 1, 2017, TxDOT no longer stores the CR-2 form in its records. Instead, the driver should retain this information for their own records and submit to their lawyer or their insurance provider.
We provide car crash victims with dedicated and tenacious legal representation, ensuring that you get fair value for your claim. Our Dallas auto accident lawyer will build a strong case with supporting evidence so that you recover the money that you deserve.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) stores all the crash records for the State of Texas. Police officers are required by law to submit an Texas car accident police report to the TxDOT if the accident resulted in injury to or the death of a person or damage to property of $1,000 or more. This report must be filed with the agency within ten days of the date of the collision.
Texas car accident police reports are not available for viewing to the general public due to their confidentiality, but anyone who is eligible can request a Texas car accident police report in Texas. Texas Transportation Code §550.065 limits eligibility to request the full Texas car accident police report to those who are a party directly involved in the accident or a party with proper interest such as:
(A) The authorized representative of any person involved in the accident.
(B) An employer, parent, or legal guardian of a driver involved in the accident.
(C) The owner of a vehicle in the accident.
(D) A person who is financially responsible for a vehicle involved in the accident according to Texas Transportation Code 601.501.
(E) An insurance company with an issued insurance policy covering a person or vehicle involved.
(F) A person under contract to provide claims to a person described in sections (D) or (E).
(G) Any person who may sue due to the death of one as a result of the accident.
If you satisfy any of the requirements above, you may obtain a police report through the following steps.
Step 1: Gather the basic information—the name of the driver, the date of the accident, and the accident report number. Having this information will help you access the report more quickly.
Step 2: Request a copy of the police report. This can be done online, by mail, or in person. If requesting online or by mail you will need to pay a small fee of $8 for a certified copy or $6 for a regular copy. A certified copy is necessary when you need an official document for a legal proceeding.
It is important to review the police report carefully to make sure that all the information is correct. If you identify incorrect information, you may be able to change it through a correct addendum depending on the nature of the information. If the incorrect Information relates to facts of the details of the accident such as the date or location of the accident, then the police department will usually amend the report to include the corrected information. However, you may not change information that is disputable such as the police officer’s opinion of who is at fault or the other driver’s statement. This is because this information is more subjective and would require strong evidence to change.
In order to save time and space, police officers use codes and abbreviations on a police report. These can be difficult to interpret. Below is the code sheet for car accidents provided by the Texas Department of Transportation.
With our collective experience at Thompson Law, we have successfully represented numerous clients and helped them recover billions of dollars in compensation for the damages and injuries incurred. We can help you, too.
At Thompson Law, we treat every client with respect, empathy, and compassion. We understand that there is no one size fits all and that every case is unique and vital. Therefore, we offer a free evaluation to our clients so that we can review your case in detail and determine the best legal approach to pursue it. Also, with us, you will incur no attorney fee or legal expenses until and unless you get compensated. We can even get your Texas car accident police report at no upfront cost to you.
Remember, the state law limits the time to file a claim, which is known as the statute of limitations.
Call us toll-free at (844) 308-8180 for a free case evaluation. Take action now to protect your right to a fair value monetary recovery.
Get medical treatment! Your health and safety are the most important thing, and your first priority should be seeking immediate attention from a hospital or doctor. Not sure that you’re injured or how serious your injury might be? You should still seek immediate medical attention if you are in a car accident, truck wreck or any other type of accident.
Getting immediate medical treatment does two things: First, it makes sure that any injuries you sustained are properly diagnosed and treated and second, it helps eliminate any doubt that your injuries were caused by the accident. Often, the shock and adrenaline of an accident can mask symptoms of injury, but making the mistake to skip getting checked out can have serious consequences. By seeking prompt medical treatment, you protect both your health and your ability to seek compensation for medical bills and time off work, with the help of your attorney.
A competent and skilled personal injury lawyer is almost always necessary to get full and fair compensation for injuries you have sustained in an accident. Most defendants, whether individual drivers or commercial vehicle operators, are covered by liability insurance. Those insurance companies are not obligated to protect or take care of you. They are there to take care of the defendant (their customer) who caused your wreck or accident.
