Anderson Injury Lawyers | December 19, 2023 | Car Accidents
Most car accidents in Texas must be reported to law enforcement. Failing to report a car accident in Dallas, TX, could have several consequences. You could hurt your chances of recovering compensation for damages and be charged with fines and other penalties.
When Am I Required To Report a Car Accident in Dallas, TX?
Texas law requires you to report a car accident if any of the following apply:
- The car accident caused property damage of $1,000 or more
- Someone was injured because of the car accident
- A person died as a result of the car accident
The state no longer requires drivers to self-report car accidents that do not meet the above criteria. However, it is wise to check with local authorities to ensure compliance with local laws.
However, a $1,000 threshold for property damage is very low. Minor fender benders often cause more than $1,000 in damage. Therefore, reporting all car crashes, even minor fender benders, is wise.
Furthermore, accident victims may experience delayed injury symptoms. They might feel okay at the accident scene, but they notice various symptoms in the next few days or weeks.
If you did not report the car crash, you do not have a formal record of being involved in a car accident. The other driver might deny their involvement.
Therefore, it is usually best to report a car accident in Dallas even though you feel fine or there does not appear to be severe property damage. Calling 911 is the quickest and easiest way to report a traffic accident. Police officers with jurisdiction of the accident scene are dispatched to investigate and create a crash report.
Can I Face Criminal Charges for Failing to Report a Car Accident in Dallas, TX?
You may face several penalties for failing to report an accident when required to by law. The state may suspend your driver’s license for failing to report a car crash. However, the state only suspends driving privileges when the driver fails to report an accident that resulted in an injury, fatality, or property damage over $1,000.
What Should I Do if the Other Driver Asks Me Not To Report a Car Accident in Dallas, TX?
A driver might not want to report a car accident for several reasons. Examples of reasons why a driver might not want you to report a crash include, but are not limited to:
- The person is driving without a driver’s license or with a suspended driver’s license
- The driver does not have the required car insurance coverage
- The person is not a legal United States citizen or has problems with their immigration status
- The driver has illegal substances or stolen items in their vehicle
- The driver has a history of causing car crashes
- The person is drunk or under the influence of drugs
A driver might tell you that they will pay for the damage to your vehicle instead of filing an insurance claim. However, the driver could change their story when you try to get them to pay the repair bill.
You can call 911 to report a car accident even if the other driver does not want to report the crash. Reporting a car accident protects your legal rights by creating an official crash report prepared by a police officer. Having a police report can make pursuing an insurance claim or personal injury claim easier.
What Happens if My Injuries Prevent Me From Reporting a Car Accident in Texas?
A car crash could result in catastrophic injuries that prevent someone from calling 911 to report the accident. An accident victim may sustain a traumatic brain injury that results in unconsciousness.
Someone who witnesses or comes upon the accident might 911 for help in these circumstances. The police officers and emergency medical services will then be dispatched. Injured victims who cannot physically report a car accident because of their injuries are not held responsible for failing to report the crash.
Why Should I Report a Car Accident in Dallas, TX?
Aside from the legal requirement to report a car accident, there are many other reasons you want an official traffic accident record. Reporting a car accident in Texas is wise because:
- You protect yourself by fulfilling your duties if the car crash meets the threshold for reporting car accidents in Texas
- The police officer may note the drivers who contributed to the cause of the accident, including the traffic infractions the driver was charged with after the accident.
- The car accident report notes the car accident date, which is used to calculate the statute of limitations (i.e., filing deadline) for a personal injury lawsuit.
- Information in the police report could help you defend against allegations of comparative fault.
- The other driver may change their story to claim they were not involved in a car accident with you.
- The police officers may interview eyewitnesses and note the information in the police report, making it easier to locate people who could support your version of the events that led to the car crash.
Whenever in doubt, take the safe route by reporting the car accident by calling 911 in Texas. It is much better to have a crash report and not need it than to need a police report and not have one.
Contact a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer for Help With Your Claim
Beware of speaking with an insurance adjuster from an insurance company after a crash. Your statements could be used against you in a personal injury case.
Ideally, it is better to allow a Dallas personal injury lawyer to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. Attorneys offer free consultations for accident victims. Therefore, you can get advice without committing to hiring an attorney or paying a consultation fee.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Texas
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our car accident lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.