How To Read Your Texas Car Accident Report
Our highly respected lawyers explain what you need to look for
One of the most important pieces of evidence related to your car accident may be the police report for your crash. This document, officially known as Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3), contains a wealth of information about your accident. Insurance companies also often use this document to figure out who was at fault in the accident.
That’s why it’s important to know how to read this document and verify that all the information listed in it is correct. Otherwise, you might not get the financial compensation you deserve for your accident-related expenses. Since your accident-related expenses can easily add up to thousands or even millions of dollars, a lot is at stake in your case.
Our experienced McAllen car accident attorneys at Karam Law Firm know how to read accident reports. As your lawyer, we can review your crash report with you and make sure everything’s correct. If you do notice any mistakes, we can help you contact the police and work to set the record straight.
How to read your Texas car accident report
Top Section – Location
This part of the accident report has information about exactly where your accident took place. As a result, this part of the report will have:
- Exact time and date of accident
- Exact location (including street name, address or route number) where accident happened, along with the city and county information
- If the accident occurred at an intersection, this information will be noted here as well.
- The posted speed limit at the crash location can be found here as well. This information can be critical, especially if the driver was speeding at the time of your accident.
Middle Section – Identification
Your name and the name of the driver who caused your accident can be found on this part of your accident report. Information about passengers in the vehicles can also be found here. Other important details include:
- Number of people located in each vehicle.
- (Box 14) Severity of injuries sustained in the accident. Insurance companies carefully review this box when deciding whether to reimburse injury victims and how much to compensate them.
- (Box 17) Whether anyone was ejected from the vehicle at the time of the accident.
- (Box 19) Whether an airbag was deployed at the time of the crash.
- (Box 22) Whether an alcohol specimen was taken at the time of the accident. This box is especially important if the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of your crash.
- (Box 23) Whether a test was conducted to determine if the driver was under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
Lower Section – Vehicle Information
Along with information about the driver and passengers involved in the accident, this part of the report includes details about the damage sustained by the vehicles involved in the crash. Insurance companies often carefully review this information when figuring out who was at fault. This information includes:
- (Box 26) Insurance information for both drivers. Here, the police officer will note if the driver has car insurance and what type of insurance. Types include standard “liability insurance policies” as well as “certificate of deposit with a county judge.”
- (Box 27) Vehicle damage rating. Here, the police officer investigating your accident indicates the severity of the damage on a scale of 0-7. The officer also notes where the damage occurred on each vehicle using a series of letter codes assigned to different parts of the vehicle.
Top Section – Injuries
This section notes whether anyone was taken to a hospital from the accident, which hospital they were taken to as well as the time of death, if applicable. All this information is very important and will be scrutinized by insurance companies when determining compensation for car accident claims.
Middle Section – Charges
If anyone involved in the accident was charged by police, those charges will be clearly listed here, along with the citation and reference number. Changes can cover a wide range, from driving under the influence of alcohol to excessive speeding or charges related to running a red light and other traffic violations.
Middle Section – Contributing Factors
Two of the most important sections on your accident report can be found here. These sections describe contributing factors which resulted in your car accident. The two sections include:
- (Box 35) Sequence of events. This section explains what happened in your accident. Some of the scenarios include “collision involving pedestrian,” “collision involving parked motor vehicle” and “collision with other movable object.”
- (Box 36) Factors and conditions. This section has 77 different codes for different factors that may have contributed to your accident. Factors include “failed to control speed,” “had been drinking,” “unsafe speed” and “cell/mobile device use – texting.”
Bottom Section – Diagram
This part of your accident report is reserved for the investigating police officer’s diagram of your car accident. The exact position of the vehicles in the diagram matters a lot. If the diagram appears to show that you caused the collision, the other driver’s insurance company may try to use this diagram to deny your accident claim. We can help you review this part of your report – as well we every other section – make sure it’s accurate and reflects exactly what happened.