Jason Stephens | November 7, 2022 | Car Accidents
Thousands of car accidents occur each year in Fort Worth. In 2021, there were 14,679 traffic accidents, including 119 fatal crashes. Many of those crashes involved property damage only or minor injuries, but others were much more serious.
The Texas Transportation Code requires that drivers immediately report traffic accidents when the accident involves injury or death. The law also requires an immediate report if a vehicle cannot be driven safely away from the crash site. In addition, a law enforcement officer must complete a written crash report if an accident causes injuries, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more.
Most people call 911 to report a traffic accident and request help. However, what happens if you do not report the crash? Can you file a personal injury claim without a police report?
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Without a Police Report in Fort Worth Is Possible, but Might Be Difficult
You can file an accident claim with an insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit even if you did not file a traffic accident report. However, the claims process might be more difficult.
Recovering compensation from the other driver requires that you prove negligence. In other words, you must prove that the other driver owed you a duty of care and breached the duty of care. You must also prove that the other driver caused the accident and you sustained damages.
Therefore, what happens if the other driver says they were not involved in a traffic accident with you? What if the other driver claims that the accident was your fault?
If you do not have evidence proving a collision occurred or that the other driver caused the car crash, you cannot hold the driver financially liable for your damages. In other words, the other driver gets away with causing an accident, and you are stuck with the financial consequences.
Therefore, it is always best to report a traffic accident, even if you do not believe you have sustained injuries or the damage to your vehicle does not appear to be substantial.
You might feel “fine” or “okay” after a car wreck. However, in the next few days, the minor soreness you felt the following day worsens, or you develop symptoms of a severe injury.
You go to the doctor and discover you sustained injuries in the accident. Without the accident report, it might be difficult or impossible to prove the car crash caused your injuries. Without proof, there might be nothing you can do.
Always Immediately Report a Car Accident to the Police
The best way to protect your rights is to call 911 and report the accident. The emergency operator dispatches law enforcement officials and emergency medical services to the accident scene. Calling 911 is the easiest way to report the crash and create a record of the crash.
A police officer investigates the accident and creates an accident report. The accident report contains information that could be useful when you file an insurance claim, such as:
- The vehicles involved in the collisions
- The drivers of each vehicle and the vehicle owners
- Insurance information for each vehicle
- Names of passengers
- Whether anyone was injured
- The time, date, and location of the accident
- The weather and road conditions
The officer may make notes regarding the position of the vehicles or the damage to each vehicle. An officer might include notes about statements made by drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Additionally, the police officer notes whether each driver contributed to the cause of the accident.
Never admit fault for causing a car accident. Instead, tell the police officer what happened, but stick to the facts. Do not make assumptions regarding fault until you speak with a Fort Worth car accident lawyer.
If possible, take photographs and make a video of the accident scene. Getting the names and contact information of witnesses can also be helpful.
What Else Should I Do After a Traffic Accident in Fort Worth?
See a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Failing to seek prompt medical attention can result in allegations of failing to mitigate damages. Insurance companies often use delays in medical treatment as reasons to deny or undervalue car accident claims.
Claims adjusters gather evidence the insurance company uses to deny liability for claims or reduce their liability for damages. The adjuster may ask leading questions or intentionally misinterpret your responses to allege contributory fault. By shifting some of the blame for causing the car crash to you, the insurance company can reduce the money it must pay for your damages.
The best way to handle an insurance company after an accident is to refer anyone who calls to your lawyer.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107