If you’ve been in a car accident in Texas, you may need to fill out an accident report, also known as a Driver’s Crash Report. Texas law requires that if an accident results in death or injury to anyone, or if there was $1000 or more worth of damage, a report must be filled out by either a witnessing officer or the driver of the vehicle. The report is filed in the Crash Records Information System (CRIS) and is held for up to five years.
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to note all details in order to inform the police and your insurance carrier. The following information will cover the steps you will need to take and what you can expect when filling out a report.
At the Scene
Immediately following the accident, call the police. Even if you feel like this is a non-emergency accident, the police still need to be notified. Call the non-emergency line if there are no injuries and no risk of further damage. A police officer will be able to investigate the scene and assist you with filling out the crash report.
Collect all available information at the scene. Make sure to exchange contact information, including insurance information, with the other driver. Even if you believe yourself at fault, having the insurance and contact information will be necessary for both the incident report and your insurance. Collect Vehicle Identification Numbers and any witness contact information as well.
Call your insurance company and report the accident. Be sure to relay any necessary information you have collected.
After the Accident
The Texas Department of Transportation collects crash reports from law enforcement on every public road in Texas (CR-3s), in addition to individual driver crash reports (CR-2s), so make sure to collect all the details of the incident.
If a police officer was not called to the scene of the accident, you will need to fill out a CR-2 crash report yourself. Before the report can be released to you, you must provide the following information:
- Name of any person involved in the accident.
- Date of the accident.
- Location of the accident.
The Crash Report form can be downloaded online from the Texas Department of Transportation’s website. The form will need to be filled out and sent in within 10 days of the accident. Be sure to include the following information:
- Location. Include the city or town in which the accident occurred. The street and the intersecting street should be reported if possible.
- Date. Record the date the accident took place.
- Vehicles. All vehicles involved will need to be reported. The names, vehicle type, and insurance information for all persons involved should be included.
- Damage to Property. Any information regarding property damage should be included here. Include a description of the property, location, property owner, and any other relevant information.
- Injuries. Include injuries to any occupants of your vehicle in this section. Be sure to fill in all blanks regarding contact information and position in the vehicle.
- Driver statement. Use this section to provide a narrative of the accident. A full sheet of paper can be attached if more room is needed. Do not include photographs as they are not helpful and will not be returned.
- Signature. Finally, the driver should sign the document after review before sending it in. If completing the form online, the document can be signed electronically.
Copies of police-completed crash reports can be ordered online through CRIS purchase system. If you filled out the report on your own, you will not be able to order it online.