Under Texas Transportation Code § 550.026, any motor vehicle driver 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 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).
Texas Transportation Code § 550.062 further provides that 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 establishes 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 must 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. When police do not respond to an accident scene, a person might 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 Waco
People usually have two ways to obtain police reports in Waco, either doing so online or visiting a police department in person. Police reports 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 Waco through the Waco police headquarters located at:
Waco Police Department
3115 Pine Avenue
Waco, TX 76708
A CR-2 will be requested through TxDOT. The TxDOT Crash Records Information System (CRIS) Purchase system allows people to search for crash reports and download previous purchases.
TxDOT says the confidential nature of crash reports will mean that they are not available for online viewing by the general public. Accident reports typically do not become available until 14 days after an accident.
A CR-2 will be the form people file when police officers do not file their own reports following accidents, and police officers complete the form known as a CR-3 if 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 possible driver’s license suspensions.
Filing and Reading Police Reports
A CR-2 is laid out in a way that requires all of the following information:
- Accident location — This 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 — This 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 will be 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 damage to property other than vehicles.
- Injuries — The form 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 also a space to describe the injuries.
- Driver’s statement — A driver’s statement is a person’s individual account of an accident. It is a small space, but people can continue on another page when they need additional space.
- Your signature — A signature on a CR-2 report will be the final line of the report and means that a person verifies that the information they are providing is correct and factual.
Texas crash reports are usually four pages long. The first page provides 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 will also document who was involved and any injuries known to an investigating officer at the time the report is written. Police reports might 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 will 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 also specifies 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 will also be a narrative section that allows a police officer to include any details they could not use elsewhere in a report. The second page 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.
The next section notes any tickets or citations issued in connection with an accident. Tickets may certainly be used to demonstrate liability, but a person could still be liable even when there is no citation.
The second page also notes any non-vehicle property damage. There will 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 Waco Car Accident Attorney
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in any kind of car accident in the greater Waco area of Texas? You will want to get in touch with The Patel Firm PLLC as soon as possible because we have decades of experience handling these types of cases, so we know what needs to be done to help people recover all of the financial compensation they need and deserve.
Our firm makes all of our lawyers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so there is never a time that you cannot reach out for answers to your legal questions. Call 254-312-2386 or contact our Waco car accident attorney online to take advantage of a free consultation.