How to Get an Accident Report in Houston
Obtaining a copy of a traffic crash report is important if you’ve been in a car accident in Texas. Police reports contain information that could be useful if there is any subsequent investigation of the wreck as part of a personal injury claim. In particular, an accident report is an official record of a law enforcement officer’s assessment of who is at fault for the crash. However, it’s important to remember that the police do not have final say on whose insurance has to pay for accident damages.
A correct determination of fault can mean the difference between getting full compensation in Texas or none at all. You need to get a copy of your Houston accident report as soon as possible to make sure the facts are right. If they’re wrong, an attorney from Michael P. Fleming & Associates can help set the record straight.
Get a Free Copy of Your Texas Car Accident Report
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintains a database of crash reports for all public roads in the state. The reports can be purchased online, by phone or by mail. However, the attorneys at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. believe that everyone should have access to their accident reports regardless of their ability to pay. If you’ve been in a crash, we will provide a copy of your Texas car accident report free of charge. There are no strings attached. You can call or contact us for a free consultation if you have any questions after you’ve read the report.
Just provide us with the following information and we will send your accident report to you.
How to Purchase a Car Accident Report in Texas
Law enforcement officers must file a crash report with TxDOT any time they respond to a crash where someone is injured or killed, or if the damage to the vehicles exceeds $1,000. The official name for the report is the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report, or CR-3. It must be filed within 10 days of the car accident.
To buy the online report yourself, visit the Crash Reports and Records section of the TxDOT website.
You will need to have at least one of the following pieces of information to continue:
- Crash ID
- Name(s) of any person involved in crash
- Crash date
The fees for the car accident reports are:
- $6 for a regular copy
- $8 for a certified copy (required for any legal use)
To order the crash report by mail, you will need to complete the Request for Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-91) and send it with payment to the address on the form.
Is a Copy of My Houston Police Accident Report Required to File a Claim?
An official crash report is not necessary to file a car accident injury claim in Texas. The police are not required to visit the scene of every accident in Harris County. It would be impossible to do in Houston, which consistently leads the state for its high number of auto accidents.
However, a police report can provide the basic foundation for a deeper investigation of a crash. Think of it as a helpful summary with the facts you will need to file an insurance claim. But don’t make the mistake of believing that law enforcement has the final say on who is at fault for the accident. There are many cases in which evidence from crash analysis experts and witnesses can completely contradict a police officer’s report — and it can turn an entire case around.
The lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., leave no stone unturned when it comes to building a strong car accident injury claim on behalf of our clients. That’s why we cover the cost of obtaining your police report for you. Evidence is key to a successful claim. We can make sure the police report reflects the truth in your case.
Who Can Get a Copy of My Crash Report?
A police accident report can be released to anyone who has a direct interest in the accident. That includes:
- Anyone involved in the crash
- An authorized representative of anyone involved in the accident
- Parent, employer or legal guardian of anyone in the crash
- Owner of the vehicle or property damaged in the accident
- A person with established financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in the crash, such as a motor vehicle policyholder
- Insurance companies for any vehicle or person in the wreck
- Certain radio, television and newspaper agencies
- Anyone who can sue for wrongful death
- Federal, state or local governments
What Is the “Blue Form?”
There are some cases where police officers are unavailable or decline to file a crash report. You are able to fill out your own account of the accident using the Texas Department of Transportation’s CR-2 form, otherwise known as the “Blue Form.” Until recently, drivers were required to submit a CR-2 to TxDOT for any accident if:
- Someone was injured or killed; or
- The apparent damage to the vehicles would exceed $1,000.
Legislative changes no longer require motorists to submit a CR-2 to TxDOT for accidents occurring after Sept. 1, 2017. However, it’s a good idea to complete one for your own records.
The Blue Form asks for you to describe the circumstances of the crash including location, date and names of the persons involved. It will also ask for your statement about what happened. In a lawsuit, the Blue Form does not provide you with any real legal muscle. It will be your statement against the other driver’s statement, with no proof either way of who’s right.
So why complete the form? Documentation is essential to every insurance claim. Make sure to stick to the facts when you write your statement. Insurance companies scrutinize every piece of information and look for discrepancies to minimize their payouts. A simple, factual statement is all you need. If you have any questions, contact an attorney.
Reach Out to a Lawyer If You Need Help
A traffic accident report is one of many possible pieces of evidence in a car accident case. If you been injured or lost a loved one, call Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. or contact us online for a free consultation.