If you have been involved in a car accident, you should notify the authorities about your accident right away. Many people mistakenly believe that you do not need to report a car accident if nobody was injured, but this is not the case. You should always report a car accident to law enforcement.
This page will provide information about how to report a car accident in Texas. We’ve also provided a printer-friendly quick reference guide to keep in your car:
Download the Quick Reference Guide
How to Obtain a Texas Crash Report
The Texas Department of Transportation (or “TxDOT”) maintains an archive of all crash records for the State of Texas. Texas law requires any law enforcement officer who, in the regular course of duty, investigates a car accident that results in injury to or death of a person or damage to property in excess of $1,000 or more, to submit a written report to TxDOT no more than 10 days after the date of the crash. See Texas Transportation Code §550.062.
TxDOT collects crash reports from every law enforcement agency in Texas. TxDOT maintains records about car accidents that occur on any public roadway in Texas, not just those that occur on the state highway system.
If you were involved in a car accident and a law enforcement officer filed a report about your accident, you can obtain a copy of the report through the Crash Reports and Records section of the TxDOT website.
To obtain the report, you will need to provide at least two of the following pieces of information:
- Name of any person involved in the crash,
- Date of the crash, and/or
- Location of the crash.
The costs for a copy of a crash report are as follows:
- $6.00 for a regular copy.
- $8.00 for a certified copy. A certified copy will be required for most legal proceedings.
You can also obtain a crash report over the phone or by mail.
Houston Police Department Non-Emergency Number
If you did not call 911 from the scene of your car accident, you should call the non-emergency police number to report your accident as soon as possible. You can speak with a member of the Houston Police Department and explain what happened. Be sure to give the police as much information as possible about the accident.
To reach the Houston Police Department’s non-emergency line, call (713) 884-3131. You can also visit their website for more information.
After a Car Accident, Call 911
After any car accident, regardless of how serious, you should call 911. A police officer or other law enforcement officer will be dispatched to the scene of your accident. He or she will prepare a police report (sometimes called an “accident report” or “incident report”) that contains important details about your accident.
The police report may discuss whether any laws were broken, who was at fault for the accident, and whether the drivers involved were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. It will also include other information, such as the location where the accident occurred, what conditions were present, and the names of all drivers involved.
A police report can be crucial to establishing fault during the insurance claims process or in a personal injury lawsuit.
Speak with a Lawyer
If you have questions about reporting a car accident, a car accident lawyer can help. To discuss your case, call Sutliff & Stout at (713) 987-7111 or contact us online today.