How Can I Get a Copy of My Car Accident Report in Houston, Texas?
If you have recently been in a car accident in Houston, Texas, you must get a copy of your car accident report, also known as a crash report. This car accident report is important documentation that you can use in support of everything from your insurance claim to your lawsuit, should you choose to file one. Plus, it’s good to just have a copy for your own records in case you ever need it in the future.
If you aren’t sure how to go about securing a copy of your car accident report, a Houston car accident lawyer can help.
Requirements For a Car Accident Report
In the state of Texas, a police officer must file an accident report any time they respond to a call involving a car accident where a person was injured or killed, or if vehicle damage exceeds $1,000. This report is called the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report, or CR-3, and the officer has 10 days to file it from the date of the accident.
Once the officer files the report, you can request a copy of it. To receive the report, you must pay a fee of $6, or $8 if you want a certified copy. A certified copy is often required for legal proceedings, so it’s worth it to pay the extra $2 so you don’t have to worry about paying another $8 later when you’ve already paid $6 for the initial report.
Receiving The Car Accident Report
To receive the report, you can submit one or more of the following pieces of information:
- Your name
- The date of the crash
- The county and/or city in which the crash occurred
If you want to order the crash report by mail, you will need to complete the Request for Peace Officer’s Crash Report (also known as the CR-91) and include it with your payment to the address listed on the CR-91.
You can order a copy online, but be warned: it costs $7.50, and the report is redacted to keep the privacy of the parties involved. If you want an unedited copy, then you will have to either request the report by mail or in person from the HPD Records Division, located at 1200 Travis St., Houston, TX 77002.
In certain cases, police officers are either not required to complete a crash report, or they decline to do so. If your case is one of these, you can use a “blue form,” or the Texas Department of Transportation’s CR-2, to tell your story.
It used to be that drivers in the state of Texas were required to fill out a CR-2 for the same reasons as a police officer (vehicle damage over $1,000, or an injured or killed party). However, the legislation changed in September of 2017, and while it’s no longer a requirement, it’s a good idea to fill out one of these anyway if the police officer who responded to your accident does not.
However, and this is to be expected, the blue form is not the same as a crash report when it comes to having any legal authority. It is simply the account of an involved party in the accident. Anyone can say whatever they want on a blue form. However, documentation is still important, and it’s better to have a written statement on a blue form than no statement at all.
A Houston car accident lawyer can help you fill out the blue form so that it is as accurate as possible. Plus, you will have the legal muscle of a lawyer behind you, helping you fill it out, which a court will think more highly of than your simply filling it out on your own.
Thinking of Filing a Lawsuit Using Your Car Accident Report? We Can Help!
If you have been in an accident in Houston, Texas, it is crucial for you to get a copy of your car accident report if you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit against the other driver. Your accident report contains the necessary details that mean the difference between a jury finding you or the other driver liable for the accident.
Consider hiring a Houston car accident lawyer to help you handle your case. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, you can enjoy the benefits of having someone else fight so you don’t have to. A lawyer can also employ the necessary experts to prove that what you’re saying is true, and that you deserve fair compensation. If you’re interested in speaking with one of the lawyers on our team, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 713-677-2179 and let’s get started!
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