An expert personal injury attorney should be able to help you not only force that insurance company to pay for the injuries and damages the defendant caused, but will also do their best to make sure that you are compensated for every category of damages you may be entitled to, some of which you may not even be aware of: medical bills, future surgical costs, time off work in the past or time you may have to take off in the future, as well as the pain, suffering, and impairment that many injured people experience.
If you are injured in any type of accident, your first priority should be to seek immediate medical attention, even if you are not certain that you are injured. Seeking immediate medical treatment does two things: 1) it ensures injuries you sustained are diagnosed and treated; and, 2) it helps eliminate any doubt by the insurance company that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Often, the shock and adrenaline of an accident can mask symptoms of injuries, so making the mistake of skipping a medical examination can have profound consequences. By seeking prompt medical treatment, you protect both your health and your ability to seek compensation for your injuries with the help of your attorney.
If you were in a motor vehicle accident we have also detailed here what to do after a car accident.
A skilled personal injury lawyer is necessary to get full and fair compensation for injuries you sustained in an accident. Most defendants, whether individual drivers or commercial vehicle operators, are covered by liability insurance. Those insurance companies are not obligated to protect or take care of you. Insurance companies exist to protect the defendant (their customer) who caused the wreck.
A personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for every category of damages to which you are legally entitled. These damages can include things like: medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain & suffering, punitive damages, loss of limb, diminished mental function, physical impairment, scarring or disfigurement, emotional or mental trauma, and loss of consortium (in wrongful death claims). Further, you may be entitled to future medical bills, future lost income, future pain and suffering, and other damages in severe injury cases.
The largest factor affecting your claim’s value is the severity or magnitude of your injuries. More severe injuries typically require more medical treatment. So it is essential to have all your injuries documented properly by seeking immediate treatment with doctors or hospitals, and continuing under the care and direction of your doctors as long as necessary to heal. Without prompt and consistent medical treatment and documentation, an injury claim becomes very difficult to pursue, let alone win.
Of course, other factors an also have an impact, and each and every case is different. Were you injured in a commercial vehicle wreck or truck wreck that totaled your car, or was it a fender bender that did very little damage? Was the other driver intoxicated or drunk, or speeding? A multitude of factors may play into your claim’s overall likely value. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to visit with you and talk to you more specifically about factors which may affect your particular claim.
In Texas, you usually have two (2) years from the date of incident to file a personal injury claim before it is barred by the statute of limitations. There are exceptions to this 2-year time limit in Texas, for minors and others. Further, other states have different time limits, and the limit that applies is typically for the state in which the accident occurred.
The safest course of action for someone injured in a car wreck, truck wreck, slip and fall, or any other type of accident is to consult with a personal injury attorney. This will help ensure that you do not miss the applicable limitations period. Moreover, it will ensure the right investigations are conducted, and the proper steps are taken to preserve the evidence, photos, witness statements, and records needed to successfully pursue your claim.
If you are injured in a hit-and-run wreck (and are unable to locate the driver) or are hurt in a collision where the other driver does not have insurance, you are not necessarily out of options in terms of financial recovery. You may still be able to recover for your personal injuries if your own policy has Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company to confirm what types of coverage you have on your policy before an accident, but if you have been hit be sure to ask these questions before finalizing your claim request. Even if you do not have UM or PIP, the attorneys and investigators at Thompson Law can work to track down the other driver in a hit-and-run accident. To do this, we rely on witnesses who may have captured a photo of the car or license plate and/or available surveillance camera footage that might have captured the wreck.
Typical damages you can recover in a personal injury claim include: medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and in some cases even punitive damages. In severe injury cases, other damages may be recoverable, such as: future medical bills, future lost income, future pain and suffering, loss of body member or mental function, physical impairment, disfigurement, emotional or mental trauma, and loss of consortium (in wrongful death claims).
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage can help save the day if you are hit by an uninsured driver or if you are the victim in a hit-and-run collision. In short, UM coverage is an add-on coverage that drivers can add to their auto insurance policies that will protect them in the event that they are in an auto accident with a driver who either does not have insurance or cannot be located. You can contact your insurance provider to confirm whether your policy includes UM. If you do not have this coverage, the personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law recommend that you consider adding UM to your auto insurance policy today.
