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What to Do if the Other Driver Doesn't Report the Accident

Call 911 to report a car accident if the other driver refuses to report the car crash. Learn more about what to do after a car accident occurs in Texas here.

Unseen individual writing up report with cracked windshield in background
RL

Rick Lopez

August 8, 2023 08:00 AM

Many people think reporting a fender bender is unnecessary. However, reporting a car accident to the police is the best way to protect your rights.

Some drivers might not want to report a car accident because they do not have the required car insurance coverage or a valid driver's license. A driver might be under the influence and want to avoid a DUI charge.

Regardless of why a driver does not want to report a car accident, you can call 911 to report the crash. If the other driver refuses to cooperate or is aggressive or angry, call 911 immediately to request help. Don't let a driver talk you out of reporting a car accident.

What Is the Texas Law for Reporting Car Accidents?

Texas Transportation Code §550.026 determines when you need to report a car accident to the police. The law requires you to report an accident to the police by the "quickest means of communication" when the crash involves:

  • Property damage that causes a vehicle to be unsafe to drive;
  • Bodily injury to someone; or,
  • A traffic death.

Calling 911 is usually the fastest way to report a car accident to law enforcement officials. The operator dispatches the correct law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the accident scene. Officers must complete a written crash report when they investigate an accident that resulted in a death, bodily injury, or property damage of $1,000 or more.

Why Would I Want an Official Crash Report for a Car Accident?

Without an official police report, the other driver could claim they were not involved in an accident with you. Without video evidence of the collision or an eyewitness statement, proving the other driver is lying could be difficult.

Furthermore, an official report often makes filing and settling an insurance claim easier. Insurance companies are generally suspicious of claims filed without accident reports. The lack of an accident report could trigger an aggressive stand by the insurance company.

Accident reports often contain the police officer's determination of which driver contributed to the cause of the accident. The report also notes if a driver was cited with a traffic violation. This information is not conclusive evidence by itself of fault, but the insurance company might look more favorably at a claim with this information in hand.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident to Protect Your Right to a Fair Settlement for Damages

The steps you take after a car accident could significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury claim. Therefore, it is helpful to keep these steps in mind if you are in a car accident:

  • Call 911 to report the accident and request medical services and police officers.
  • Do not discuss the accident with anyone at the scene other than the police officer. Never admit fault or say that you could be partially to blame for causing the crash.
  • If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the accident scene, including the vehicles and property damage. In addition, making a video of the scene can help ensure you do not miss key evidence.
  • Ask people who stopped at the accident scene or witnessed the accident for their names and telephone numbers.
  • Do not refuse medical treatment. Saying you are "fine" or "okay" could be interpreted as stating you are not injured. If you do not go to the hospital from the accident scene, see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Follow up with your doctor to ensure medical records are complete. You need accurate medical records to link the accident to your injuries.

An insurance adjuster might contact you after the accident asking for a statement. It is not in your best interest to answer questions or provide a statement without legal advice.

Remember, most insurance companies record telephone calls. Anything you say could be used later to shift blame for the accident to you.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for Help With Your Case

Instead, contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. A personal injury lawyer advises you on your legal options, including how to protect your right to fair compensation for your monetary losses, injuries, and other damages.

Roderick Lopez has been practicing law for over 20 years. He is the founding attorney at Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers, a personal injury law firm located in Laredo, TX. Since 2010, when he opened his doors, he has won over $30 million on behalf of his clients.

Contact Roderick C. Lopez, PC if you were injured in Laredo due to someone else’s negligence and get a free case review.

Headline Image: Getty Images

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