How to Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Arlington, TX
When a car accident in Texas results in death, injury, or a certain amount of property damage, the officers called to the scene are required to file an official report. This report has information about the parties involved and the accident itself that can be vital for a victim who is filing an insurance claim or preparing to go to court.
Arlington police reports are typically available about 10 days after the accident. Once your police report becomes available, you can request a copy of the report online, in person, or by mail through specific processes detailed below. When you receive your copy of the accident report, the first step you should take is to go through it for inconsistencies that might impact your recovery efforts.
If you have any questions about how to obtain or interpret your police report after a car accident left you injured, don’t leave them to chance. Get the answers you need today by calling the Arlington car accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. For a free initial case evaluation with us, call our offices at (817) 476-1797.
Who Can Get an Official Car Accident Police Report in Arlington, TX?
Under Texas law, official police car accident reports are not matters of public record. This means that you will have to submit a formal request in order to obtain a copy of a specific report. Only certain parties may properly obtain a copy of a police report on request. This includes all drivers, passengers, or other injury victims involved in the accident and owners of the involved vehicles, as well as their attorneys, their insurance providers, and certain government entities.
Getting Your Official Car Accident Police Report in Arlington, TX
There are three paths to getting a copy of a police report in Arlington: online, via mail, or in person. Each has its own benefits, and none of them are any more or less legitimate for the purposes of your recovery. The choice between these options is strictly based on your own convenience.
All police accident reports throughout the state are filed with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which publishes them for search on their website. To find your specific report, you may want to have handy certain key search terms from your accident, such as driver names, the date of the accident, or a police report number. There is a fee associated with obtaining your downloadable report, and the turnaround is not always immediate, especially if you are requesting additional detail or certification on your copy. However, this is viewed generally as the most convenient option.
If you would rather mail in your request, you will have to fill out Form CR-91: Request for a Copy of a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report. Attach a check or money order for the administrative fee to the form and send it to the address indicated within the form. Once you submit your form, assuming it is filled out correctly, you can expect to receive a copy of your police accident report within 20 days.
If you live nearby to the Arlington Police Department, located at 620 W Division St., you may prefer to simply go to the headquarters yourself. However, this won’t work if the officer that filled out your accident report was a state trooper or belonged to a different department. We recommend calling the department ahead of time to let them know that you are coming to cut down on your wait time.
Can You File a Car Accident Report Yourself in Arlington, TX?
The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. strongly recommends that you call 911 immediately after any accident so that the officers can handle the reporting process for you while you deal with your injuries. However, in the chaos after the accident, some people forget to call the authorities or simply want to get out of the area.
In these instances, you do have the ability to file the car accident report yourself. All accidents resulting in death, physical injury, or at least $1,000 in property damage must be reported to the state, even if the accident occurred on private property such as a parking garage. You or your Arlington car accident attorney must complete Form CR-2 and submit it to TxDOT within 10 days of the date of the accident.
The contents of your Form CR-2 should include the following details:
- Location and date of the accident
- Identification, license numbers, and contact information for all drivers involved
- License plate numbers
- Names, addresses, and insurance information for all vehicle owners
- Summary of how the accident occurred
- Description of the road conditions at the time of the accident
What Should You Do When You Get Your Accident Report in Arlington, TX?
The first step you should take when you receive a copy of your official accident report is to go through it for factual errors or inconsistencies. While rare, mistakes are possible and can seriously affect your ability to use the police report to recover compensation.
You have the ability to request that amendments be made to the official report. Your lawyer can help you through this process, which may require you to submit additional evidence that backs up your argument. You have the best chance of success if you request the changes as soon as possible after you receive your copy. Waiting too long allows evidence to dry up and may make the reviewing party skeptical about your motives. If your accident report contains mistakes, contact your Dallas car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Need Help with Your Arlington Police Accident Report? We Can Help
The Houston car accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm offer free case consultations. Call us today at (817) 476-1797.