Who says you need to file a police report after every crash? The state of Texas and the city of Houston are both pretty clear that any crash victim should report the wreck to police within a 10-day window of the collision happening. But there are a few specific elements that they’re looking for because there are times when a crash is so minor that it doesn’t seem worth it to file a police report.
Should You Always File a Police Report, Even for a Minor Crash?
The general consensus is that every driver, in any Houston wreck, should always file a police report. That’s regardless of whether they simply nudged a parked car or were the victim of a three-car pileup and sustained serious injuries.
Basically, you must complete a report if there were any injuries, even minor injuries. This report for the injuries will alert the Houston PD that there was a crash, that they may or may not have responded to that resulted in a person being hurt because of another driver, traffic conditions, or the fault of another entity.
You must also report a crash if the property damage exceeds $1,000. That’s not difficult to do as replacing a bumper could easily be three or four thousand dollars. It’s critical that you consider making a police report even if the damage seems minor, and the injuries don’t seem worth it. If you end up needing to hire a Houston, Texas automobile accident attorney, the police report will be a very important part of your case.
Do You Need a Police Report for a Minor Crash to Make an Insurance Claim?
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need a police report to make a claim to your insurance provider. However, your insurance provider in Texas may be curious as to why you didn’t file a report, especially if there were any injuries. In Texas, the car insurance company you use may require you to submit a police crash report even if it’s outside of the ten-day window if there were people hurt in the Houston wreck.
You can still make your Houston claim, and attempt to move forward without a crash report, but ultimately someone will report the crash to the Texas Department of Transportation. Often the fear of filing a police report is that it will result in points on your license because you were in a wreck. That’s not the case unless you also received a moving traffic violation in connection with the claim. In that situation, the violation would be reported to the TxDOT anyway by the Houston PD.
Starting the Resolution Process for Your Wreck
Although most people understand that they need to probably file a police crash report and contact their insurance company, they may not think about including an attorney. Attorneys in Houston can make resolving minor crashes easy and quick. It’s a great thing when you have a simple case, but drivers still feel the demands and frustrations that come with handling a claim.
Hiring a Houston car accident attorney puts that stress of the claim onto someone else. They will handle the paperwork, gather and submitting evidence, and even talking to your insurance reps.
Minor Wrecks Can Include Injuries
One of the biggest misconceptions is that injuries only happen in major wrecks. That’s not true because a minor parking lot collision, something that was truly an accident, can also result in injuries. When minor injuries are left untreated, they can severely diminish the victim’s ability to work and quality of life.
Whiplash is one great example of a minor wreck injury. Even when traveling below ten miles per hour, whiplash can have a lasting impact, and if left untreated, the soft tissue damage can worsen. The best thing to do after a minor crash is to get a medical evaluation from your doctor or through an urgent care center.
Talk to a Local Car Accident Attorney in Houston
Talking to an attorney doesn’t mean that you’ve committed to taking the entire case to court. What talking to a Houston automobile accident law firm can do is shed some light on the mistakes made in resolving the matter and exposing what can play in your favor. At McDonald Worley of Houston, our team focuses on building strong cases for claim resolution through settlement and then taking a case to court if necessary.
For minor Houston accidents, cases are usually settled through claims rather than going to court and having to drag out police reports and other evidence in front of a judge. If you didn’t file a police report, it might have been because the crash seemed too minor. Talk to an attorney and see if you need representation for your claim on this Houston crash.