A commercial truck accident can be chaotic but it is imperative to remember that in order to be properly compensated, you need to obtain an accident report.
This report is crucial to acquire, but it isn’t the only thing you need when it comes to fighting for your rights in a court of law. You need the trustworthy and experienced Houston commercial truck accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns. For over 35 years we’ve supported victims and families who have been involved in traumatic accidents with commercial trucks.
One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from individuals who have no experience with accidents is, “What exactly is an accident report?”. Allow us to briefly explain.
What exactly is an accident report?
When a police officer is called to the scene of a truck accident—or any vehicle accident for that matter—they investigate in order to gather information and facts about the incident. The information that they include in their accident report includes:
- Cause of the accident.
- Names and relevant information about the drivers involved.
- Types of vehicles that were involved in the crash.
- Drivers’ license numbers.
- Contact information.
- Insurance information.
After everything is situated and the scene is secured, the police officer will return to his department and begin the process of drafting the accident report, a process that can take as long as seven days to complete. It is worth noting that the time frame depends on the law enforcement agency that is drafting the report.
If you are a little strapped for cash—which is understandable after being a victim of a truck accident—an accident report is reasonably priced and shouldn’t exceed over $20. Believe us. You will want to acquire this report.
Why do I need an accident report?
In order to file an insurance claim, the insurance representative will require you to submit an accident report. They want this document to get the facts straight from the proper authorities.
It is also a good idea to acquire this document should you decide to pursue legal action against the driver or the trucking company responsible for the accident. With this strong piece of evidence, coupled with truck accident attorneys that know the in’s and out’s of truck accident law — like the Houston lawyers at Lapeze & Johns — your chances of succeeding in court greatly increase.
While an accident report should not be the only evidence you rely upon, it is better to have it rather than not.
How do I get one?
Getting an accident report isn’t as complicated as it may first appear. It isn’t uncommon that the police officer leave some paperwork with you (or your relatives) after they have concluded their investigation at the scene of the accident. In that paperwork, you should be able to find information on how and when to get your accident report.
There are a few other methods that you can use to get your accident report. Those methods include:
- Call the law enforcement agency that processed it.
Calling the law enforcement agency that processed your report would be a good place to start. They should be able to tell you the easiest way to get your report. A common procedure is to go to the office of the law enforcement agency in person to request and pay for one. If not, the option to have one mailed out to you may exist as well.
- Look for it online.
However, not all departments are teamed up with these websites. That is why your accident report may only exist in one of these databases. If it is, you would more than likely be redirected to a payment collecting system first. Afterward, your report would be made available.