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Why reporting a Texas car crash is so important

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

People involved in a car crash often talk with one another immediately after the collision. One driver might suggest to the other that they resolve the matter privately. They may offer to pay repair shop invoices and to cover any medical care costs.

People may want to avoid filing a police report for many different reasons. Perhaps they have had other traffic violations recently and worry that their license could be at risk. Maybe they let their insurance or license lapse and believe they could face prosecution. They might even drive for a living and worry that a traffic violation in their personal vehicle could affect their eligibility for a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

While people often feel a sense of compassion for someone who expresses concern about filing a police report, agreeing to their request could put them at a real disadvantage.

The law typically requires a report

Texas state statutes make crash reporting mandatory in two different situations. The first is when someone suffers injuries. Anytime someone has visible injuries or dies in a crash, reporting the incident is mandatory under Texas state law. The second scenario is when there is substantial property damage caused by the collision. If it would cost at least $1,000 to repair the damage to the vehicles or any other property affected by the collision, then that also makes a crash report mandatory under Texas state law.

Getting compensation requires an official record

If someone expects to file an insurance claim or possibly even a personal injury lawsuit after a Texas car crash, they need an official record of the incident. Although insurance companies may respond to claims after crashes that do not meet the reporting requirements under Texas state law, they may push back against claims where there is substantial property damage or physical injuries but no crash report.

Those who do not report a collision to the local authorities leave themselves at the mercy of another party involved in the incident. They may be unable to repair their vehicle or pay their medical bills if that person defaults on their promise to cover the expenses with their own resources. Complying with state crash reporting requirements can help those involved in a crash protect their right to seek compensation after a wreck.