Answers to Your Texas Personal Injury Questions
Have questions regarding your Texas accident case? At The Anderson Law Firm, we have the answers you're looking for. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience helping accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. We have the skill and aggressiveness that's needed to recover the highest compensation possible for your case.
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How Do I Get My Texas Traffic Accident Police Report? Fort Worth Lawyer FAQ
After a Texas auto accident, one of the most important piece of evidence is the police report (also called a crash report or accident report). Even though police reports aren't always entirely accurate, they contain information that's very useful when filing an insurance claim and determining who caused the accident. Take my advice as a Texas personal injury lawyer: the more proof you have that the wreck was the other driver's fault, the more likely you are to recover full compensation.
Get Your Crash Report For Free – Without The Hassle
If you've been hurt in an accident in Tarrant County and you'd like a free copy of your accident report, fill out this form.
For over ten years, the Anderson Law Firm has been providing free police reports to Tarrant County accident victims, no strings attached. We offer this complementary service because Mark and his team have seen a real need in the community and we want to break down some of the barriers that prevent accident victims from getting their crash report.
Where to Find Your Dallas-Fort Worth Area Police Report On Your Own
Often, you can find your police report on PoliceReports.US. This website charges $6.00 per report, and to find the report, all you need is the date of the wreck and one of the driver's names, or the report number.
What If My Police Report Isn't Available Online?
If the city where you had your wreck does not make the reports available online, then you must appear in person at the police station to collect it. Alternatively, you can mail them a check and they will mail the report back to you.
If for some reason you are still unable to locate your accident at the local level, you can request a copy from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in Austin, Texas, by submitting TxDOT Form CR-91. TxDOT maintains an archive of all accident reports taken in the State of Texas for a period of 10 years.
Once you obtain your police report, you may have questions about what it all means. Click on my Analysis of a Police Report for a reference guide to deciphering the reports.
- Also Read: Analysis of a Police Report
If the city where you had your wreck does not make the reports available online, then you must appear in person at the police station or mail them a check and they will mail the report back to you. The cost for each report is $6.00.
To request your free crash report, fill out this form.
Someone Hit My Car and I'm Not Hurt But My Car Is Damaged. Should I Get An Estimate or Just Call the Other Driver's Insurance Company?
Neither. I say you should first call your own insurance company if you have full coverage. Your company will move much faster and will generally treat you better. You will have to pay a deductible, but you should get that back later when your insurance company "subrogrates" back to the other driver's company.
If you don't have collision coverage insurance, then quickly call the other driver's company and report the claim. They will move slower, but ultimately, you should be able to get them to pay for the repairs and provide you with a rental car. There is no need to go get estimates on your own - the insurance company will send out an estimator for you, or will ask you to take your vehicle into a shop.
You have the right to pick your own body shop. But don't expect to get a big, fancy SUV for your rental; you usually are only authorized a small $25-per-day car.
You might also want to read:
In Texas, Is a Rear-End Accident Automatically the Fault of the Driver Who Hit the Other?
Automatically? No, it's not automatically the fault of the person who rear-ended the other. However, I'd say about 90 percent of rear-end car wreck cases we handle were the fault of the rear driver.
Unfortunately, since it's not automatically the rear-ender's fault, you'll need to prove that the person who hit you caused the accident before you can make a claim against them.
Furthermore, sometimes the front car is truly to blame for an accident. I've written a helpful article that dives deeper into these issues with examples - you can find that here:
How Do I Get a Rental Car After My Fort Worth Auto Accident?
For simplicity's sake, let's say you were hit by another driver and it was their fault. After the accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company will interview its client, complete an investigation and agree yes, their client was responsible for the wreck.
At that point, Texas law requires the at-fault driver's insurance company to give you a rental car for a "reasonable" amount of time - usually until your car can be repaired and returned to you.
Sometimes, this authorization takes a long time, leaving you in a bind. You might be forced to rent a car on your own and seek reimbursement later. If you have rental car coverage on your own insurance policy, it's often easier to use it rather than waste time with the other driver's insurance adjusters. However, every situation is different.
Now, what if your car was totaled in the accident? Unfortunately, the other driver's insurance does NOT have to pay for your rental car. Luckily, they usually will anyway, since it's not always immediately obvious if your car was totaled or not.
