What Happens if You Don’t Report Your Car Accident in Houston?
If you get into a car accident in Houston, whether on your way to work or school, you’re going to be frustrated. All you want to do is wrap things up and get on your way. The last thing you feel like doing is waiting around for the cops to come. That can turn into a three-hour fiasco.
If your accident is minor, you and the other driver will probably agree to just exchange insurance information. There are a few problems with this. First, you have no idea if they’re giving you the right information. By the time you find out, it’ll be too late. They’ll be no way for your Houston accident lawyer to track them down.
Second, you’re legally required to report almost any car accident in Houston. No matter how minor the crash, chances are, you’re required to report it. If you don’t, you can actually be charged with a criminal offense. So, not only will you have to deal with getting your car fixed, you’ll also have to go to court. You’ll also have to come up a good excuse as to why you failed to report your accident. On top of that, you’ll have to shell out a few hundred dollars in fines for your failure to report.
Ask any Houston car accident attorney and they’ll agree. You should always call the police after your car accident, no matter how minor. Not only will they do a thorough investigation of the accident scene, but they’ll report the accident for you. You can kill two birds with one stone.
When does the Law Require You to Report an Accident in Texas?
If you get into any accident in Texas, even a minor one, you have to report it to the authorities. Texas law requires that you report a car accident that meets the following criteria:
- Anyone is injured or killed
- There is damage to the vehicles of at least $1,000
- The police didn’t arrive at the scene and fill out a crash report
If you don’t call the police, you’re going to have to fill out the accident report yourself. You’ll have to go to the town where the accident took place. If the crash took place on a highway, you’ll have to go to the designated State reporting office. They’ll give you the form and you can complete it and turn it in. It may be a few days or weeks before you can get a copy for your own records.
If you fail to report the crash, you will be facing legal action. It’s considered leaving the scene of an accident if you don’t report it. You could be facing fines and even possible jail time. It will depend on how serious the accident was.
Your Houston Accident Attorney Recommends You Call 911 Immediately After Your Crash
If you ask your Houston car accident lawyer, they’ll tell you to just call the cops immediately after your accident. You have to report the accident anyway. It will take less time to have the cops arrive at the scene and do their investigation than it will be to report the crash yourself.
While there, the officers will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene. They’ll also prepare a police report. This report will have very valuable information in it that your Houston car accident lawyer can use to prove your case.
Some of the information contained in a police report include:
- Contact information for both drivers and any witnesses
- License and insurance information for all drivers involved in the crash
- Witness statements
- Pictures of the accident scene
- A description of the road conditions
- Statements made by both drivers
- Information regarding whether the drivers were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
Your attorney is going to use this information to prove the other driver was at fault. They’ll also use it to prove your damages. That’s why it’s so important that you call the cops, no matter how minor the accident may seem.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
When it comes to reporting a car accident in Houston, you don’t have a choice. It’s the law. At least if you call the cops, they’ll make sure the accident is reported for you. You also need their police report to help prove your case.
There is no law that requires you to hire an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas. However, it is a good idea to take advantage of your free initial consultation. Call our office today and set up a time that works for you.