Drivers will do their best to recount an auto accident after it’s happened, giving an honest effort to tell their side and identify the responsible parties. Still, as drivers are seen to be too-closely involved and equipped with a reason to stretch the truth, their word is not as compelling in the eyes of the court or insurance agents as a police officer’s report.
Are Police Reports Required After a Texas Auto Accident?
Though not always technically necessary, getting a police report has the potential to benefit you case. Still, Texas requires drivers to report any accident that causes:
- Property damage exceeding $1,000
The drivers could elect to report the accident themselves to the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days of the event. If a police officer was called to the scene, however, you do not have to file the report, as they will file a police report which satisfies the requirement.
Failure to report any such accident is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment.
How Does an Officer Make Their Police Report?
The police officer’s process of reporting on your accident will vary based on the severity of the case. Typically, the officer will take notes at the scene, interview bystanders and those involved, and use this information to construct a formal report when they return to the station. If there were any injuries involved, they may supplement their on-site notes with interviews from victims in the hospital.
The Weight of a Police Report
Police reports heavily influence the verdicts of courts and your auto insurance company as they evaluate the evidence and determine fault. Since the officer is seen as an impartial, unbiased third-party, their report is given considerable weight.
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, contact the Law Office of James M. Stanley. Regardless of the report, our team will comprehensively investigate the case and work to identify all responsible parties.