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Villarreal & Begum June 7, 2021

Reading a Police Accident Report

Traffic Fatalities

If you were in a car wreck, chances are you needed to get a police report. Getting a police report is often a critical part of any case or claim with the insurance company. In fact, many insurance companies demand a police report before they even handle your claim. While they are needed as soon as possible, most reports take a while to be completed. Often, crash reports are completed in a span of 10 days from the date of the accident. It’s important to get any relevant information before you leave the crash site. Getting the name and badge number of the officer responding, and a number to reach them at can make it easier to get your report.

What Information is Included in the Report?

The information listed on a police report can be vast. Remember, this is an official document, demonstrating the cause of the crash. Being precise and capturing every possible detail is important. Some information included is:

  • The vehicle’s license plate number and state.
  • Vehicle’s model, make, and body style.
  • The vehicle’s VIN, or vehicle identification number.
  • The name of the insurance company for insured drivers, and the policy number.
  • If the vehicle was towed, where it was towed.
  • Estimated damage to the vehicle.
  • Whether a safety restraint was used, and if so, what kind.
  • Seating position.
  • If the passenger was ejected from the vehicle.
  • The seriousness of a passenger’s injuries.
  • Each driver’s name, address, and phone number.
  • Driver’s license details for each driver, including the type of license (commercial or private), driver’s license number, and state.
  • The occupation and ethnic background of each driver.
  • Each driver’s insurance information.

The number of people who can see your crash report is limited. TxDOT considered these documents to be “confidential.” However, the Texas traffic code allows for the release of these documents to anyone directly concerned with the accident. For example, your attorney. However, the circumstances of the case can change who is able to obtain it. Let’s say you got into a crash while driving in a company car. Your employer might be able to access the crash report since the incident directly concerns them.

Police Opinions in Accident Reports.

Typically, police are not witnesses to an accident or crash they’re assessing. The responding officer has to form their opinion on what happened by gathering information from the scene. This could mean speaking to witnesses, getting statements from the drivers involved, and more. You’ll often see the conclusion an officer has made in the “Factors and Conditions” part of their report. This could include, weather, road conditions, or anything else that may have related to the crash. You might also see a diagram in the report. This diagram can show how to officer believes the crash occurred. However, a police report is not always accurate.

Police officers are people. That means they can make mistakes like anyone else. They could misunderstand some of the facts or forget to include important factors relevant to your case.  Since the police report is the official documentation of the crash, you might be concerned. What the police report says can determine the outcome of your case. If something is wrong with your police report, you should contact a lawyer. A skilled, professional, legal expert can help you dispute what’s wrong in the report. With the guidance of a legal professional, you can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

TEXAS CAR CRASH LAWYER.

Have you or a loved one been in a serious car crash and suffered injuries? If so, you should contact an experienced Personal Injury attorney. Villarreal and Begum is a local San Antonio firm that will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. We serve clients across Texas with offices in San Antonio, Austin, McAllen, and Laredo. We are available day and night to take your calls. Call or contact us via our website. The Law Guns will fight for you.