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What to Know When Filing a Police Accident Report

As of January 2000, it has been noted that more Americans have died in car crashes than people who were around for both World Wars. The overwhelming government statistics state that the majority of wrecks in the United States are caused by speeding, drunk and distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses that close to 94 percent of car crashes are caused by human error.

Car crashes and vehicular accidents hurt hundreds of thousands of people in Texas, the second-largest state in the United States. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2015, a reported crash occurs somewhere in the state once every 61 seconds. Disturbingly, local crash statistics indicate that a large portion of these accidents involves distracted driving, driving under the influence and speeding.

Each state in America has its own police report. In Texas, there are necessary requirements for reporting a vehicular accident depending on the type of crash and whether a police officer was present to investigate the accident. If you are involved in a car accident in Houston, you should contact the local Police Department for assistance. It is essential to take note of the accident details. The Houston police department accident reports will need your personal details, such as your name, date and time of the accident, location, and those who are involved, with your corresponding contact numbers. Inquire how to obtain a copy of the accident report. Some departments allow you to track and download your report online for a minimal fee.

By contacting the authorities and making a police report, you have done your share in protecting your own interests and abiding by the law. This will work to your benefit if there is a lawsuit or case filed after the accident.


File a Report for even minor accidents

Regardless if it is a small accident, make sure an accident report is filed to record exactly what happened. The physical and medical damage may not be immediately visible at the time of the accident, and you might incur an added injury or loss at a later period. You are also not sure of how the other person involved in the accident will react. A police report can help provide accurate details. Filing a report also does not mean you are spontaneously making an insurance claim. The police report only serves as a record of the accident.

The accident report will aid your insurance company with a basis on how to effectively handle your claim and also provide them with a precise crash report.

Do not leave the accident scene until the police make a complete report. A detailed and accurate report will guarantee protection in case there should be any legal problems to come up as a result of the accident.

Police Accident Report and Injuries

Emotions can run high after a car accident. You will more likely be shaken and not in the right frame of mind to judge what to do next. Police have professional experience in helping at the scene and recognizing issues that could arise after the accident. They will also be able to interact with the third party, which can alleviate the stress and provide a more neutral approach to the situation. The police will question both sides and fill in the accident report details. Sometimes injuries do not surface until a day or two after the accident. If a police report is not filed, then there will be no record of the incident. This will make it harder for you to avail of your insurance coverage for medical expenses.

Having a police officer on the ground will let them be able to take down basic information, make sure the area is secure and safe for traffic and all people included in the accident. They will also call emergency services and the fire department that may be required to help and most importantly speak to witnesses, the third party and evaluate the incident to help avoid any further problems.

In situations when the police officer is unable to come to your location for various reasons like a public emergency or disaster, you should make sure to document the accident and take photographs of the damages yourself. Write down the name of the person you spoke to on the phone when reporting the incident, this will come in handy in case you need to present information in court or when trying to obtain a settlement.

  • Search for a witness
  • Write down details, take photographs, or make any video recording with your mobile phone of the damages, location, and statements from witnesses of what exactly happened at the scene of the accident
  • File your report at a police station as soon as possible and provide the police officer with all the information that you documented

Get in touch with your insurance company and provide them a copy of the report. The information gathered from the accident will be an essential tool in deciding the liability or who is financially accountable for the accident.

After the accident report is filed make sure to get the contact details of the police officer who filed the accident report so you will know how to acquire your own copy. Having a contact number at hand will enable you to get in touch with the police officer in case there are any key details you would like to add to the accident report.

You will need to request a copy from the local enforcement office that drafted the report. Before leaving the accident scene, the police officer should hand you a receipt with the identification number of the report. Ring the traffic division that responded to the scene of the accident, pays the required administrative fee and a copy should be handed to you with ease. If you are unaware of the identification number of the police report, provide the details of the accident together with your name to help in locating the report.

Always be polite and truthful with the police officer. Filing a detailed and honest report keeps the claims process smooth and will help you get your medical expenses paid and car repaired sooner.

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Written by Marcus Richards

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