Texas Transportation Code § 550.026 provides that the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident causing injury to or death of any person or damage to a vehicle causing it to not be normally and safely driven must immediately give notice of the accident to a local police department when the accident occurred in a municipality, the local police department or the sheriff’s office when an accident occurs not more than 100 feet outside the limits of a municipality, or a sheriff’s office or nearest office of TxDOT if an accident is not required to be reported under Texas Transportation Code § 550.026(a)(1) or Texas Transportation Code § 550.026(a)(2). Under Texas Transportation Code § 550.062, a law enforcement officer investigating a motor vehicle accident must make a written report of an accident when an accident causes injury to or the death of any person or damage to property of any person to the extent of $1,000 or more, and Texas Transportation Code § 550.065 states that upon written request and payment of any required fees, the department or the governmental entity must release accident information to:
- an entity described by Texas Transportation Code § 550.065(b)
- a law enforcement agency employing a peace officer investigating an accident and sending the information to the department
- a court in which a case involving any person involved in an accident is pending if the report is subpoenaed
- any person directly concerned in an accident or having a proper interest therein, including:
- any person involved in an accident
- an authorized representative of any person involved in an accident
- a driver involved in an accident
- an employer, parent, or legal guardian of any driver involved in an accident
- the owner of a vehicle or property damaged in an accident
- a person who established financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in an accident
- an insurance company issuing an insurance policy covering any vehicle involved in an accident
- an insurance company issuing a policy covering any person involved in an accident
- a person under contract to provide claims or underwriting information to any person described by Texas Transportation Code § 550.065(c)(4)(F), Transportation Code § 550.065(c)(4)(G), or Transportation Code § 550.065(c)(4)(H)
- a radio or television station holding a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- a newspaper that is a free newspaper of general circulation or qualified under Texas Government Code § 2051.044 to publish legal notices, published at least once a week, and both available and of interest to the general public in connection with the dissemination of news
- any person who may sue because of death resulting from the accident
A person will have to know their crash identification number, the name of any person involved in a car accident, the date of an accident, and/or the location of an accident to obtain a police report after an accident. If police did not respond to an accident scene, a person could have to file their own report with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) by filing a CR-2 form or blue form.
How Crash Reports Work in Corpus Christi
People have two ways to obtain police reports in Corpus Christi that include doing so online or by visiting a police department in person. Police reports will cost $6 for regular copies and $8 for certified copies, which are the types people customarily need for legal proceedings.
People can get police reports for car accidents in Corpus Christi through the Corpus Christi Police Records Unit office which is located at:
Corpus Christi Police Records Unit
321 John Sartain Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
A CR-2 will usually be requested through TxDOT. The TxDOT Crash Records Information System (CRIS) Purchase system lets people to search for crash reports and download previous purchases.
TxDOT states that the confidential nature of crash reports means that they will not be available for online viewing by the general public. Accident reports are typically not available until 14 days after an accident.
The CR-2 is the form people must file when police officers do not file their own reports following accidents, and police officers will complete a form known as a CR-3 when they do file police reports. Obtaining a CR-3 will mean TxDOT requires the person to be either a person involved in an accident, an authorized representative of a person involved in an accident, a parent, legal guardian, or employer of a person in an accident, or a person who has established themselves as financially responsible for one of the vehicles.
Police officers and people have to file crash reports with TxDOT within 10 days of accidents. Failure to report accidents can lead to possible driver’s license suspensions.
Filing and Reading Police Reports
A CR-2 is going to be laid out such that all of the following information will be required:
- Accident location — This will list the county and city or town where a crash occurred and the road on which a crash occurred. There may also be information about intersecting streets or whether an accident occurred away from an intersection.
- Date and time of accident — This information will include the date of a crash, the day of the week, and the estimated time of the crash.
- Vehicles involved in an accident — The accident report is broken down into vehicles, with the first vehicle being a person’s own vehicle and the second being the other vehicle. Information included here will include the year model, make, type of vehicle, and license plate number. There will also be driver information such as name, address, driver’s license number, date of birth, sex, and race as well as owner information relating to insurance coverage.
- Damages — There is a specific section relating to damage to property other than vehicles.
- Injuries — The form only provides two slots for injured party information, that usually includes a person’s name, address, age, sex, race, and whether a person was killed. There is a space provided to describe injuries.
- Driver’s statement — The driver’s statement will be a person’s individual account of an accident. This is a small space, but people can continue on another page when they need additional space.
- Your signature — The signature on a CR-2 report is the final line of the report and will mean that a person verifies that the information they are providing is correct and factual.
Texas crash reports are typically four pages long. The first page will provide a general overview of an accident, including when and where an accident happened and the vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or other parties involved in an accident.
The first page also documents who was involved and any injuries known to an investigating officer at the time a report is written. Police reports could involve several different codes that can be difficult for people to understand, but TxDOT provides a code sheet outlining the meaning of various numerical codes.
A unit will either be a single motor vehicle or a pedestrian, bicyclist, or some other road user. The unit number used on the first page will be the same unit number used throughout a report.
The first page also lists the motor vehicle type and its identifying information, such as year, make, model, color, and vehicle identification number (VIN). There are also names, addresses, and driver’s license numbers of vehicle owners.
Drivers and passengers may be listed on the first page with codes indicating injuries and whether they were ejected, extracted, or required other safety equipment. The first page also notes whether a driver was driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Page two will document injuries, citations, and property damage known to an investigating officer at the time a report is written. Contributing factors to an accident identified by an investigating officer could play a role in liability for an accident.
There is also a narrative section that allows police officers to include details they could not use elsewhere in a report. The second page will provide six spaces for identifying people injured or killed in an accident, and supplemental pages may be necessary when there were more than six injuries or fatalities.
The next section will note any tickets or citations issued in connection with an accident. While a ticket can be used to demonstrate liability, a person could still be liable even when there is no citation.
The second page will also note any non-vehicle property damage. There is also a section for contributing factors, and the final section is the officer’s narrative and a diagram of the accident.
The third and fourth pages are the same TxDOT code sheets that explain all of the codes used on the prior pages.
Police reports are crucial to many personal injury cases because they often include evidence relating to an accident and also reveal whether one driver broke the law while driving. A police report will not necessarily be the final say on any car accident case because it may be possible that a police officer only spoke to one driver in connection with an accident when another person required medical attention.
Contact Our Corpus Christi Car Accident Attorney
If you suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in any kind of car accident in the greater Corpus Christi area of Texas, you should not hesitate to get legal help recovering all of the damages you are entitled to. The Patel Firm PLLC understands how confusing and stressful motor vehicle accident claims can be for most people, but we will work closely with you to make sure that you can get answers to all of your legal questions.
Our firm will fight to make sure that you are able to recover all of the financial compensation you need and deserve. You can call 361-600-3632 or contact our Corpus Christi car accident attorney online to receive a free consultation.