Role of Police Reports in Motor Vehicle Accidents

police report of car accident

If you were hurt in a car accident someone else caused, you will likely need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider. One of the first items you will be asked for is a copy of the police report of the incident. The police report is an official document created by the officers who responded to the accident. It can be useful evidence in settlement negotiations or a lawsuit.

At The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, our legal team is available to review the police report of your accident and help you understand your rights to pursue just compensation. Personal injury attorney Troy Brookover has more than 30 years of experience helping clients demand just compensation for serious car accident injuries caused by the negligence of others. Let us put our experience to work for you, whether your injuries occurred in a car crash or a commercial truck accident. Contact us today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer.

The Importance of Obtaining a Police Report After a Car Accident

Police reports provide official accounts of traffic collisions. They document who was involved in the crash, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and who may be at fault. You should obtain a copy of the accident report to make sure the information it contains is accurate.

In Texas, police reports can facilitate your insurance claim and help you recover compensation from the at-fault part. Depending on the circumstances, your injury claim may seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Other property damage

If you are involved in a collision, you should always report the accident to the police or sheriff’s department and wait for an officer to arrive. Under Texas law, motorists are required to report car accidents that result in injury, death, or damage to a vehicle that prevents it from being driven from the scene.

You have an obligation to exchange information with the other motorists involved. Failing to provide essential information – such as your name, address, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information – could result in a Class B misdemeanor.

Police are required to file an incident report for any collision resulting in injury, death, or at least $1,000 in property damage. The law makes further specifications about what the police report should contain.

What Details Will Be Included in a San Antonio Police Report

San Antonio police reports typically include the following:

  • Date, time, and location of the incident
  • Information about the vehicles involved
  • Location of damage done to the vehicles
  • Names and contact information for any drivers, witnesses, and passengers
  • Description and a diagram of the accident
  • Statements of drivers and witnesses
  • Details of the traffic violations or citations issued
  • Photos of the scene and any damage to the vehicles involved in the collision

The responding officer makes the initial report based on what they’re told at the accident scene and their observations. Consequently, it may not contain all the relevant facts to understand how the crash occurred.  It provides a valuable baseline about the accident and its circumstances.

Do You Need to Request a Copy of a Police Report After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Obtaining a police report is important if you pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit. In San Antonio, you can request a police report through the Crash Report Online Purchase System.

To obtain the report, you should provide the following information:

  • Date, time, and location of the collision
  • Names of those involved in the car crash
  • Report number
  • Identification, such as your driver’s license number

It may take up to 10 days from the crash for the report to be available online. You should have a copy ready for download within several days of your request.

What If You Disagree with the Police Report?

Once you receive the police report, you may discrepancies in the description of how the accident occurred. If you think the report contains mistakes, you may request corrections. Common errors include:

  • Misspelled names
  • Incorrect driver’s license numbers or insurance policy numbers
  • Inaccurate description of the vehicles or the collision

You can request changes by contacting the department that responded to the crash. If you need help amending the record, get in touch with the attorney.

What Is the Purpose of Insurance Companies Requiring Police Reports?

Insurance companies might require police reports after a car crash for several reasons, including:

  • Validation of the claim ‒ The police report acts as an official record of the factual circumstances of the collision, verifying the claim filed with the insurance company.
  • Determining fault ‒ The information contained within the report can aid adjusters and crash reconstruction experts as they determine who was at fault for the crash and, therefore, who is liable for the consequences.
  • Raising rates– Beyond determining whether they need to pay out a claim, the insurance company might use the determination of fault to raise rates on its policyholder.

How Do Insurance Adjusters Use Police Reports?

An insurance adjuster will investigate the accident when you file an insurance claim. Their goal is to determine if they have to pay out your claim under the terms of the policy they issued. The adjuster will use the police report as a reliable source of information to assist in their investigation.

Get the Legal Help You Need After a Motor Vehicle Accident in San Antonio

At The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, we know how to navigate complex personal injury cases and deal with insurance companies. We can access the police report of your accident and use it to develop your claim for compensation. Every accident case has factors that make it unique, and past results are not predictive of future outcomes. But many sizable settlements and verdicts we have achieved speak to our experience and hard work on behalf of clients.

Are you ready to demand compensation? Then contact us today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in San Antonio.

Troy Brookover was born and raised in San Antonio. He established the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover so that he could make a difference in the community and help accident victims recover compensation to get back on their feet after being injured by someone else’s negligence. He brings more than 30 years of legal experience to the table, which he leverages in every case.