Reporting a crash to the police and the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) as soon as is reasonably possible is an important part of the claims process; if you do not report a crash, proving that the crash happened, and that you suffered damages from it, can be much more difficult to do. However, if the crash was not serious, or if you were at fault for the accident and plan to pay for damages out of pocket, you may wonder whether or not you have to report the crash at all. According to the Texas DOT, here is what you need to know about when to report an auto accident to TxDOT—
You Must Report a Crash When Damages Total $1,000 or More
If your car crash results in “apparent” damage for $1,000 or more, you are obligated to ensure that it is reported to the TxDOT. You can do this in one of two ways:
- You can call the police at the time of your crash, and wait for the officer to arrive on scene. After you file your report with the officer, the officer will file a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3).
- If the crash is not investigated by a law enforcement officer, then you can file the accident report yourself by submitting a CR-2 (Blue Form). This document can be accessed online through the Department of Transportation’s website.
If the latter option is selected, the report must be filed no later than the 10th day after the accident to be in compliance with the law.
When a Crash Results in Injury or Death
In addition to reporting a crash that results in damages totaling $1,000 or more, you are also obligated to report any crash that results in any injury or death. You can report the crash via one of the two methods listed above.
According to Section 550.0256 of Texas Transportation Code, the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that causes injury or death to another shall report the accident immediately. Immediate report of accident means “by the quickest means of communication,” and requires that the accident be reported to the local police or sheriff’s office.
Reporting Your Car Crash Is Important
Not only does reporting your crash ensure that you are acting within the law and will not be subject to penalties as such, but by filing a crash report, you improve your chances of recovering the compensation that you deserve after an accident. To learn how an accident report can be useful when seeking damages, contact our experienced Texas accident attorneys at The Bob Richardson Law Firm. You can call our offices directly, or contact us using our online form.
If you’re in a car accident in or near Austin, contact us today. We are ready to advocate for you!