How to Obtain a Car Accident Report in Houston
Brian White | May 24, 2020 | Auto Accidents
Car accident reports are an essential piece of evidence used in car accident cases. The easiest way to report a car accident in Houston is to call 911. Provide your location to the operator and request police and ambulance services.
What Information do I Need to Get a Copy of the Accident Report?
Obtaining a copy of a car accident report in Houston is simple. You will need to provide the Houston Police Department with at least two of the following pieces of information to obtain a crash report:
- Date of the car accident;
- Location of the car accident;
- The names of the drivers or parties involved in the crash; or;
- The incident number of the accident report.
If possible, provide all four pieces of information to make it easier for the records division to locate the correct crash report. The incident number is the best piece of information to provide to ensure you receive the correct report.
How do I Request a Copy of my Car Accident Report?
The Records Division of the Houston Police Department handles requests for accident reports. The telephone number for the Records Division is 713 308-8585. There are three ways to get a copy of the crash report:
- By Mail — Complete the Houston Police Department Crash Report Request Form (available online). Mail the form with a $6 money order payable to the City of Houston and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Houston Police Department, Attn: Records Division, 1200 Travis, Houston, TX 77002.
- In-Person — You may take the completed request form to the Houston Police Department at 1200 Travis in Houston to purchase a copy of the car accident report for $6.
- Online — Crash reports may also be purchased online from the Texas Department of Transportation through the Crash Reports Information System (C.R.I.S.). The Houston Police Department anticipates beginning its own online system for purchasing crash reports directly from the police department.
Review the Car Accident Report for Errors
As soon as you receive a copy of the crash report, review the information on the report for errors. Factual information, such as the date of the accident, location of the accident, and names of the drivers may be corrected through an amendment to the crash report.
Send a letter to the police officer detailing the information that needs to be corrected. The police officer decides whether to amend the police report. If the error is easily verifiable, the officer should not have any issue correcting factual information.
However, the police officer’s notes and decisions regarding the crash investigation are not likely to change, even if you disagree with the police officer’s findings. Most police officers stand by their findings at the accident scene. You may need to hire a lawyer to help you fight the inaccurate information, especially if you want to file a personal injury claim.
Why do You Need a Copy of the Car Accident Report?
The information in the police report is useful when filing an insurance claim. The report should contain the other driver’s information, including insurance information. The crash report also contains the police officer’s findings, such as charging the other driver with a traffic offense.
Additionally, the accident report may contain statements taken by the police officer from eyewitnesses. The report may contain a description of the damage to each vehicle, the weather conditions at the time of the collision, and a diagram of the crash scene.
What to do After a Car Accident in Houston
If you are involved in a car accident in Houston, call 911 to report the accident. If possible, pull to the side of the road to avoid being struck by another vehicle. In most cases, it is best to remain in your vehicle to avoid further injury, but whether to leave the vehicle must be determined by the circumstances following the accident.
While waiting for the police officer to arrive, make notes about what you remember about how the accident occurred. Take pictures or make a video of the accident, if it is safe to do so. Write down the names and telephone numbers of eyewitnesses.
When police officers arrive, do not admit fault. Do not apologize or tell the other driver you are sorry. Tell the officer what happened as you remember, without embellishing or admitting fault.
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You must have medical evidence of your injuries to recover compensation in a car accident claim. You must also have documentation of your financial losses and other damages.
A Houston car accident lawyer can help you document your damages. An attorney investigates the car crash to identify who caused the crash and gather evidence proving fault. The evidence is used to build a case against the driver so that you can recover compensation for your damages, including medical treatment, loss of income, suffering, and pain.