How to Obtain a Car Accident Report in Austin
After a car accident, one of the most important steps anyone involved should take is getting a copy of the accident report. An accident report will contain information about the crash, who was injured or how much damage was done, and might also include the investigating officer’s opinion as to how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
Obviously, this information is crucial to building a case if you have been injured in an accident. However, before looking at how you can obtain a copy of an accident report in Austin, or anywhere else in Texas, it is important to understand the two different types of accident reports.
Driver’s Crash Report—Blue Form
According to Texas law, a police officer must only write an accident report if the accident resulted in an injury, death, or apparent damage of $1,000 or more. If there was no injury, death, or property damage appeared to be less than $1,000, it is the responsibility of the drivers involved in the accident to fill out and submit the form CR-2, also known as the Blue Form, within ten days of the accident.
It is important to keep this form for your own records as damage that at first appears minimal can later turn out to be higher than expected. It is also possible for injuries to manifest themselves days after the accident.
If you are trying to get a copy of the CR-2 crash report the other driver submitted, you can do so by purchasing them from the Main Police Headquarters at 715 E 8th St.
Blue Form reports can also be requested by mail. In order to get a copy by mail, send a self-addressed envelope to Austin Police Department Report Sales, P.O. Box 689001, Austin, TX, 78768.
Be sure to include $6 to cover the administrative fee.
Texas Peace Officer’s Report—CR-3
If you were in a car accident that resulted in an injury, death, or $1000 or more in damage, then a police officer is required to investigate the crash and submit a report of their findings to the Texas Department of Transportation within ten days. The Department of Transportation is responsible for retaining the reports of all such crashes from around the state, not just Austin crashes.
You can request a copy of the accident report online from the Crash Records Information System. In order to obtain a copy, you will need to enter information related to the crash.
This information includes:
- At least one of the names of the drivers involved in the accident
- The driver’s license number of one of the parties involved in the crash
- The vehicle identification number (VIN) of one of the vehicles involved in the crash, or
- The Department of Transportations Crash ID number that was assigned at the crash
Once you have entered that information your accident report should be generated. Note, however, that it can take up to fourteen days for the report to show up in the system.
Before you add the report to your cart, you have the option of choosing a certified or uncertified copy. The cost for a certified copy is $8 while the cost for an uncertified copy is $6. You can also choose whether or not you want personal information found on the report redacted.
In order to be able to purchase a non-redacted copy you need to meet several criteria. Examples of those who can purchase this type of report include:
- Anyone involved in the accident
- The lawyer of someone involved in the accident
- The parent or legal guardian of someone involved in the accident
- Any insurance company that has a policy covering a person or vehicle involved in the accident
Others who can purchase a non-redacted accident report include newspapers, radio and television stations, and anyone who can sue because of a death resulting from the accident.
Call a Lawyer If You’ve Been in An Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer can request an accident report on your behalf and use the information contained within it to help make your case. Your lawyer can help you collect compensation that will allow you to pay for medical bills, loss of income, and possibly even pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the accident.