What is In a Texas Crash Report?
If you are ever involved in an accident on Texas roads, whether it be serious or minor, you will need an official accident report written at the scene. This is why you should always contact the police, no matter if you struck something in your vehicle alone there are other parties involved.
According to the Texas Transportation Code, any law enforcement officer on the scene of a crash is required to submit an official report within 10 days of the incident. This report will protect you and anyone else involved in the accident from false information being brought forward at a later time.
What is an accident report?
An accident report in Texas consists of specific information about your particular case. Each portion will contain vital information that will come in to play later on. You will see the official taking a number of steps to ensure the report is accurate such as:
- Investigating damages
- Talking to witnesses
- Taking photos of the scene
- Taking measurements
- Making personal notes
Following their initial investigation, the investigator will fill out an official crash report. The Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report, otherwise known as the CR-3, contains several sections in which the official will include all of the facts they have gathered.
The Parts of an Accident Report
Identification and Location:
This section includes the most basic information gathered upon first look at the scene. These details include:
- The date and approximate time the incident occurred.
- Precise location including the latitude and longitude coordinates.
- Type of road the crash occurred on (public, private, toll road, etc…)
- Whether or not the crash happened in a work zone.
- A detailed description of the street.
- Information on the intersecting road or closest intersection as a reference.
This is where the investigator will list any information they gather regarding the vehicles involved, including:
- Whether the vehicle remained at the scene or fled, qualifying as a hit-and-run.
- License plate state and number.
- Vehicle Identification (VIN) numbers
- Vehicle make, model, color, year, and body style.
This section will also include pertinent information on the driver of the vehicle and all other occupants such as:
- Driver’s name, address, and date of birth.
- Driver’s license number, class, and state of which it was issued.
- The number of other occupants in the vehicle.
- The severity of any injuries sustained by each individual in the vehicle.
- Type of injuries sustained by occupants.
- If anyone in the car appeared intoxicated in any way.
Other Persons / Tow:
Finally, the investigator will list details on whoever is financially responsible for the vehicle and what is going to happen immediately following the crash such as:
- Name and address of the vehicle’s owner or lessee.
- Proof of vehicle registration, registration number.
- Towing company name and lot to which the vehicle was towed.
Deposition of Those Injured or Killed:
Here the investigator will provide a brief summary of those who may have sustained any injuries in the crash, whether they be minor or fatal. This section does not go into specifics as those details will be listed on additional documents pertaining to the individual alone. The criteria for this portion of the report includes:
- Which vehicle and seat the patient was in at the time of the crash.
- The name of the hospital they were transported to.
- Date and time of death, if applicable.
Charges (If any):
If any charges are being filed as a result of the collision, the official will list them here. Though it is important to keep in mind that this information is not set in stone, further charges could be filed or dismissed at a later time.
Another brief portion of the report. This is where the investigator will provide a description of any major damages sustained in the crash. While the official will do a comprehensive overview of the vehicle, there is always a chance that internal damage as a result of the crash could become apparent at a later time.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Information:
If one or more of the vehicles involved in the crash is owned or operated by a commercial entity, this is where the official will list pertinent information on the vehicle such as:
- Commercial Carrier’s name and address.
- Vehicle’s approximate weight.
- Type of commercial vehicle.
- Information on any hazardous materials the vehicle is carrying.
- The sequence of events that lead to the crash.
Contributing Factors and Conditions
If weather or irregular road conditions played a role in the crash, the official will detail that information here. They will list what they believe influenced the crash as well as what could have contributed.
Narrative and Diagram:
This section gives the official filing the report a chance to tie up any loose ends left out from the remainder of the document. They are asked to provide, in as much detail as possible, their narrative of how the accident transpired. They may also describe who they believe to be at fault and any steps drivers failed to take in order to prevent the accident from occurring.
The official will also create a diagram to the best of their abilities. This could be a very helpful piece of evidence later on once the report is filed with your insurance company or should it go to trial.
This is where the official filling out the report will provide all pertinent details about their role in the crash. They are required to list details regarding:
- The date and time in which the accident occurred.
- The time the official was notified of the crash and arrived at the scene.
- Their full name and badge number.
- The name of the agency they are working for.
As you can see, the information provided within the pages of a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report is necessary to obtain if you or a loved one were involved in an accident. If you are involved in a crash that resulted in injuries or significant damages, acquiring a certified copy of your crash report will greatly benefit your case when it comes to the courts and insurance companies.