Sometimes, police officers refuse to write reports after non-life-threatening car accidents. If the police officer refuses to write a car accident report, our firm advises you to file a complaint with the police department. During this process, our McKinney car accident attorneys can be by your side to fight for you and help ensure you are on the right track.
What Are the Police Supposed to Do After a Texas Car Accident?
Texas law enforcement must follow specific protocol when arriving on the scene of an accident. Police officers should arrive on the scene as promptly as possible. Upon arrival, they should obtain preliminary information about the crash. Essentials include:
- Crash location
- Who notified the officer, how, and at what time
- Weather conditions and current visibility
- Current traffic congestion
- The need for additional support such as an ambulance
- If anyone was injured or passed away
- How damaged the vehicles were
After questioning accident victims and witnesses, the officer should secure the scene to preserve evidence. Spectators should be cleared from the area, and if necessary, other vehicles rerouted. From there, evidence must be tagged and secured in keeping with authorized evidence-gathering procedures.
It is important to know that under Texas Transportation Code § 550.062, if there is more than $1,000 worth of property damage, or if someone was injured or died, the police officer is to turn in the report within 10 days of the crash. This report should be a CR-3 state accident form (which includes the basic details outlined above), along with statements, scaled diagrams, or photos of the accident scene.
We Have had a Client Who Had Trouble with the Police Report
One of our clients was involved in a collision near Lake Forest and Highway 121 in McKinney. The McKinney police officer that arrived on the scene refused to write a report even though several cars were involved in the accident.
Of course, the at-fault party changed their story several days later when they learned that no accident report would be prepared by the officer. Our lawyers encouraged the client to file a formal complaint with the McKinney Police Department to help put a stop to the practice.
Common Police Report Errors Our Team See in Our Practice
Even when they write a police report, officers may make factual errors or mischaracterize drivers or witnesses when assessing car accidents.
Common mistakes include:
- Listing an incorrect vehicle model or license plate number
- The date or time of the accident
- The accident’s location
- Incorrectly recording witness statements
- Misspelling the names of those who were involved in the accident and/or witnessed it
The police officer may have filed a report, but it’s not possible for you to access it due to the inaccurate information they wrote down. One of our lawyers can help you further investigate so you can get your hands on the correct report.
Challenging Police Reports
If the police officer refuses to write a report, or you suspect that the police officer responsible for investigating your accident made errors, recourse may be possible. A complaint to the McKinney Police Department may be appropriate. Your police report can play a huge role in your case. It’s worth your while to challenge the practice of refusing to write reports with help from a personal injury attorney with our firm.
Your lawyer can gather other forms of evidence to show that the accident happened and caused your damages. For example:
- Your personal testimony
- Testimony from your friends and family who can confirm you were involved in the car accident and how it has affected you
- Eyewitness accounts
- Photographs of your injuries, the scene of the accident, and the weather conditions
- Traffic camera surveillance of the accident happening
- Accident reconstruction expert analysis
- Medical and cell phone records
How Much it Costs for a Car Accident Attorney from Our Firm to Help You
From going up against the police department to healing from injuries to handling insurance companies, the cost of hiring a lawyer might be the last thing you want to think about. However, working with us is cost-effective for you, as our firm works on a no-win, no-fee structure.
That is, our team only takes payment when our lawyers secure compensation for your damages at the end of our case. Should your lawyer be unable to achieve such an outcome, you don’t owe us anything. So, there is no need to worry about your bank account when our lawyers are by your side.
Give Underwood Law Office a Call Today for a Free Case Review with Our Team
No matter the circumstances surrounding your Texas car accident, you may want to consider reaching out to our firm.