The 4 Texas Car Accident Report Requirements Worth Knowing
Car accident report requirements vary state by state. You might have to provide certain information in one state that you wouldn’t have to in another. This is an example of each state conducting its affairs free of federal interference.
For this article, we’ll use Texas as an example. If you get in a car accident in the state of Texas, you’ll probably need to file an accident report, and you should know about some particular sections, what goes in them, and so forth. We’ll talk about four critical report aspects below.
How Many Car Accidents Are There in Texas?
Before we jump into those four areas and what they entail, you may want to know how probable it is that you’ll get in an accident in this region. Since Texas is one of the larger states, there are more accidents there than in many others. Texas car accidents injure more than 200,000 people every year.
In addition, more than 3,000 people die in Texas roadway accidents each year. These are sobering stats, so drive carefully in the Lone Star state.
The Information You Need
Now, let’s get on to those accident reports. If you’re in an accident in Texas, you’ll first need to go to the Department of Transportation website to get a blank report to fill out. You can also go to the DOT in person if that’s more convenient for you.
You’ll need to know the full names and contact information of any individuals involved in the accident to fill out one of these reports. It makes sense to try and get that information at the crash site if you are able to. If you have your smartphone with you, you can record the other driver and passengers stating their names if they’re willing to do so.
You will need to know their birth dates as well. You will have to get the driver’s license numbers for all the drivers involved. That might just be you and one other driver, but if this is a multiple-car pile-up, you may spend considerably more time on this section.
If the other vehicle’s owner was not driving it at the time of the crash, you’ll need their physical address for the form, as well as their name. You will need the other driver’s insurance company’s name and address. You will also need to fill out an accident description that covers the date, time, and nature of what took place.
You can also include videos or pictures with your report, even though you do not explicitly need to do so. That can help substantiate what you say happened, though.
Who Can File the Report?
Next up, you need to know who can file the report. Any involved driver, including yourself, can file it. A responding police officer can as well.
The vehicle owner can file, even if the accident did not involve them. That might happen if they loaned their car to someone, like a friend or a relative. Their insurer can file the accident report, or the driver’s legal representative can do it as well in some cases.
What Time Restrictions Exist?
Generally, you have till ten days after the accident to file the report. If you fail to file the report during that time, you might face fines or other penalties, such as losing your driving privileges.
However, if you can’t file because you’re in the hospital with severe injuries or something along those lines, that’s when you might get a legal representative to file for you. If a police officer or some other law enforcement official filed a report while at the accident scene, you might not need to file an additional one. You can contact the police and check to see if that happened.
Are There Any Other Reporting Requirements?
You have to file an accident report if there was any injury or death. You also have to file if there was more than $1,000 in damages. In other words, you might be okay with not filing if you got in a minor fender bender, and you and the other driver and passengers were able to walk away without a scratch.
Keep in mind, though, that even a fender bender can easily cause $1,000 in damages, so most accidents do require a report. If you’re not sure about the damage extent, it’s best to file one so that you don’t risk the authorities taking away your license or fining you.