Do You Need the Arrest Report?
As a DFW personal injury attorney, I have represented countless victims of drunk driving. After an accident, one of the first things I do is get the accident report and a copy of the drunk driver's arrest.
If you were hurt in an accident with a drunk driver, you (or your lawyer) will have to file a claim against the driver's insurance company to compensate you for your car damage, medical bills and injuries. They chose to drive drunk, they caused you needless suffering, and it's their job to pay for it. However, insurance companies don't work by word of mouth alone. In order for you to recover money for your injuries, you will need to prove that the other driver caused the accident and the accident then caused your injuries.
An arrest report is a great way to do this.
If you were hit by a drunk driver and they were arrested as a result, the report is valuable - it will help support your personal injury or wrongful death case against them and can prove that they were at-fault for the wreck.
How to Get a Copy of a DUI/DWI Offense Report in Texas
Unfortunately, offense reports aren't made available to the general public. These reports are completed whenever a driver is arrested for DUI/DWI or other criminal offense, but they're not released online or anywhere else.
The only way to get a copy of a DUI or DWI offense report is to hire a lawyer. A lawyer has the ability subpoena the information they need to help support their client's case. (A subpoena is a formal order requesting legal documents that are needed for court proceedings).
Do You Really Need an Attorney?
Not every car accident case warrants hiring an attorney. To help you figure it out, I wrote this article.
If you're going to "go it alone," you have two (main) options: you can file a lawsuit against the driver, or you can start a claim through the driver's insurance company. I'd advise you to do the latter.
How Car Accident Claims Work
In Texas, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $30,000 in liability insurance. If you file a claim against the drunk driver's car insurance and tell them you plan on seeking full compensation for your damages and injuries, they will begin to work with your towards a settlement (as opposed to a lawsuit). This is because insurance companies want to avoid a lawsuit, especially if their insured was convicted of a DUI or DWI in connection with your car accident.
Of course, the process is a bit more complicated than that. There will be work required on your end like gathering evidence, proving your injuries are related to the accident, and so on. I've written a helpful guide to the post-accident process here.
What Happens Next
If you're feeling overwhelmed, are unsure about your rights or don't know what to do next, I'd advise you to consult with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer will walk you through the process and let you know if you have a case or not. If you choose to hire an attorney, they will be able to gather evidence as possible to support your claim (including the offense report) to help ensure that you recover the maximum compensation available to you under Texas law.
To speak with a board certified lawyer in Fort Worth today, call 817-294-1900.