The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and confusing. Fortunately, you can contact the Houston Police Department, which will send police officers to the scene to assist in reporting the collision and help you document the events.
Steps for Filing a Police Report in Houston
It is important to try and remain calm then take the following steps after a car accident:
Call 911. If you are severely injured or believe someone else might be, call 911. They will send emergency medical services and a police officer to the scene to administer care, transport people to the hospital, and take an accident report.
Call the Houston police. If emergency services are not necessary, call (713) 884-3131 to report the crash. They will still send a police officer to create an accident report.
Gather information. While you are at the scene, gather as much information as you can, including photos or videos of the damage, your injuries, contact and insurance information for the drivers involved, and contact information for any other passengers or witnesses.
Notify your auto insurer. Call your insurance company to report the accident. Provide any information that they request that you were able to collect from the scene.
No matter how minor a car accident is, it is always in your best interests to notify the police. Their accident report can carry a lot of weight when an insurer is deciding who caused the collision.
Steps for Filing a Crash Report
If you do not notify the police, you may need to fill out and send a Driver’s Crash Report to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) within 10 days of an accident. Here are the steps for filing a crash report.
The accident causes over $1,000 in property damage.
Failing to report a collision when the law requires it can lead to a suspended license, a hefty fine, or even jail time. Since it can be challenging to estimate when a vehicle’s damage amounts to over $1,000, and severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, it is always a good idea to file a report to be on the safe side.
How Do I Get a Copy of the Police Report?
Once the officer at the accident scene finishes interviewing the involved parties and collecting information, they will give you a police report or incident number. When you file an insurance claim, they will likely ask you for the reference number to the police report. The claims adjuster will then download the report when it becomes available. In other cases, you may have to obtain the copy yourself by purchasing it online through the Crash Records Information System.