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How Long Do You Have To File An Accident Report?

Posted on 04/05/23

In almost all circumstances related to vehicle accidents, the incident will need to be reported to law enforcement officials. It is imperative for individuals to understand the time frames established under state laws regarding reporting accidents. Those involved in the collision must report the incident in a timely manner in order to help facilitate the investigation into the incident and the insurance claims process. Ask our accident lawyers in Laredo to learn more!

You Have Ten Days to Report an Accident in Texas

The law in Texas gives individuals 10 days to report a vehicle accident. In the event police officers do not come to the scene of the crash, individuals are required to fill out the crash report and turn it in themselves. This report is available on the Texas Department of Transportation website, and you can view the form here

Not every vehicle accident in Texas has to be reported to law enforcement officials. State law requires that drivers report crashes to authorities if there are any injuries, a fatality, or if the incident leads to property damage of more than $1,000. In the event police officers do come to the scene to investigate the incident, drivers are relieved of the obligation of reporting the incident within 10 days. The police officer’s report will be sufficient to cover this requirement.

If you do fill out the accident report yourself because a police officer did not come to the scene to investigate an incident, please understand that 10 days is quite a long time when it comes to injury and property damage claims. The longer you wait to file a claim, the harder it will be to recover compensation for your losses. Crash reports filled out at the time of an accident are typically perceived as more reliable than an incident report that comes in the days and weeks that follow.

Should You Contact an Attorney?

We strongly encourage any person harmed due to the negligent actions of other drivers to reach out to a skilled Texas car accident lawyer as soon as possible. When an attorney gets involved in the case quickly, they can begin the process of obtaining any evidence needed to prove liability. An attorney will also handle all communication with other parties, and they will make sure that the claim gets filed promptly with the insurance carriers.

Other Important Texas Car Accident Deadlines

Every insurance carrier is going to have fairly strict reporting deadlines related to these claims. As we mentioned above, accident reports filled out the day the incident occurs are more valuable. Thankfully, our personal injury lawyers in Laredo can follow the same line of thought to file a claim with the insurance carriers as soon as possible. Most insurance carriers want the claim to be reported within a day or so after the incident, and failing to promptly report the incident could result in a claim delay or denial.

The overall Texas personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. Failing to file a civil lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver within this two-year timeframe would likely mean that the crash victim becomes unable to recover any compensation for their losses.