If you’ve been in a crash, there’s a single document that could be critical to your case – a crash report. Let’s look at what a crash report is, why it’s important, and how to get one after your wreck.
What is a crash report?
A crash report is a document prepared by the investigating police officer after a crash. It provides a lot of information about a wreck, including:
- The date, time, and location of the crash
- Information on every person involved in the wreck, including passengers
- Insurance information for all vehicles involved
- An assessment of property damage
- A description of road conditions or other hazards that may have contributed to the crash
- Any available witness statements
- An opinion from the investigating officer of who was at fault for the crash
You can think of a crash report as a quick snapshot of what happened during a wreck.
Why is a crash report important?
The importance of a crash report comes down to one thing – proving who was at fault.
On every crash report, the investigating officer writes a summary of what he or she believes caused the wreck. They do this after gathering and evaluating all of the available evidence on the scene.
Texas is a fault-based state, which means that the driver who caused the crash is required to pay for the damages – often through insurance coverage. This is why Texas drivers are required by law to have a $30,000 minimum liability insurance policy. (Coverage can differ depending on the state that a vehicle is registered in.)
When a claim is filed for your wreck, the insurance company will want a copy of the crash report to make sure they know who was at fault. Having your crash report can be crucial if your insurance company is trying to take advantage of you.
How do I get my crash report?
Crash reports will never be available immediately after a wreck. Most of the time they are available within 10 days, but they can take up to two weeks in busier Texas counties.
Once a crash report is complete, it will be available to purchase online through the Crash Records Information System. This website allows you to search for your crash report by entering any of the following information:
- The name of anyone involved
- The driver’s license number of any driver involved
- The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of any vehicle involved
- The Crash ID provided by the officer
Once you find the crash report that you’re looking for, you can purchase an electronic copy for as little as $6.
At Daniel Stark, we take the hassle of obtaining a crash report out of our clients’ hands. However, if you find yourself needing to track down your crash report on your own, you should be able to navigate the Crash Records Information System fairly easily.
Want More Information?
If you’re in a wreck, it can be difficult to think remember what to do on the scene of your crash. Luckily, we’ve got a quick guide on what to do after your wreck.
Click the button below to learn 5 things you should do on the scene of a crash.