If you get involved in a car accident in San Antonio, Texas, there are steps you must take to fulfill your legal responsibilities as a driver. There are also steps you should take to protect your physical health and legal rights, such as reporting the car accident. If you need assistance with crash reporting, consult with a San Antonio car accident attorney.
When Do You Need to Report a Car Accident in Texas?
Failing to stop at the scene of an accident and call the police, if legally required, is the crime of a hit-and-run in Texas. Texas law requires a driver to report an accident to the police if it causes physical injury or death to one or more people, or property damage that appears to be valued at $1,000 or more to any one person’s property. If your car accident meets this definition, you lawfully must call 911 as soon as possible – usually from the scene of the crash.
Contact Your Auto Insurance Carrier
You must report a car accident to your auto insurance company. Your car insurance company needs to know about any collisions that involve your vehicle. Most car insurance companies require reporting as soon as possible, or within 72 hours of the wreck. You can also call the other driver’s insurance company to report the accident if you believe he or she caused the crash.
When speaking to an insurance company, be careful what you say. The insurer will look for ways to reduce or reject coverage for your auto accident. Do not admit fault for the crash, do not sign anything and do not agree to give a recorded statement. Always tell the truth when answering questions from an insurance company. Keep your answers short and simple and do not offer any information that is not specifically requested.
Report the Accident to the TxDOT
Texas Revised Statute Section 550.062 states that if a law enforcement officer investigates a motor vehicle accident that causes injury, death or at least $1,000 in property damage, the officer must make a written report of the collision. The officer must submit this report to the police department and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) no later than 10 days after the car accident.
If the police officer does not make an accident report, it becomes your responsibility to report the crash to the TxDOT within 10 days. The TxDOT needs to know about all auto accidents in Texas – even minor ones – to maintain accurate crash records. You must fill out the appropriate forms and submit them online or print them out and mail them to the TxDOT. You can also visit the closest TxDOT office near you to report your collision in person.
Get a Copy of Your Police Report in San Antonio
It is important to report your car accident in San Antonio for many reasons. One is to officially document the car accident so you can use the crash report as evidence in your car accident claim later. An auto insurance company will ask for your police report number as one of the first steps in investigating your claim. Try to write this number down before you leave the scene of your car accident.
Once you have gone to a hospital for your injuries and made your initial crash report, request a copy of your police report for your records. This report should become available within 10 days of your accident. Car accident reports are only available to those involved in the wreck. You can contact the San Antonio Police Department to request a copy of your report. You can also request a copy of the police report submitted to the TxDOT through the department’s website.
If you need assistance reporting a car accident in San Antonio or obtaining copies of your accident reports, contact a lawyer near you.