Knowing how comparative negligence works is vital if you live in a state that uses it. In simple terms, comparative negligence implies both drivers can share fault for an accident, but one driver can be more at fault than the other. For example, you are texting while driving when another driver runs a stop sign and hits your car.
A jury finds that the driver who ran the stop sign is 80 percent at fault, but they believe you would have had a better chance of avoiding the accident if you were not texting at the time. They find you 20 percent at fault. You can only collect enough compensation to cover the other driver’s fault. In this case, you would get $8,000 if the jury thinks your case is worth $10,000.
Having the police respond to the accident scene is of paramount importance. Make sure that YOU call them and insist that they come and investigate the accident. When the police arrive, they will separate the drivers and witnesses from one another and take statements from everyone involved. Be cooperative, detailed, and firm in describing the accident. The investigating officer will usually determine fault based upon these statements, and it is essential that your version of the events is heard and believed. If you think that you may be injured, make that clear to the officer. If an ambulance or other medical professionals arrive on scene, get checked out. If not, make plans to visit an emergency room or doctor soon after you leave the scene. Before you do leave for this care, the officer will provide you with a report number and their contact information. Make sure this information is safely saved, as it will be very important in any auto accident injury claim you may have.
Call an attorney. Your first instinct might be to call your insurance company, but it’s best to seek legal council first so you don’t accidentally admit guilt or take responsibility for the accident. In many cases your attorney will call the insurance company for you to prevent that from happening.
Absolutely not. It’s important to leave the investigation to the professionals. They know exactly how to work a case to determine all of the facts and details.
In insurance terms, “totaled” or a “total loss” means that the cost to repair your vehicle to its pre-accident condition is more than the vehicle is worth. Each insurance company has a different threshold for determining if a vehicle is totaled, but generally, if it’s close, you want the insurance company to “total” your car. Following the determination that your car is a total loss, the insurance company will provide you with their assessment of the value of your car. An experienced auto accident attorney should review this estimate to make sure that you are truly receiving fair market value for your loss. You absolutely have the right to challenge their assessment, and a skilled attorney knows the best way to do so to maximize your recovery.
Typically, yes. If a family member is seriously injured or killed in an accident, or if the injured party is a minor child, then it may be appropriate under the law for a parent, spouse, relative, or legal guardian to file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the injured or deceased party. These types of claims are complex, and usually depend on the type of relationship involved, as well as the individual facts and circumstances of the injury. Calling the experienced personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law is step one to explore filing a legal claim on behalf of your loved one.
Even if you are partially to blame for a car accident, you may be able to recover some of your damages from the other party. Under Texas’s proportionate responsibility system (also known as comparative negligence), unless you as the claimant/plaintiff are determined more than 51% at fault, you may recover legal damages that are reduced by the percentage you are determined at fault. For example, if you are determined to be 30% at fault, you can recover 70% of your damages from the other responsible party (you can’t recover the other 30% because that was the amount of liability that was determined to lie with you). The personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law can help you navigate this proportionate responsibility system – so reach out online or call anytime for a free consultation.
If you or a family member are injured in an automobile accident, you cannot afford NOT to hire the very best attorney available. Thompson Law works on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that you only pay legal fees IF we win for you and AFTER your case is settled. We understand that legal fees upfront are simply too much to deal with after a serious accident where you are dealing with property damage repairs, medical bills, missed work and lost wages. The fact that you owe $0 upfront is an added bonus when you hire great legal representation at Thompson Law.
If you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, there is a good chance we can help you out. We will look at the facts of your accident, whether a car wreck, truck wreck, motorcycle accident, or on-the-job-injury and examine whatever reports or records are available. If we believe that you were injured and it was someone else’s fault, it is likely to be a case we can take. The more information and documentation you can give us about your accident and your injuries, the quicker we can evaluate your case and let you know. Give us a call or reach out online anytime!
The best personal injury attorney has three major characteristics: Excellent customer service, cutting edge technology, and a willingness to take cases and win at trial. Ask your potential attorney about the client experience they offer, what kind of technology they use to make your life easier, and when was the last time they took a case to jury trial. Asking these types of questions will give you guidance on what kind of experience you can expect as a client and what kind of results you can expect at the end of your case.