What if it IS obvious that your car is totaled and the other driver's insurance won't pay for your rental? At that point, you'll need to look at your own car insurance policy to see if you have rental car coverage.
Unfortunately, rental car coverage is expensive, so not many people carry it. The benefit of it is that if you're in a wreck, you'll still have a car to get around in. If you don't have rental car coverage, you might end up being out of a car for a while.
If you're having trouble getting the insurance company to call you back or cooperate after your Fort Worth accident, please don't hesitate to call me. I'm available at all hours at 817-294-1900 and am happy to discuss your case or set up a consultation, free of charge.
What If the At-Fault Driver Doesn't Have Liability Insurance in Texas?
If another driver wrecked into your car and it turns out they don't have insurance, you're likely feeling angry, frustrated and at a loss for what to do next. Unfortunately, you aren't alone. The Texas Department of Public Safety estimates that nearly 25 percent of Texas drivers aren't carrying any insurance (yes, that's illegal!). That means that if you wreck, there's a good chance it will be with someone who can't cover your damages.
You'll need to answer a few questions to figure out what happens now. First, do you have uninsured motorist coverage (UM)? If so, you can make a claim using your own insurance. If not, you need to carefully document everything that happened at the scene of the wreck; take pictures of the damages and your injuries, if possible. Make sure you know what the driver was doing at the time of the wreck, and if they were in their own car or someone else's.
Then, take this information to your car wreck attorney. If you don't have UM, you'll need to consult with a professional to figure out what can be done next.
If you have any questions about your Fort Worth accident, please don't hesitate to call me. I'm available at all hours at 817-294-1900 and am happy to discuss your case or set up a consultation, free of charge.
You can also browse our Insurance FAQ section.
Is It Illegal to Ride in the Back of a Truck in Texas? | Truck Wreck Attorney
Under Texas law, it's legal for people over the age of 18 to ride in an open bed of a pickup truck. However, just because it's legal doesn't mean it's safe.
Even minor obstacles on the roadway (such as potholes or debris) can cause bumps that lead to injury. If the pickup is involved in a collision (for example, if it's hit by a drunk driver), then passengers riding in the bed risk even more severe injuries, like being ejected from the truck or crushed under or between the two vehicles.
Passengers injured in a pickup crash may be entitled to make a civil claim for compensation. Click here for more information.
The Law Concerning Children Riding in a Pickup Bed
Under Texas law, children under the age of 18 may ride in the back of a pickup truck, but only under certain circumstances; generally only if the truck is the only family vehicle available. Other exceptions to these legal restrictions include pickups being used in parades, hay rides or on beaches. It is also permissible for all people to be a passenger in the cargo area of a pickup truck when the vehicle is being used in the case of an emergency or is used in farm operations.
Related Article: Auto Accidents Involving Children
Legal Implications of Allowing a Passenger to Ride in the Back of a Pickup
Despite the law permitting passengers to ride in the back of a pickup truck, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be held legally responsible if they are injured as the result of a traffic collision – or your poor driving.
Drivers in Texas have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all occupants of their vehicle, so if someone riding in your pickup’s bed suffers an injury or is killed while you are behind the wheel, they or their family have a right to sue you for compensation depending on the circumstances. This issue can become even more complex if the passenger(s) riding in the pickup bed were employed by you or if the accident occurred while you were on-the-job.
Improving the Safety of Pickup Trucks for Passengers
If you plan to regularly accommodate passengers in the pickup truck's bed, it makes sense to invest in their safety. One way to improve their safety is to add a cab and seat belts which will provide them with valuable protection. The costs for installing such safety features can vary, but it is a small price to better ensure their safety and to protect yourself from legal action in the event of a pickup truck wreck.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pickup truck accident in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, please contact our board certified personal injury attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation on your case.
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What is the best way to fix errors in the crash report prepared by the police department after my wreck?
There are two types of errors that can be found on a crash report- factual errors and disputed fact errors. A factual error (a mistake in license plate number, insurance policy number, color of the car, etc.) is much easier to fix because all that needs to be done is to provide documentation to the police department in order to make these changes. Disputed facts include things such as a witness saying something you do not agree with or perhaps a misinterpretation by a police officer of something you said. It is rare that amendments are made to disputed facts in the crash report, but you can submit your own account of events and what happened and the police officer may attach it to the crash report as evidence.
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