Brian White | June 28, 2022 | Car Accidents
If you drive a car, you are likely to be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. With any luck, it will be a minor accident.
But whether it is minor or major, you have responsibilities after getting into a car accident. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, one of those responsibilities may be filing an accident report with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT).
Do You Always Have to File an Accident Report?
Accident reports are often required — but not always required. If police arrived at the scene of the accident and a police officer wrote a police report, you are off the hook for filing an accident report.
However, if no police report exists, there are still situations where you are not required to file an accident report with the DOT. According to the DOT, you don’t need to file an accident report if all of the following are true:
- Nobody was injured in the accident
- Nobody was killed in the accident
- All property for each individual involved in the accident was under $1,000
If any of the above is not true, you are required to file an accident report within ten days of the accident.
When Should You Call the Police?
The best policy is to always call the police, regardless of the severity of the accident. Emergency services may decide that your accident doesn’t require police presence, but it is better to let them make the decision. If anyone has been injured or if the other party has fled the scene, you should always contact the police.
Do You Still Need to Share Information with the Other Driver If a Police Report Has Been Written?
Just because a police officer has written a police report for your accident doesn’t excuse you from sharing contact information with the other parties in an accident. Any accident reports, including ones written by police, may provide additional contact information if necessary. Regardless, exchanging information at the scene of an accident is required.
Is Informing Your Insurance Company the Same as Filing an Accident Report?
Some people think that filing an insurance claim is the same as filing an accident report. This isn’t the case, and you can get in a lot of trouble if you file an insurance claim but never file an accident report.
Why Are Accident Reports Necessary?
Accident reports have a few uses. The state uses accident reports to track how many accidents happen throughout the state and how severe they are. This data allows the state to make decisions that improve overall driving safety.
Additionally, lawyers and insurance companies use accident reports to determine how much money is owed to drivers who have been involved in an accident. These reports can be used to determine fault and identify the significant damage in an accident.
Can You Get a Copy of Your Accident Report?
You can purchase a copy of your accident report from the Texas DOT. Your lawyer can then use this copy to negotiate a better settlement with your insurance company or file a lawsuit.
What Should You Do If the Other Driver Asks You Not to File an Accident Report?
If the other driver asks you not to file an accident report, it is likely because they are at fault in the accident and want to avoid the consequences of the accident. That is a red flag that you should call the police immediately.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
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Houston, TX 77029
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Houston, TX 77054