How to Obtain a Police Report in Dallas, TX
The first step you should take after being involved in an accident caused by another driver is to call 911. The police officers that arrive at the scene will investigate the accident and collect information that they can file in a police report. Police reports can be a significant asset for car accident victims in Dallas trying to recover for their injuries.
A Dallas police report will include a variety of information on the time and place of the accident, license, and insurance information of the parties involved, and witness statements on how it happened. The process for obtaining a police report is fairly straightforward, but it is important that you do so quickly so that you can make amendments to any errors in the report. As soon as you get it, have your lawyer look it over. Be wary of any representatives from the other driver’s insurance provider that attempt to contact you. You can always call your lawyer with any questions along the way.
We at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. believe that victims deserve help throughout the process of their potential car accident injury recovery. In that spirit, our dedicated Dallas car accident attorneys offer free first-time consultations to all clients who believe they may have a case. To schedule yours today, call our offices at (817) 476-1797.
What is The Process of Obtaining a Police Report After an Accident in Dallas, TX?
When officers are called to the scene of an accident, they are supposed to assess the situation to determine whether a police report should be filed. A police report, also known as a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report, is required where the accident has resulted in injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage. The officer will collect the relevant information at the scene and submit it in their report to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The report must be filed within 10 days of the date of the accident and will remain available for 10 years after it is filed. If you are involved in an accident, always call 911 and alert them of the situation so that the dispatcher can direct a police unit to the scene to compile a police report.
Any drivers or victims involved in an accident, vehicle owners, attorneys for these parties, or insurance representatives may request a copy of the accident report through TxDOT. To formally request your report, you can go to the state’s online system or fill out a paper form known as Form CR-91: Request a Copy of a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report. If you are requesting a copy for legal use, you must specify that the department certify your copy. You will have to submit your CR-91 and a check or money order for the administrative cost (usually $8) to the department and address listed on the form. It can take up to 20 days to receive a copy of your accident report once you submit your CR-91 request.
Obtaining police reports in Dallas is well within the available services at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. If you have any questions about the process, you should speak to one of our experienced Dallas car accident attorneys as soon as possible.
What Information Goes into a Police Report for an Accident in Dallas, TX?
Once the police officer determines that the accident satisfies the requirements for filling out a police report, they will collect all the critical information for the report while at the scene and fill out the report at a later point. Sometimes, this leaves room for mistakes, forgotten details, or shortcuts. You should expect that all of the following information on your police report is detailed and accurate.
- Time and date of the accident
- Location of the accident and associated speed limits, traffic laws, etc.
- Each driver’s insurance policy numbers and coverage provider
- License plate numbers and driver’s license information
- Each vehicle’s make, model, body type, and VIN number
- Witness statements (from drivers and others)
- Any relevant details about road conditions and weather
What Should You Do Once You Get Your Police Report in Dallas, TX?
Once you obtain your police report, you should immediately go over it with your lawyer. You should be looking for inconsistencies in the story told by the information with your recollection of the event. If you act quickly, you have the ability to amend the police report by submitting supplemental evidence, such as witness statements or photographs and videos recorded at the scene.
Police reports often feature shorthand that is hard for the inexperienced eye to translate. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers are very familiar with how police reports are constructed and how they can affect a case. We can help you identify any issues that may cost you on your mission for recovery for your car accident injuries.
How Insurance Companies Use Police Reports in Dallas, TX
Police reports are typically most helpful when dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. The insurance claims adjuster will use the police report as a baseline to determine whether they will provide (or deny) coverage for an accident. They will also use it to help estimate a reasonable settlement.
Remember, the other party’s insurance company is interested in their own bottom line, not your recovery. If the police report indicates a story that creates substantial liability, they may reach out to you to request you make statements about the events. If you say anything that could be seen as accepting blame – even a general “I’m sorry” – the insurance company could use it against you in court.
If contacted by an insurance representative, you do not have to tell them anything. Simply direct them to the police report or, even better, have your lawyer do the talking for you.
Get Help with Your Dallas, TX Police Report
The resourceful Dallas truck accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. are waiting for your call. To schedule your first appointment for no charge and get started on the road toward injury recovery, call us today at (817) 476-1797.