If you’re filing an insurance claim or lawsuit because you’re injured in a vehicle crash, a police accident report is a critical starting point. Though these reports are not always the total Gospel truth of what happened, they’re how the insurance company, and we start investigating what happened.

Your insurance claim or lawsuit is based on the evidence of the accident. One of the most critical jobs Schechter, Shaffer & Harris L.L.P. does for our clients is investigating what happened, why, and who’s responsible. The police report is important, but it’s only the start of what we do.

Who Do I Ask for the Report?

The accident report form (CRB3) is completed by a Houston Police Officer and filed with the Texas Department of Transportation, according to the City of Houston. They should be available five to eight days after the accident. They’re handled by the police department’s Records Division, whose phone number is (713) 308-8585. 

To get a copy, you must provide at least two of the following:

  • Accident’s location
  • Date of the accident
  • The accident number
  • The names of the drivers or parties involved

The cost is $6.00. You can get a crash report online, but complete copies are only available if you purchase one through the mail or in person. You can obtain a crash report online here

If you want to get one through the mail, send your request with a self-addressed, stamped envelope plus a check or money order payable to the City of Houston, along with a completed H.B. 2633 form (available in English and Spanish) to:

Houston Police Department

Records Division

1200 Travis St.

Houston, TX 77002

You may also get a full copy if you go in person to the Records Division in the Edward A. Thomas Building on 1200 Travis Street on the first floor.

Why is an Accident Report Important?

It should have an objective, accurate account of what happened. If a driver is ticketed or arrested, it may have a decisive impact on your case because it makes it appear that person is to blame. 

If the person pays the ticket, pleads guilty, or is convicted of a crime, and that person is you, unless there are unusual circumstances, it will probably stop your case in its tracks. If it’s the other driver, it may make negotiating a fair settlement easier with their insurance company much easier.

The report may also list witnesses and other sources of information, such as videos from cameras at intersections. Date, time, road, and weather conditions should be noted as well as anything that may impact driver visibility. Anyone injured and who left the scene in an ambulance should also be noted.

The report is the “jumping-off” point for our investigation. We’ll go to the scene, speak with witnesses, obtain videos from nearby security cameras, and examine the damage done to your car. We may also hire an outside crash reconstruction expert to put the evidence together to explain how and why the accident happened. If the evidence shows the other driver is at greater fault than you are, we have a basis for an insurance claim or lawsuit.

What Can I Do If the Accident Report is Incorrect?

If we find evidence that contradicts the report, we may provide it to the officer and ask that the report be amended. Whether it is or not, during our dealings with the insurance carrier, we’ll show them the facts and why their insured is liable for the accident, and what damages should be paid.

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP Can Help You and Your Family After a Car Accident 

Our attorneys have helped vehicle accident victims for many years. We understand your concerns, the stress you’re under, and your need for effective legal representation.  Call us today at 713-893-0971 today to schedule your free consultation. We’ll discuss what happened, how Texas law may apply, and your best options for obtaining compensation.