Reading Your Texas Car Accident Report
Our Houston personal injury lawyers fight for maximum compensation
Accident reports can be key evidence when trying to recover financial compensation after a car accident. Many insurance companies require a copy of your accident report to process your claim. If you were injured or sustained property damage, you should know exactly what the investigating officer said.
Your recovery from the injuries you suffered can be difficult but getting your accident report and understanding what it means should be simple. As a service to you, Smith & Hassler have provided a sample Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report form along with our comments. You can download the document below and compare it to your accident report.
We suggest getting a copy of your accident report as soon as possible. You can order a copy from the Texas Department of Transportation. (If you are having trouble, we can help you get a copy.)
Smith & Hassler can help you understand your accident report
On your report, you will find the time, date, and location of your crash. This includes the county name, city name, street name and whether your crash happened at an intersection or a construction zone. If the accident is fatal, involves a commercial vehicle, a school bus or a hit-and-run driver, this information will be recorded at the top of page one.
Driver information, vehicle information and alcohol/drug information are also recorded by responding or investigating officers on page one of the report.
Driver information includes:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Driver’s license state, number, type, and status
- Driver’s age, ethnicity, and gender
Vehicle information includes:
- Make, model and body style
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Insurance company name and policy number
Drug/alcohol information includes:
- Whether a sobriety test was administered
- Type of specimen taken (or if a driver refused)
- Sobriety test results
Information about all passengers and bystanders involved in the accident is also recorded on page one. This information includes seating position, seatbelt use, airbag deployment and whether a passenger was ejected or killed.
If charges were filed against a driver, passenger, or pedestrian at the scene of the accident, his or her information (and citation number) is put on record on page two. Below on the same page, law enforcement details the time they were notified of the crash, time they arrived at the accident scene and the responding officer’s name and badge number. Police officers will also record on this page where injury victims are taken, including ambulance unit and hospital identification information.
(Click here to download a printable PDF.)
If a commercial vehicle (such as a truck or bus) was involved in the accident, details are also recorded on page two. Accidents involving commercial vehicles require additional information, such as carrier name, cargo type and vehicle weight. Additional driver information includes license class and permits.
The crash narrative and diagram on page two are used by accident investigators to record their opinion of how the accident happened. This includes a pictorial diagram of the accident scene and the order of events leading up to the accident. As needed, there may be other pages to list information about other people involved in the accident.
Carefully review any information on your accident report to make sure it is correct. Then get legal advice as soon as possible. The experienced car accident lawyers at Smith & Hassler can help you review your report and go over your legal options, free of charge. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.