Every driver involved in accident causing injury to or death of any person or damage to vehicles causing them to not be normally and safely driven must immediately give notice of the accident to a local police department when an accident occurs 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) according to Texas Transportation Code § 550.026.
It is also important to note that Texas Transportation Code § 550.062 states that a law enforcement officer investigating a motor vehicle accident must make a written report of the 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 further provides 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
All people will want to know their crash identification numbers, 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 a police officer does not respond to an accident, a person may 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 Laredo
There are generally two ways for people to obtain police reports in Laredo that involve either seeking reports online or visiting the local police department in person. Police reports will cost $6 for regular copies and $8 for certified copies, and these are typically the types people need for legal proceedings.
People can get police reports for car accidents in Laredo through the Laredo Police Department located at:
Laredo Police Department
4712 Maher Avenue
Laredo, TX 78041
CR-2s can be requested through TxDOT. The TxDOT Crash Records Information System (CRIS) Purchase system lets people obtain a copy of a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) by using the Crash Report Online Purchase System link.
TxDOT says that the confidential nature of crash reports means that they are not available for online viewing by the general public. Accident reports are not usually available until 14 days after an accident.
The CR-2 will be the form people themselves file when police officers do not file their own reports following accidents, and police officers complete forms known as CR-3s when they do file police reports. Obtaining a CR-3 means TxDOT requires a 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 must file crash reports with TxDOT within 10 days of accidents. Failure to report accidents may lead to driver’s license suspensions.
Filing and Reading Police Reports
A CR-2 will require all of the following information:
- Accident location — A CR-2 lists the county and city or town where a crash occurred and the road on which a crash occurred. There can also be information about intersecting streets or whether an accident occurred away from an intersection.
- Date and time of accident — Details in this section will include the date of a crash, the day of the week, and the estimated time of the crash.
- Vehicles involved in an accident — An 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 will include the year model, make, type of vehicle, and license plate number. There is also 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 — This section relates to property damage other than vehicles.
- Injuries — There will be 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 also a space to describe the injuries.
- Driver’s statement — A driver’s statement will be a person’s individual account of an accident, and you may want a lawyer to advise you on what you are saying here. It is a small space, but people can continue on another page when they need additional space.
- Your signature — Your signature on a CR-2 report will be the final line of the report and means that you verify that the information you are providing is correct and factual.
Texas crash reports are usually 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 the accident.
The first page also states who was involved and any injuries known to an investigating officer at the time a report is written. Police reports can involve several different codes that can be hard for people to understand, but TxDOT offers a code sheet outlining the meaning of various numerical codes.
A unit is either a single motor vehicle or a pedestrian, bicyclist, or some other road user. A unit number used on the first page is the same unit number used throughout the report.
The first page will also list the motor vehicle type and its identifying information, like year, make, model, color, and vehicle identification number (VIN). There can also be names, addresses, and driver’s license numbers of vehicle owners.
Drivers and passengers could be listed on the first page with codes indicating injuries and whether they were ejected, extracted, or required other safety equipment. The first page will also specify whether a driver was driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Page two documents injuries, citations, and property damage known to an investigating officer at the time the report is written. Contributing factors to an accident identified by an investigating officer may play a role in liability for an accident.
There is also a narrative section that allows a police officer to include any details they could not use elsewhere in a report. The second page also provides six spaces for identifying people injured or killed in an accident, and supplemental pages could be necessary when there are more than six injuries or fatalities.
Another section will note any tickets or citations issued in connection with an accident. Tickets could certainly be used to demonstrate liability, but people could still be liable even when there is no citation.
The second page will also specify any non-vehicle property damage. There could also be a section for contributing factors, and the final section will be the officer’s narrative and a diagram of the accident.
The third and fourth pages will be the same TxDOT code sheets that explain all of the codes used on the prior pages. It is important for people to understand that while police reports are often invaluable for many accident injury claims, they are not completely faultless as it is always possible that a police officer may have spoken to only one driver in connection with an accident when another driver had to be transported away for medical care.
Contact Our Laredo Car Accident Attorney
Did you suffer catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in any kind of car accident in the greater Laredo area of Texas? Do not wait another moment to reach out to The Patel Firm PLLC for legal help because we have helped scores of people in the exact same situation you now find yourself in.
Our firm represents every client on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay us anything to handle your case if we do not win or settle. Call 956-450-8954 or contact our Laredo car accident attorney online for a free consultation.