Do I need to file a police report after a car accident?

Do I need to file a police report after a car accident?

| Aug 3, 2020 | Firm News

Being involved in a car accident is extremely stressful, even if what occurred was no fault of your own. In some accidents, the police will be summoned to the scene to help with traffic control and to create a report of what occurred. However, in accidents where the police are not called to the scene, you are still responsible for filing a report with the proper authorities. 

In Texas, Title 7, Sec. 601.004 of the Transportation Code stipulates that a crash report must be filed within ten days of the incident under certain conditions. For example, if an accident was not actively investigated by law enforcement at the time it occurred and the accident caused injury, death, or property damage totaling more than $1,000, a crash report must be filed. Here are some other steps you can take after an accident to protect yourself and ensure the responsible party is brought to justice. 

Exchange information with other drivers and bystanders

When speaking with other drivers involved in the accident, only offer as much information as necessary. Provide your name and insurance info, but refrain from going into detail about what occurred. Even a harmless apology can be construed as an admission of guilt. Also, try your best to remain polite and cordial during the exchange, as behaving in an angry manner will only make the situation more stressful. 

Document the scene where the accident occurred

Should fault end up being disputed, pictures of the accident scene can be very beneficial for establishing what really happened. You should also take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, as well as keeping repair records to show what was fixed how much the repairs costs. If there were any contributing factors involved, such as poor road conditions or obscured road signs, be sure to document those as well. 

Visit your doctor

Even if you did not require emergency medical attention immediately following the accident, you could still suffer from lasting injuries. Whiplash, which is a common result of rear-end accidents, can have long-term effects for some accident victims, including chronic neck and back pain. Your doctor will help determine whether you have experienced any injuries, which ensures you get the proper treatment right away. Visiting your doctor also creates a medical record of your injuries, which will be beneficial if you file an accident claim.