There are a lot of great things about living in Longview. The traffic isn’t one of them. While it’s better than Dallas or Houston, it still provides plenty of challenges. A fender bender can ruin your day. Longview residence ask if they should file a police report after a Longview car accident because they dread the follow-up. Here’s what you need to know about when you need a crash report and when you can handle things on your own.
When You Have to File a Police Report
Texas law requires drivers to file a police report in some situations. The Texas Transportation Code says you have to file a crash report if:
- One person involved sustains injury or death or
- There’s property damage worth $1,000 or more
It doesn’t matter what you’re driving or the circumstances that led to the accident. Even if the other driver admits fault, says they’ll pay cash for damages and seems good for it, the law says to call the police.
Often, it’s still a good idea to call the police, even if the damage seems minor and no one was hurt. After a car accident, you’re rattled. The other driver is too. Both of you may not be thinking clearly because of what you just experienced. Also, your body just received a huge jolt of adrenaline. That shaky feeling you experience is because of your body’s response to intense stress.
You might be feeling relief, anger, fear and frustration all at once. All those extreme emotions can mask your perception of injuries you experienced. It’s also common for injuries to show up after you’ve already gone home. You can’t really evaluate how you feel right after the wreck. Also, what seems like minor vehicle damage can actually be something much more serious. It’s better to err on the side of caution.
A police officer is an objective observer. He or she will see things you might miss and file a report insurance will consider the most official version.
Time Frame for Filing After a Longview Car Wreck
File a crash report within 10 days of your accident. It’s better to do it right after the accident when the most information is available. Days later you may not remember weather, road conditions or other contributing factors, and you might have lost touch with witnesses.
Information on Car Accident Report
If you call the police, the responding officer will probably file the report for you. If you don’t do it at the scene, file a car accident report for Longview wrecks at the Longview Police Department. You’ll need the following information:
- The name, driver’s license number and address of all the drivers involved in the collision
- The make, model, plate number and VIN for all vehicles
- Exact details of when and where the accident occurred (date, time and physical address or geographic location)
- List of injuries
- List of property damaged
- Driver statement
When you fill out the driver statement, stick to the facts. Include everything you know to be true, but leave out any theories of what the other driver might or might not have been doing.
When You Don’t Need to File a Police Report
Sometimes you’re the only one involved or the situation is extremely minor. For example, if you accidentally back into your grandmother’s mailbox and she’s okay with you just buying her a new one, you don’t need to call the police. Or, if you hit something in the road and have minor damage to your bumper, you might not need to file an accident report.
If you’re unsure, you don’t have to decide on your own. Schedule your free consultation to talk to a Longview car accident attorney or call (903)999-9999 today.