Thompson Law has high ratings from clients for its emphasis on customer service, and its attorneys have achieved significant results on small, large, and complex cases alike. No matter if you have been involved in a minor car wreck or are dealing with catastrophic injuries from a rarer and more devastating event like a terrible workplace accident, dog bite, or an 18 wheeler wreck, Thompson Law can assist you.
Yes! Thompson Law is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide free consultations. If you have been injured in a truck wreck or car accident, hurt in a slip and fall incident, or otherwise injured from the negligence of another person or party, give us a call any time at 1-800-LION-LAW. We can speak to you over the phone, chat online through our website or social media outlets, or arrange an in-person meeting at your convenience. Our team is ready to help!
Thompson Law is available 24/7 to provide free consultations and to sign up new clients. We can sign you up over the phone or we can send one of our experienced licensed investigators to meet you at the hospital or at your home if you prefer. Whether you live in Arlington, Ft. Worth, El Paso, McAllen, or even outside of the state of Texas, we are always here to assist you and provide the resources you need at a difficult time. We do the hard work for you so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.
Being in a wreck, especially on the highway, can be a terrifying experience. Remember these 6 steps to make sure you are safe and to help preserve your legal case right from the start:
Yes! Passengers in auto accidents are entitled to make claims for their damages and injuries too. As a negligence-free passenger, who you make a claim against (one or both drivers and their insurance companies), and what coverages are available (third-party liability, first-party coverages, and/or personal injury protection), depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the car wreck. Injured passengers should call the personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law to assist in navigating these complex issues so that they may receive the fair compensation they deserve.
Under Texas law, “bicycles are entitled to all rights of the road that apply to a motor vehicle, including access.” Unfortunately, drivers often don’t respect the rights of cyclists, and bike accidents are increasingly common, causing severe injuries to the cyclist.
First, stay at the scene. As soon as it is safe, assess the situation and call 9-1-1 to report the incident.
Second, when help arrives, receive emergency medical attention. Get “checked out” even if you think you are okay—the trauma and shock of the collision can cause your body to block out pain and injury, and internal injuries often produce non-specific symptoms. Follow the medical advice of the emergency response team.
Third, with assistance from the police, exchange and obtain information, such as insurance information as well as the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses, passengers, and drivers. DO NOT discuss the facts and circumstances of the bike accident with anyone other than the investigating officer.
Fourth, document the scene. Make notes on paper or using your cell phone about the time of day; weather conditions; road or traffic conditions; lighting; location of the vehicles and involved parties; and any relevant road signs, traffic control devices (lights, stop signs, yield signs) etc. Also, make sure to get photographs of your bike, the driver’s car, and the scene.
Last, a lawyer to discuss your rights. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law will help you investigate all applicable insurance coverages and fight to get the compensation to which you are entitled.
An insurance company will not pay medical expenses or other damages as they come due; rather, after they have accepted liability, the insurance company will make a one-time, lump-sum final payment only at the end of your case. Dealing with medical expenses, and obtaining the proper medical care, after an accident can be tricky. But it does not have to be! Call the personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law, who can explain how to deal with the “day-of” hospital bills, how to continue to receive the care you need, and ultimately how to recover an appropriate settlement that takes care of your bills from the incident as well as fair and just compensation for you.
Let’s be honest: this isn’t a legal show on TV and your case will not settle in the next hour – or even tomorrow. The true answer is: it depends. We find that most cases settle within 7-10 months from date of incident; but the timeframe in your case could be shorter or longer depending on: the facts and circumstances of the accident; the length of time it takes you to complete medical treatment; and the character of the insurance company, or companies, involved in your case. In the event that your case cannot settle pre-litigation and it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, the litigation process alone can take 1 to 2 years due to the court system and legal process necessary to prepare for trial. But because so much of the timeline depends on the facts and circumstances of your unique case, call Thompson Law today to discuss the personal injury claims process.
Thompson Law receives an attorney fee and you pay no legal fees as our client unless we pay you. Thompson Law has 350 years of combined experience in legal representation and has won over $1.8 billion dollars in cash settlements for our clients. We master the art of managing client cases with empathy, compassion, respect and, of course, prodigious skill. Contact us today for a free, risk-free consultation to discuss your accident and your options.
State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.