How to Get a Police Report After a Car Accident in Houston
After any car crash that results in an injury, a police officer should visit the scene to draft an accident report. These reports can provide a wide range of information that allows lawyers and insurance companies to determine how or why certain collisions occurred. For instance, these reports may contain drivers’ statements, witness statements, and drawn crash diagrams.
There are multiple methods available for recovering a copy of your police report after a car accident in Houston. First, our legal team is prepared to recover a copy of your report for free. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy of your report on your own by making an online request, a mail-in request, or an in-person request.
In the aftermath of your car accident, get help from our experienced Houston car accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm by dialing (817) 476-1797 for a free assessment of your case.
How Soon Are Police Reports Available After a Car Accident in Houston?
While it is important to get your case moving as soon as possible, there is a little turnaround time before your police report will be available. It is generally best to wait a week before inquiring about your police report. According to the city of Houston, accident reports are typically available to crash victims five to eight business days after the accident occurred. If your report is still unavailable after eight days, contact our Houston personal injury attorneys right away. We can help you get to the bottom of the delay in your report.
How Much Do Police Reports for a Car Accident Cost in Houston?
While police report requests are not free, they are not prohibitively expensive. The fee you will need to pay will depend on your chosen method. For online requests, there is a $7.50 fee per report. If you request your report in person or by mail, the fee is only $6. Our personal injury attorneys can help you with the issues affecting your ability to get a copy of your police report.
The Methods for Obtaining a Car Crash Report in Houston
If you are injured in a car accident in Houston, the police will typically investigate the crash and make an accident report. After your car accident, you will have several methods to obtain a copy of the police report in your case. The Houston Police Department (HPD) is usually the organization that will respond to your crash and provides three options for getting your police reports, which can be done online, in person, or by mail. Regardless of the route you choose, you will need to provide the date of the accident and where the accident happened or the other driver’s name to collect a copy of your report.
Your Attorney Can Get it for Free
If you were injured and you are going to need to contact an injury attorney to represent you, this would be a good time to get in touch with them. The attorneys and/or staff at your law firm will typically get a copy of the police report as one of the first things that they do for you. If you have representation, then you do not need to get a copy yourself.
The most convenient option for car accident victims to recover their police reports is online. Fortunately, you will have two online options to choose from, which will be important depending on who made your report. The first choice is to request it on HPD’s online portal. Again, you will either need your accident report number, your name and the date of the accident, or your name and the location of the accident to access your police report.
You can also request your police report directly from the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) online portal. This is a good option if an agency other than the Houston Police Department made your crash report. However, you can also request an HPD report from the TDOT site if you choose.
It is important to note that critical information, like names and contact information, will be redacted on an online police report. You will need to request your report in person to obtain a full and unredacted copy. Our Dallas personal injury attorneys can guide you through the online process, so there are no delays in getting your police report.
In order to get a complete copy of your police report, you will need to make your request in person. This will often be the most thorough option since the information in the unredacted police report will be vital to your lawsuit. Police reports gathered in person will include information like the contact information of the driver that injured them and the names of witnesses that the police interviewed. Sometimes, this is the only way to identify the party you should sue and who to speak with to gather additional evidence.
To request a copy of your police report in person, you can visit the following address between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday:
Houston Police Department
Edward A. Thomas Building
1200 Travis – 1st Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
It can take a little time before a report is made available, so it is best to call ahead to determine if a report is available to be picked up. Our personal injury lawyers can help you collect your report in person so you can access all the information regarding your accident.
Lastly, you can also request a copy of your police report through the mail. However, the key information mentioned above will usually be redacted on a police report requested via mail. Still, if this option suits your circumstances, our team can help you send the right documents, so your request is processed promptly. You can request your police report by mail by sending a check or money order along with the necessary accident information to the following address:
Houston Police Department
Edward A. Thomas Building
Office of Legal Services
1200 Travis – 10th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request.
What Information is Included in a Police Report After a Car Accident in Houston
There are several pieces of information that may be found in your police report. For instance, any of the following may be included:
Date, Time, and Location of the Accident
First, your police report will provide basic information such as the date, time, and location of your accident. These details are crucial to establishing a timeline of events for your crash. If you suspect that any of this information was improperly recorded in your report, then our Houston car accident lawyers can seek to have the error corrected.
Your police report should also include information pertaining to the parties involved. For instance, the names, contact information, and insurance information for any drivers will be recorded. Furthermore, contact information for passengers and witnesses may be noted in your report. This information can be important when seeking to contact individuals for further investigation or testimony.
Description of the Accident
Another important piece of information that may be found in your police report is a description of your accident. This description is usually formed by the drafting officer after observing the aftermath of the accident and analyzing statements from involved parties. As an example, the description of your accident may include details regarding the direction of travel, road conditions, traffic signals, and any factors that may have contributed to your collision.
Diagram of the Accident
Furthermore, the drafting officer may include a drawn diagram of your accident in your report. This diagram may be crucial to indicate the positions of vehicles involved, the locations of skid marks, and other relevant details. Additionally, measurements such as distances and angles between objects or vehicles may be included to help reconstruct your accident.
Statements from Drivers and Witnesses
Statements from drivers and witnesses may also be recorded in your police report. These statements may be very valuable when investigating the events that unfolded before, during, and after your crash. Additionally, the officer may include their own observations regarding the condition of the vehicles, weather conditions, and other factors that may have influenced your accident.
Citations and Violations
Finally, if any traffic violations or citations were issued as a result of the accident, they will be noted in the police report. This information can be beneficial when establishing who is to blame for your collision.
How Can Your Police Report Help You Win Your Car Accident Lawsuit in Houston?
As a plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit, your police report may be very valuable to your case. There are multiple ways that your report can be used to support your claim. For example, your report may help with any of the following:
Your police report provides an objective account of your accident, including details about the parties involved, the accident scene, and the officer’s observations. Accordingly, it can help establish the facts of the case and provide a foundation for your claim.
Your police report can also be very important when seeking to determine liability for your crash. For instance, your report may include statements from the involved parties, witnesses, and the officer’s own assessment of your collision. This information may help establish the factors that contributed to your accident.
Furthermore, your police report may allow you to identify potential witnesses. For example, your report may list the names and contact information of witnesses present at your accident’s scene. These witnesses can offer both written and oral statements in support of your potential claim.
Locating Additional Evidence
Finally, in addition to witness statements, your police report may lead you to other pieces of evidence that can be used to support your claim. Our legal team can help review your report and locate any pertinent evidence.
Can You Correct Information from Your Police Report After an Accident in Houston?
Unfortunately, not all accident reports are entirely accurate. In some cases, officers will make mistakes when filling out these reports. Thankfully, there is a process that allows you to correct mistaken information.
First, you must contact the officer who drafter your report as quickly as possible and ask them to make a correction. If possible, you should attempt to provide documentation for the correction you seek. For example, if the report gets the location of your accident wrong, then you may present a photo from the crash scene that helps identify the correct location.
Unfortunately, some officers may be reluctant to change information from their reports. If the officer who drafted your report does not wish to cooperate, then you may write up your own statement to be attached to your police report. This statement should provide any documentation that is available to support your corrections.
Support from our legal team can be very helpful when seeking to correct a mistaken report. We can help approach the drafting officer and respectfully ask for your correction. If they refuse to comply, then our team will help draft a thorough and convincing statement that may be attached to your report.
If You Need to Recover a Copy of Your Police Report in Houston, Our Lawyers Can Help
After suffering a car crash, seek assistance from our experienced Houston car accident attorneys by calling The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797 to review your case for free