How to read your Texas crash report
If you've been injured in a car accident, a police officer will fill out a Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report. The attorneys at Tracey & Fox know this report well and can help you understand your accident report.
This accident report is a written document about the incident and includes many important details that your lawyer will need to review. It will describe where the accident happened and when, as well as the weather and road conditions. It will have information about the injuries you suffered. There will also be information about the other driver, including whether he or she was driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can buy a copy of the report from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Identification & Location
This section lists where the crash occurred, including city or town, road or street, and any intersecting streets. It also lists the date and time of the crash. The officer can also list the exact GPS coordinates of the crash.
Vehicle, Driver & Persons
This is where the officer notes details about the drivers and vehicles involved in the crash. It will include each driver's contact information, license information, age, ethnicity and gender. The officer will also note if a driver was tested for drugs or alcohol and note the results. The vehicle information includes the make, model and body type of each vehicle, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN) and insurance information. If there were passengers, their information will appear in this section.
If the investigating police officer noted that the driver who caused your crash was under the influence of alcohol, you could have a very strong legal case against the driver.
Disposition of Injured/Killed
If anyone was injured, this section will list the hospital that person was taken to, as well as information about the ambulance unit. If an accident victim dies, the date and time of death will be recorded here.
If a driver was arrested at the scene, this section will list that driver's name, the charges filed and citation number. This information can be very important if you were injured in the accident due to the negligent actions of the other driver.
If a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was involved in your crash, information about the vehicle will be recorded in this section. This includes the company that owns the vehicle and details about any hazardous material being carried. This type of information can be very important if you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident.
Narrative and Diagram
This section includes the investigating officer's determination of how your crash happened. It includes a narrative of the sequence of events leading up the crash, as well as a diagram. This account could document any weather, lighting, road conditions or negligence that played a role in your crash. Make sure you absolutely agree with everything written about your accident. Otherwise, insurance companies might try to deny your claim later because of something written here.
Click here to download a printable version.