Is It Necessary to Call the Police After an Accident?
Do you know what to do after you are in a car accident? Did you know that in some situations, you are required to contact the police?
When To Call the Police After a Car Accident:
Under Texas law, drivers in an accident are required to contact the police if anyone is injured or if the damage to one or more vehicles exceeds $1,000. The police officer that arrives on the scene will complete a crash report (Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3 form)).
Calling the police to the scene means documentation of who is at fault, estimates of damage, etc. All the information included in the police officer’s crash report will be necessary for insurance purposes. Unless the car accident is minor, it’s a good idea to contact the police even if you may not technically be required to do so according to the law.
What Happens If You Don’t Call the Police Even Though You’re Legally Required to Do So?
If you are legally required to contact the police to notify them of a car accident, and you don’t, it can be quite severe. Failing to report a serious accident involving injury or damage (of more than $1,000) is punishable by up to $5,000 or jail time (or both).
The Cost of NOT Reporting a Car Accident to the Police:
If you do not report the car accident to the police, but the accident is minor and does qualify under state law as being required to have a crash report filed by a police officer on the scene, you may still regret your choice down the road. If you end up seeking out medical care for an injury that you didn’t realize you had, or if the estimates for your car repair don’t come close to the actual repair costs, you may need to seek out additional compensation for the accident. Without the crash report filed by the officer on the scene, you will find a surprising lack of documentation after the fact.
Filing A CR-2 on Your Own:
If you are facing a lack of documentation about a car accident you were involved in, fill out a CR-2 Crash Report. Keep a copy of the crash report for your records. Filling out the form helps document the accident and put the story of how it happened down in writing for the court. The CR-2 must be filled out within ten days of the accident. This is the same amount of time the police officer has to file the CR-3 form. The 10-day limitation is intended to ensure recollections are accurate, and memories haven’t been clouded by time. The CR-3 and the CR-2 help when you need to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
Can You Claim Damages if You Were Partially At-Fault?
Even if a driver is partially at fault for the accident, they can claim damages as long as they are less than 51% at fault.
If you need help filing a claim after a car accident, you can turn to Hudson Law Firm for the experience and knowledge you want on your side. We’re the Carrollton, Texas personal injury attorneys that put the personal back in personal injury law.