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How to Obtain and Read Your Texas Car Accident Report

If you’re involved in a Texas car accident, a police officer will likely create an official report about the incident. According to the Texas Transportation Code, a police report must be created after any collision involving physical injury or property damage.

A car accident report contains important data, including the names of involved parties, the date and time of the collision, and how the responding officer believes the accident occurred. This information can be highly valuable for a potential insurance claim or lawsuit. Here is how you can obtain and read a Texas car accident report.

How to Request a Copy of Your Accident Report

The Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for maintaining crash reports. The agency collects reports from local law enforcement agencies and stores them in a centralized database. Anyone can request a copy of their accident report online or by mail.

You will need to have the name of a driver involved in the accident, the date that the accident occurred, and the report number or the driver’s license number of one of the drivers. You will also need to pay a small fee; it costs $6 to obtain a regular copy, while certified copies are $8 each.

Obtaining a Report Online

You can obtain a crash report online through the TX DOT Crash Report Online Purchase System. By visiting the database and purchasing the relevant report, you can obtain this document immediately.  

Obtaining a Report by Mail

To request an accident report by mail, fill out the TX Crash Report and Request Form. Send the completed form and payment to the following address.

Crash Data and Analysis

Texas Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 12879

Austin, Texas 78711

Reading a Texas Car Accident Report

A Texas crash report is typically four pages long. Each page contains unique information that could be helpful for a future claim. Here is how to read your Texas car accident report.

Page One

The first page of a crash report provides an overview of the accident and the people involved. This page includes information such as driver’s license numbers, the location and date of the accident, and any injuries sustained by the victims in the collision. This page also notes whether any drivers were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Page Two

The second page goes into more detail regarding the injuries, citations, and property damage that the responding officer noted when the report was created. The officer will also use this page to draw a diagram of the accident and list contributing factors, which could be especially valuable in your future case. The investigating officer will also write a narrative of how he or she believes that the accident occurred.

Pages Three and Four

These two pages explain the codes that are used on the previous two pages of the form. When reading these pages, pay attention to the codes that indicate injury severity, vehicle damage, and factors and conditions. These factors could play a major role in determining liability for your accident.

If you plan on pursuing legal action after a collision, you need a lawyer on your side. Contact a McAllen car accident attorney to discuss your legal options and take your first steps toward justice.