How to Read Your Texas Car Accident Report
Our Dallas car accident lawyers explain how to read your crash report
If you have been involved in a serious car accident in Texas, a police officer or state trooper from the Texas Highway Patrol likely investigated your crash. And when they did, they created an official police report for your collision.
This six-page report – officially known as “Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3)” – contains a wealth of information about your accident. That’s why it’s important that you verify all the information in your official accident report. If there’s a mistake, you might have a hard time getting the money you rightfully deserve for your Texas car accident.
Our dedicated Dallas car accident attorneys at The Marye Law Firm can help you understand your report. For more than two decades, our legal team has been helping injury victims dealing with serious car crashes throughout Texas. As a result, we know how to read such reports and understand what each line means.
Don’t take chances with your future. Take action. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer you can trust. We know what to do and we’re here to help you understand your official Texas car accident report.
Understanding your Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3)
Top of Page 1
This part of your accident report explains exactly where your accident took place, along with the exact date and time. Such details might seem minor. But if the investigating police officer enters the wrong location, time or place, you could have a problem with your accident claim. That’s because insurance companies often look for any mistake to use as evidence to deny an accident claim.
Bottom of Page 1
Information about the drivers and the vehicles involved in the crash can be found here. Another very important piece of information can be found in row 14. This line concerns the “injury severity” for the drivers involved in the accident. The investigating police officer has several choices, including “A” for “incapacitating injury,” “C” for “possible injury” and “99” for unknown. If you sustained a serious injury in the accident, make sure Line 14 contains the letter A or the appropriate code for this line. If not, you might not get the money you deserve from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Top of Page 2
Two very important pieces of information can be found here – if anyone was taken to a hospital and if police filed any charges against a driver involved in the crash. The name and location of the hospital can be found here, as well as the time of death if someone was killed in the car accident. Common criminal charges filed against drivers often involved driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Bottom of Page 2
Here again, you will find two very important pieces of information – the investigating police officer’s description of the accident and the investigating officer’s drawing of the accident. The investigating officer’s “narrative opinion of what happened” can be found on the left-hand side of Page 2. Here, the officer describes in their own words how the accident happened. The right-hand side of Page 2 contains a “field diagram” or drawing of the collision. Make sure the investigating officer’s description and drawing of your crash accurately reflect what happened. You were there. Do the officer’s words and diagram match your memory of the crash? If not, your lawyer can point out any inconsistencies and try to set the record straight.
This page contains all the codes for line 1 through line 27, which can be found on Page 1 of your Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3). Knowing what these codes mean can be confusing, especially if you have never been in a car accident before. Your attorney can review your report and make sure the investigating police officer entered the right code in the right box.
This page contains all the codes for line 28 through line 44, which can be found on Page 2 of your official Texas car accident report. Pay close attention to what the investigating police officer entered for line 36. These are the “factors and conditions” that contributed to your car accident. There are 74 different codes for line 36, including “failed to stop at proper place” (code 29), driver was “fatigued or asleep” (code 40), “unsafe speed” (code 60), and “cell/mobile phone use” (code 72). If any of these situations occurred, those codes should be entered in line 36 on Page 2.
If multiple people were injured in your car accident, their personal information (name, address, etc.) and the severity of the injury they sustained in your crash can be found here. Again, carefully review this page if there were multiple injuries in your accident. If their information is not included on this page, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might make it very difficult for you and other injury victims to get the money you rightfully deserve.
This page is similar to the top of Page 2. Here, you can find information about additional people who were severely injured or killed in your accident. The name of the hospital where the person was taken can be found here, along with the name of the ambulance company that transported them and the time of death if someone was killed in the collision. Review this page with your car accident lawyer. Make sure every line is accurate and that there are no mistakes.
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