So you recently got into an accident on the road. The Dallas Police came out, gathered evidence, took pictures, interviewed witnesses, and left the scene without providing you a shred of information on the parties that were involved or their investigative findings. The good news is that all this information is often memorialized by the Dallas Police Department or the Dallas County Sheriff. If you are an accident victim, you are about to learn everything you need to know to about obtaining a police accident report in Dallas as well as how to use them just by reading this free blog post.
How Do I Get My Accident Report?
The easiest way is to give us a call directly. We will handle the whole process for you. Complete the form at the bottom of this page to have us obtain the documents for you. If you want to go at it alone then the process is simple. If you recently got into an accident on the roadway and the police came to the scene to investigate you can obtain the report one of many ways depending on the circumstances:
Through The City Of Dallas Police Department
If the accident took place in the City of Dallas and the Dallas Police showed up to the scene to investigate then the accident report can be obtained through the City Police Department.
The report can be picked up for $6 at the Police Department Records Unit customer service window located at: 1400 S. Lamar St., 1st Floor, Dallas, TX 75215 during business hours. You will be required to complete a form specifying the name of the driver or the passenger, specific location of the crash, date of the accident, time reported, and the police report number. In addition you will have to provide valid form of identification with you. A copy of the form that will need to be submitted can be downloaded here. Reports are typically available 5-7 days after the accident. The crash report can also be requested by mailing a copy of the request along with the fee to the aforementioned address.
Through Dallas County Sheriff
If the accident took place on a highway or the County Sheriff showed up to investigate the scene then an electronic copy of the accident report can be obtained through the Sheriff's website.
E-crash reports can be purchased online through the Dallas County Sheriff’s website. It can take up to forty-eight hours for reports to post on the website after the collision. You will need to input the following information in order to search for the particular crash report: 1) the last name of the party to the accident, 2) the date of the accident, 3) the street the accident took place on, 4) the license plate number and the state the vehicle was registered in. Within thirty minutes of payment you will be emailed a copy of the crash report along with any supplements. Payment can be made by credit/debit using Visa, Mastercard, or Discover.
Through The Texas Department of Transportation
Pursuant to Texas Transportation Code section 550.052 all police officers who investigate motor vehicle collisions that result in injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more to submit a written accident report to the department within ten days of the date of the crash. Therefore, the TxDot serves as a third option to obtain an accident report.
A CR-3 Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report can be purchased through the Texas Department of Transportation online purchase system portal. The price to purchase the actual report is $6 for a regular copy and $8 for a certified copy. Subpoenas to be used in federal or state court proceedings are $8, and affidavits are also $8. If you are unable to use the online portal you can also request the CR-91 report by mail by filling out this form and mailing it to the address referenced on the form along with the appropriate payment.
Who Is Authorized To Get A Report?
Pursuant to Texas Transportation Code section 550.065 only specific individuals with interest in obtaining an accident report can are authorized to receive them from a police agency, otherwise they are considered privileged and confidential. Law enforcement agencies are required to provide reports to persons directly concerned with the accident or having proper interest including:
The Value Of The Report To A Case
Police reports are a comprehensive record of all the facts, statements, opinions written by an officer investigating an accident. It usually includes observations of witnesses, comments and annotations regarding vehicles, the accident scene, the road conditions, location of traffic controls, skid marks, debris that may have contributed to the collision, and injuries sustained by parties at the scene
The report will address different contributing factors, including but not limited to cell phone, weather, and other issues that may have distracted a driver. The report usually ends with conclusions regarding the point of impact, vehicle speed, as well as fault. A sample report can be reviewed here.
Both insurance adjusters and personal injury lawyers usually read a copy of the police report to gauge the strength of a claim. Ascertaining the facts and opinions of the investigative officer will help them understand how the officer might testify if called as a witness. The report will also give them leads to other witnesses that they can potentially interview to either undermine or bolster a claim.
If a lawsuit is filed, the report can be used to refresh the officer’s memory and can also be used for the same purpose with other witnesses that were present at the scene of the accident. In some circumstances, a witnesses’ statement which was recorded in the report can be read out loud to the jury and the witness. Finally, witnesses who provide testimony that is inconsistent with their statements in the Dallas accident report can be confronted at trial to impeach or discredit the witness.