When Do You Have to Contact the Police After an Auto Accident in Dallas?
Car accidents are confusing, so it is important to understand exactly what to do in the wake of a wreck. After medical attention, perhaps the most immediate concern is alerting the police about the crash. It is best to contact the police moments after an accident so that an objective report can be made and there is an official record of the event. Though there is no set time at which a car accident victim must contact the police, accidents with serious injuries, fatalities, or property damage in excess of $1,000 must be reported within 10 days. Effective on September 1st of 2019, this requirement is defined by Texas Transportation Code §550.062. If no officer was alerted to the scene of the accident, a report still must be made by a person involved in the accident and submitted to the Department of Transportation within 10 days.
Once you have alerted law enforcement and ensured that everyone has received the medical treatment they need, the next major call you make should be to an attorney. At Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, our skilled attorneys have worked with a wide range of auto wrecks and have ample experience to handle any difficulties that arise in your claim. Some of our previous clients have been involved in such accidents as:
- Accidents involving drunk drivers
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Collisions with pedestrians
- Wrecks involving a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft
Let us help you build a strong claim for the compensation you are owed after your auto accident.
Understanding the Police Report of My Accident
When you call the police to the scene of a wreck, a law enforcement officer will be able to take down vital information such as the names of the people involved, any eyewitnesses to the accident and their contact information, and even an estimate of the property damage. They write down relevant data in a Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3), and this report is used when determining liability.
Importantly, it is not required for you to fill out a form if an officer already filed a report. However, if you do not contact the police after your accident, you will need to document the information yourself in “the Blue Form” (CR-2).
Obtaining a Police Report
It is advisable to get a copy of the report of your accident that is submitted by the police officer. The information in that report can be crucial to your case. There are several ways to obtain a copy of the report of your accident, but the best is to hire one of our Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, to get it for you free of charge. Other options include:
- Buying a digital copy through the Texas DOT
- Mailing your request and payment to Dallas Police Records Section, 1400 S. Lamar Street, Dallas, TX. 75215
- Visiting the Dallas Police Department to buy a copy
What to Include in My Report
If no officer was called to the scene, fill out the Blue Form with the following information:
- Location of the accident (city, county, road, etc.)
- Time of the accident (include the date)
- Description of the weather (such as ice, rain, fog, or any condition that impedes driving
- List of all injuries that occurred to all parties
- List of property damage
- Description of the accident (positions of cars, approximate speeds, etc.)
The time limit for filing this report, 10 days, is designed to ensure that reports are as close to the truth as possible.
My Report is Not My Claim
If you fill out a CR-2 Blue Form, note that this is not the same as filing your claim. A report is merely a description of what happened during your wreck, whereas your claim is notice that you are seeking compensation from the at-fault driver. While you must submit a report within 10 days if no officer was called to the scene, the time limit for filing a claim in court is two years.
It is best to seek help with your claim from qualified auto accident attorneys who know how to navigate the legal system and protect your interests and rights.
Get Help From Experienced Attorneys Today
If you are in a car accident and have questions about reporting or pursuing legal action, get in touch with Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, as soon as possible. Time is often a very important factor in personal injury claims, and getting lawyers involved quickly can help bolster the strength of your case.
At Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, , we offer a FREE consultation to potential clients and pledge not to collect a fee until your case has been won. Call us today at 214-305-8277 or tell us your situation using the form on our contact page to start working toward the best possible outcome.