At some point in your life, you will probably experience a car accident.
Accidents vary in severity and include everything from fender benders to the recent 130-car pileup on I-35W that killed 6 people and injured dozens more.
No matter the type of accident, if someone was injured or more than $1,000 in property damage was caused, you should immediately report the accident to the police. The responding officer will investigate the crash scene, take witness statements, and otherwise gather important details about your wreck before ultimately creating an official police accident report.
An accident report is a key piece of evidence in any car accident claim. If you fail to recognize any errors or inaccurate information in your report, it could come back to haunt you.
For people who don’t hold a law degree or aren’t in law enforcement, reading your Texas Accident Report or “CR-2” can be confusing. The information is broken up and spread out over three or four pages chock full of police lingo and abbreviations.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Coby L. Wooten Attorney at Law, P.C. for a free case consultation. Our legal team can help you make sense of your accident report, your claim, and help you weigh your legal options. We can also take steps to set the record straight and correct any errors in your accident report.
In the meantime, here is some guidance on how to read your Texas accident report.
What’s in a car accident report?
Under Texas law, the police are required to investigate any accident that results in $1,000 or more in damages, injuries, or death.
Here is just some of the information you will find in your accident report:
- Crash location
- Road conditions
- Date and time of the crash
- Injuries and fatalities resulting from the accident
- Information on each driver such as name, address, and phone number, driver’s license number, ethnicity, occupation, insurance information, and drug test results (if such tests were taken).
- Vehicle make, model, and body type
- License plate number
- VIN (vehicle identification number)
- Estimated damages
- Configuration of passengers
- Use of seat belts
- Diagram of the accident
- Photos of the crash, if available
How to obtain your accident report
The Texas Department of Transportation is the custodian of accident records. To request a copy of the crash in which you were involved, visit the Crash Report Online Purchase System. The document will cost $6-$8.
Reading your crash report
Page 1. On the first page, you’ll find the basics of the car accident – who, what, where, and when – as well as whether the crash resulted in injuries or fatalities. Here you will also learn more about the drivers and vehicles involved, if any charges have been filed against the people in the crash, and a damage estimate.
Page 2. This section tells the story or “narrative” of the accident and includes a pictorial diagram of the crash. If there were any passengers in the involved vehicles, they will be mentioned on this page as well as the extent of their injuries.
Page 3. Here is where officers include any miscellaneous or additional information. If a commercial vehicle was involved in the wreck, its carrier information will be presented here. This is also the page on which you would learn whether the officer identified any vehicle out-of-service violations, driver logs, driver fatigue, or other data.
Page 4. This page mostly explains how to fill out the accident report.
Don’t take chances with your claim – take control
After a car accident, life can feel like it’s spinning out of your control. You’re injured, out of work, and in pain due to someone else’s negligence.
You’re probably wondering if you’ll ever fully heal or return to work or enjoy life as you did before the crash. The insurance companies may be calling you, trying to get you to make a recorded statement about your accident and bullying you into accepting a settlement so small it might not even cover the cost of your ambulance ride to the hospital.
It’s time for you to stand up to the insurance companies and take control of your recovery – and our law firm can help.
Attorney Coby L. Wooten has won many significant settlements and verdicts for clients in Texas. Coby has years of experience building successful, evidence-based claims that the insurance company’s attorneys can’t refute, and he has a reputation for protecting hard-working Texans from insurance companies that want to deny reasonable claims or otherwise shortchange people in pain.
If you don’t get a large enough settlement or verdict to cover the cost of your injury, you and your family could struggle for years to pay off crash-related medical debt – especially if the wreck reduced your ability to work and earn a living.
For a free consultation, contact us today. We’re located in Fort Worth and offer meetings outside of Fort Worth by appointment.