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Villarreal & Begum July 21, 2020

The Importance of Accident Reports

fender bender

If you were in a car crash, chances are you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Depending on the situation, your insurance company might ask for the police report. Whenever a police officer is called to the scene of a car crash, the officer fills out a report based on the information they gather at the scene. This usually includes statements from the drivers, witness accounts, driver’s licenses, and insurance information. Getting a copy of this report is one of the most important things when it comes to proving your case. Your accident report is the official documentation that shows you were in a car crash.

Without it, it can be difficult to prove anything happened, and even more difficult proving that someone else caused the accident. Below we’ll give you some information to help you get your copy. It is important that you get a copy of the accident report from the police. You will need this document to file an insurance claim. It’s also an essential report for filing a legal claim to get the financial compensation you’re entitled to.

Crash Investigations and Determining Fault

When an officer responds to the scene of a crash, they will start collecting information for their report. This is all apart of the crash investigation. This normally contains the facts of the crash such as time, location, and how the crash occurred, based on the evidence the officer recovered. Once the officer is satisfied with the information they have collected, they will submit their report. Sometimes, the report will mention who the officer thinks is at fault, based on their professional opinion. However, most reports do not place liability on anyone. This is because the fault is determined by insurance companies. More specifically, the insurance companies will each hire an adjuster, who will oversee and conduct their own investigation.

Insurance companies then determine fault and percentage of liability based on the legal definition of negligence in that state. Texas courts rely on a legal rule known as modified comparative negligence, which may limit a driver’s ability to file a claim through the other party’s insurance company after a car accident. Under this rule, you can typically only recoup your losses if you’re found to be less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.

Getting your report

Get a business card or contact info of the responding officer. Also, ask when you can expect the accident report to be ready. The office should be able to give you a rough estimate of when it will be ready. Around that time, you can request a copy of the report.

Sometimes you can get the report online. If there is a website on the business card given to you, be sure to check it. You might be able to simply download the report and print it yourself.

If you’re not able to reach the officer, then a receptionist at the main desk at the police department may be able to help, or you can call the local courthouse and speak to the clerk.

If you still can’t seem to get any answers, go to your local DMV. They will be able to tell you how you can get a copy of your report.

Injured? Contact a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney

At the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge of how insurance companies work and will fight for your legal rights if you have been injured in an accident. Our San Antonio car accident lawyers understand how stressful it can be, especially if you are unable to work and facing a mountain of medical bills. With our assistance, we will help get your life headed in the right direction. Get in touch with our San Antonio office by calling (210) 777-4878, and schedule a free consultation, so we may answer any questions you have.