While a police report is not always required after a crash, especially for minor car accidents with no injuries, not having one could complicate a car accident claim.
Below, learn more about this issue, including state law on filing police reports after car crashes and why pursuing compensation could get more complicated without one.
If you have more questions about the legal process after a car crash, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney for assistance.
An auto accident attorney in the Fort Worth location of Anderson & Cummings have a proven track record, including a multi-million-dollar settlement for a victim who suffered a brain injury in an auto accident.
Call us today to get a free consultation. You do not pay anything up front or during the legal process. You only pay us if we help you recover compensation.
Why File a Police Report After a Car Crash?
After a car accident, the first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 so the police will come to the scene, check on the health of everyone involved, and call additional first responders if necessary (paramedics, other police officers, fire department, etc.).
The officer who arrives on the scene will also begin a preliminary investigation to determine what caused the accident and who may be at fault. The officer will also gather other information to put into his or her report, which may include:
- Driver and passenger information from all involved parties
- Witness statements
- Description of injuries or property damage
- Diagram of the scene
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- Tickets issued to any of the drivers
The police report serves as an official record of the crash and helps to link your injuries to the accident. In a car crash claim, the burden of proof falls on the victim, which means you must establish your injuries were caused by the crash. When insurance companies deny claims they often say the injury was not connected to the accident, and they may be more likely to do this if you failed to file a police report.
Establishing who was at fault may be easier if there is a police report. For example, the other driver may have violated a traffic law, and this may have been the cause of your accident. If a police officer comes to the scene, he or she can review the situation and issue a traffic citation if he or she agrees there was a traffic violation. Proof of a traffic citation against the other driver could strengthen your case for compensation.
Can I File A Claim Without a Police Report?
You may still be able to file a claim even without a police report. However, sometimes insurance companies require a police report, and you may be prohibited from filing a claim if there is no police report. However, even if the insurance policy you are filing a claim against does not have this requirement, filing a report is still a good idea.
Often, those who do not call the police after an accident will exchange contact and insurance information with all drivers involved. Another step that could help prove a claim is collecting evidence at the scene, such as:
- Third-party witness statements
- Photos of the car accident scene
- Video footage from surveillance, traffic or dashboard cameras
Obtaining some of this stuff, especially video from a traffic camera, could be difficult without the help of an attorney who deals with these issues on a regular basis. That is why many crash victims decide to hire an attorney to represent them throughout the process.
Are Police Reports Required After a Texas Crash?
In Texas, drivers must report car accidents when property damage exceeds $1,000 or if anyone was injured in the incident. If police filed a report, then the driver does not have to do it.
Under state law, you can have your driver’s license suspended if you do not file a report if another person involved in the accident sustained a bodily injury, death or property damage that is worth more than $1,000.
Our Fort Worth Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Help
A missing police report can make a car crash claim a lot more complicated. Our team of attorneys is prepared to help you whether you have a police report or not.
Your initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation to hire our firm. That means there is no risk to you.
Have questions? We have answers. Call today. (817) 920-9000.