Car accidents can occur at any moment, leaving victims confused and injured. If you are working with an attorney or insurance company, they will ask for a car accident report.
These reports carry significant weight and can help determine the outcome of a lawsuit.
But many people don’t know how to get a police report for a car accident. If you are injured after a crash, the last thing you want to do is spend time or money trying to figure out how to get your report.
Fortunately, getting a crash report in Temple, Texas, is relatively straightforward. And if you ever need help getting your report after a crash, the Zimmerman Law Firm P.C. is ready to serve you. Contact us today to get started.
What Is a Car Accident Report?
A car accident report is a comprehensive document that provides a factual account of a motor vehicle collision.
Its primary purpose is to record essential details about the accident.
It offers an objective perspective on what happened. These reports serve as critical tools after a car accident.
Car accident reports serve several key purposes:
- Documentation. Reports serve as an official record of the accident, capturing crucial information such as the incident’s date, time, and location. This documentation helps ensure that all pertinent details are memorialized as time passes.
- Evidence. Car accident reports provide a foundation of factual information that can be used as evidence in legal proceedings. They help establish the sequence of events used in determining fault and liability.
- Insurance Claims. Insurance companies rely on these reports to assess claims. They use the information to determine coverage, evaluate damages, and start the settlement process.
The law enforcement officers who respond to the accident create these reports. They include information from their investigation and interviews with witnesses.
They compile this information into a formal report called the Texas CR-3 Form.
How To Get Your Car Accident Report
Under Texas law, anyone can request a car accident report if they have a valid reason. Usually, this means that you were in the crash or have an interest in the accident.
For example, a lawyer or insurance representative can request the report for their client.
Furthermore, your request must include information to identify the people or vehicles in the accident. Lastly, Texas requires you to pay $6 to request a car accident report.
Visit the City of Temple Public Records Website
The City of Temple Police can provide your car accident report as part of their public records process. You can request your CR-3 Form by visiting the Temple public records website.
When making your request, provide any relevant information to help the police find the form for your accident.
Remember that anyone can see who submits a public records request. While your report will not be available to the public, website users can see your name and the details you include in your request.
Use the TxDOT Crash Report Online Purchase System
The Texas Department of Transportation also allows users to request an accident report online. This process is usually faster than making a public records request, and your request will not be listed for all to see.
If using this method, you will need to provide one of the following:
- A party’s name,
- A party’s Driver’s License Number,
- A party’s Vehicle Identification Number, or
- The TxDOT Crash ID.
Police officers have ten days to prepare a report, so it may take up to two weeks for your crash report to appear on this website.
What Information Do Police Include In a Car Accident Report?
A car accident report documents many crucial details to provide a comprehensive account of the incident.
People and Vehicles
The report identifies all people involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. It lists biographic data, contact information, and driver’s license details.
The crash report will describe any physical injuries and include eyewitness statements.
The report also includes information about the vehicles involved. An officer will note the make, model, year, and license plate numbers. The report will also include the extent of damage to each vehicle.
Time, Location, and Weather
Furthermore, these reports state the accident’s exact date, time, and location. The location description even includes which direction vehicles were traveling and their position after the crash.
The responding law enforcement officer contributes their observations to the report. This covers weather conditions, road conditions, and visible vehicle damage.
The officer will draw a diagram or sketch of the accident scene to enhance clarity.
Any other pertinent information may also be included. Some common contributing factors include the presence of alcohol or drugs, animals on the road, and traffic violations.
If a party receives a traffic citation for violating the law, it will be included in the report as well. Including these details ensures the report offers a holistic view of the circumstances.
Using the Car Accident Report in Your Case
Your crash report will be a valuable asset for building a strong case after a collision. Here’s how an attorney can play a pivotal role in leveraging the report’s information to your advantage.
Sharing the Report with Your Attorney
Giving the report to your attorney is crucial. If you can’t get it yourself, your attorney will know how to get a car accident report from police who handled the accident.
An experienced attorney will leverage their skills to review the report and assess any implications for your case. They will use the report to decipher the sequence of events, establish potential liabilities, and devise a strategic plan.
Looking for Inconsistencies or Errors
Your attorney’s sharp eye will scrutinize the report, hunting for inconsistencies. Identifying such disparities is vital for getting a good outcome.
Your attorney will understand that correcting these errors ensures the report aligns with the facts of the accident.
Negotiating on Your Behalf
A car accident report can be a powerful negotiating tool. It is an impartial account of the accident, making it challenging for opposing parties to dispute facts.
Your attorney will use the report to bolster your position when advocating for compensation. The report will help prove damages such as medical expenses, property damage, and emotional distress.
Speak with a Temple Car Accident Attorney
It’s never too soon to speak with an attorney after a car crash, especially if it caused injuries. The Temple car accident attorneys at the Zimmerman Law Firm have over 85 years of shared experience helping Texans get justice after incidents like car accidents.
Not only do we know how to get a police report for a car accident, but we also know how to file lawsuits that maximize your chances of compensation.
Call our office today to speak with a Waco personal injury attorney.