Have you been involved in a vehicle crash in Austin? If so, it’s important to obtain a copy of the accident report.
By securing a copy of your report, you gain official documentation of what happened. If you were injured or your car sustained damage in the crash, you may decide to take legal action to recover compensation for your injuries and costs. Having a copy of your accident report will assist your attorney in filing your case.
Here’s how to go about getting your report, either from the City of Austin or the Texas Department of Transportation.
Austin Accident Reports
Most police reports are available through the Austin Police Department’s online database, with the exception of crash reports. To obtain an auto accident report form, you’ll need to either visit police headquarters in person to purchase the report or obtain the report by mail.
The Austin Main Police Headquarters is located at 715 E. 8th St. You can obtain a report in person at that location between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays except Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
To get your report in person, you’ll need your case number. You can call APD Report Sales, 512-974-5499, to check on the availability of your report before going to police headquarters.
If you received a so-called Blue Form at the time of your accident, you will not need to get another copy of your report from the Austin Police Department. You will need to mail this form to the Texas Department of Transportation, but you should keep a copy for insurance purposes and for documentation if you decide to pursue a civil claim.
To receive a copy of your report through the mail, you can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with $6 payable by money order, cash or check to Austin Police Department Report Sales at P.O. Box 689001, Austin, 78768.
Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation serves as the official repository for crash records in Texas. State law requires law enforcement officers who investigate motor vehicle accidents resulting in death, injury or property damage of more than $1,000 to create a written report. The report must be submitted to the Texas DOT by the 10th day following the crash.
The DOT receives crash reports from all Texas law-enforcement agencies for crashes on any public road, not only those that take place on state highways.
The state will eventually retain officers’ crash reports and all associated data for 10 years beyond the current year. Data that goes back more than this period will not be available. As of 2015, the state was retaining the previous five years of reports along with the current year, with plans to add years until complying with the ultimate 10-year schedule.
If you’ve been involved in a crash in Texas, state law requires you to submit a written report if a law enforcement officer doesn’t investigate the crash and it caused a death, injury or property damage greater than $1,000. Your report, known as the CR-2, must be submitted to Texas DOT by the 10th day following the crash.
The state retains drivers’ CR-2 reports for a year in addition to the current year.
Purchasing a Texas DOT Report Online
To receive a copy of the CR-3 crash report submitted by a Texas Peace Officer, you can use the online purchasing system. In order to receive your report online, the system must be able to identify your crash by the information you provide. Crash reports are not available to the general public.
Who Can Receive a Crash Report?
State law details the parties who are allowed to receive copies of crash reports, including anyone involved in the accident or their authorized representatives. In addition, employers, parents and legal guardians of drivers involved in the accident may request reports, along with anyone who has financial responsibility for an involved vehicle.
Insurance companies providing policies for vehicles involved in a crash may obtain copies of accident reports, as can certain news organizations. Some government agencies also may receive copies, as well as individuals who may file lawsuits due to a death caused by the accident.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in Austin, seek assistance from experienced car accident lawyers. Contact The Cagle Law Firm, P.C., for a consultation.