How to Read an Accident Report
One piece of evidence vital to a car accident claim is easy for an accident victim to obtain. However, it can be challenging to understand. It is the car accident report, also referred to as Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report. This report includes crucial information like the potential cause of the accident, an approximate estimate of the damage, and the conditions present at the time of the crash. The details contained in this report may help strengthen your car accident claim and earn you the money you deserve.
At The Benton Law Firm, we want to help you access this report and understand the information it contains. We also want you to know how the information contained in this report may impact your car accident claim and chances of recovering crucial compensation for your injuries, or even the death of a loved one.
Where Can You Get Your Texas Accident Report?
If you are the victim of an accident, you can request a Texas accident report online through the state Crash Records Information System. The system can look up your accident report with any of the following:
- Legal name
- Driver’s license number of the person involved in the crash
- Vehicle identification number or VIN
- The 8-digit TxDOT Crash ID – This ID is generated by the investigating officer after the report is submitted to CRIS
Just be aware that sometimes it can take up to 14 days for the crash report to appear in the searchable database. You can also request a crash report by mail. Contact us today if you have more questions.
Reading the Accident Report – Page 1
The first page of the accident report is a general overview of the accident. It will list the date, time, location, and the vehicles involved in the crash. This page should also include crucial information about whether seat belts or helmets were worn and whether an alcohol specimen was taken at the scene. There is also a line where the officer can give their opinion as to whether they believe at least $1,000 of damage was done to a vehicle in the accident. All this information has the potential to influence the direction of an insurance claim.
Reading the Accident Report – Page 2
Page two of the accident report is much more detailed than page one. It includes a list of injuries noticed by the officer, a list of the apparent property damage, and any citations that were issued because of the crash. Notice that the first two items in this list include the words “noticed” and “apparent.” An officer is not a medical professional, and they are not mechanics either. The information they provide about injuries and property damage, while important, may be inaccurate or incomplete.
Page two will also tend to include more specific details about the conditions present at the time of the accident and potential causes or factors involved in the crash.
Reading the Accident Report – Page 3
On page three of the accident report, there will be more information on the exact location of the accident, driver information, vehicle type, and whether the vehicle was transporting any potentially hazardous materials. It also contains a sequence of events for how the officer believes the accident may have happened. This page is primarily used in cases of accidents involving commercial or large trucks.
Reading the Accident Report – Page 4
Page four only concerns accidents with large trucks. An officer must complete this page when an accident involves a commercial motor vehicle. Page four of an accident report can be extremely complicated and detailed.
In some cases, the final two pages of a Texas crash report can include code sheets. These pages list several codes that an officer can mark off, identifying the type of road the crash happened on, vehicle damage rating, weather conditions, lighting conditions, and traffic control signs.
Reviewing the Report
You will want to review this report thoroughly to be sure that all information is accurate. Inaccuracies can hurt your claim. Talk to your attorney about any incorrect information.
Remember, while an accident report is a vital piece of the accident puzzle, it isn’t the only piece of evidence crucial to an accident claim. Your medical records and repair estimates can also help bolster your accident claim.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Dallas Car Accident Attorney
Have trouble accessing or understanding your Texas car accident report? Contact a seasoned Dallas car accident attorney for help. We can help you get a copy of your accident report and review with you the information it contains. We can also help you file a claim and seek the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you are involved in a significant car accident, contact our office for a free initial consultation, or give us a call today at (214) 777-7777.