Do you have to call the police after a Texas car accident?

Do you have to call the police after a Texas car accident?

As a driver in Texas, being involved in an automobile accident can be a stressful and confusing experience. You may be uncertain whether contacting the police is necessary or even advisable. While reporting the incident to the authorities is typically required by law and important for insurance claims, there are some circumstances where alerting the police immediately following a collision may not be obligatory or optimal. Understanding your responsibilities and options regarding notifying the police of a traffic accident in Texas can help you make the best decision during what is sure to be an upsetting situation. Discussing your case with a texas car accident lawyer is always a good idea. 

When to Call the Police After a Car Accident in Texas

In the event of a car accident in Texas, contacting the police is typically required and legally advisable. Reporting the incident provides an official record of the events and helps ensure the safety of all parties involved.

When Police Presence is Mandatory

There are certain situations in Texas where contacting law enforcement after a vehicular accident is mandatory:

  • If there are any injuries or fatalities. Emergency responders must be alerted right away.
  • If a driver does not have liability insurance. All motorists in Texas are required by law to carry at least the minimum liability coverage. Failure to do so means the police must be called to the scene.
  • If a driver is intoxicated or impaired. Law enforcement officers are trained to properly handle such a sensitive situation. They can administer field sobriety tests and, if needed, make an arrest.
  • If a driver leaves the scene of the accident. This is considered a serious hit and run offense. Police should be notified immediately.
  • If there is major damage to vehicles or property. Significant damage, especially if it creates a hazard, requires police presence. They can help direct traffic, clear debris, and ensure the area is safe.

Even for a minor fender bender with no injuries, contacting the local police department to report the incident is the responsible and legally prudent thing to do. They can dispatch officers to help exchange information, take a report of the events, and provide an official record of the accident. Following an accident in Texas, always put safety first and call 911.

What Happens When Police Respond to the Scene

When police respond to the scene of a car accident in Texas, their top priorities are ensuring everyone's safety, conducting an initial investigation, and determining fault. ###

As first responders, the police will secure the area and direct traffic to prevent further collisions. They will check on all parties involved, call emergency services if anyone requires medical attention, and may administer first aid.

The police will then begin gathering information from drivers, passengers, and any witnesses. They will collect details about the vehicles involved like make, model, year, license plate number, and insurance information. The officers will ask those involved and any witnesses specific questions about the events leading up to and during the crash to determine the cause.

Based on their initial investigation at the scene, the police will typically issue citations or warnings to at-fault drivers. In more serious accidents, especially those involving injury or death, the police may conduct follow-up investigations and file charges. Their reports and findings can also be used by insurance companies to establish liability and process claims.

Even for a minor fender bender with no injuries, calling the police to the scene is important. Their official accident report can help support insurance claims and ensure all parties comply with state law regarding the exchange of information. While waiting for the police to arrive, remain in your vehicle unless unsafe to do so. Be cooperative, provide honest and accurate statements, but do not admit fault. Let the police objectively investigate and determine responsibility based on all available evidence.

Calling the authorities to report and properly document your accident is always advisable. Their presence helps guarantee everyone's wellbeing, determine fault, and support any necessary legal or insurance actions that follow. Remaining at the scene until the police have finished their investigation is required by law.

Obtaining a Police Report for Your Car Accident

Obtaining a police report following a car accident in Texas is not legally required, but it is highly advisable. A police report can help support any insurance claims or legal matters that may arise from the accident.

Call 911 for Emergency Assistance

If anyone involved in the accident has suffered injuries or there are disabled vehicles obstructing traffic, call 911 immediately for emergency help. Even if the car accident is just a fender bender. Police, fire department and ambulance personnel will respond to the scene, handle any medical issues, and direct traffic. They will also likely fill out an official police report on the details of the incident. Be sure to get the report number for your records.

Even for a minor fender bender with no injuries, it is a good idea to call the local police non-emergency line to have an officer come to the location of the accident. Provide the specifics of the time, location and vehicles involved. The responding officer will interview both drivers and any witnesses to determine the cause of the accident and issue a police report.

Obtain and Review the Police Report

You will want to get a copy of the police report for your insurance company and in case of any legal disputes. In Texas, you can request a copy of the report from the police department that responded, either in person, by phone, mail or in some areas online. Review the report to ensure all details are recorded accurately before submitting to insurance companies. The report should contain information such as time and location of accident, weather and road conditions, witness statements, and the officer’s summary and determination of fault.

Having an official police report of your car accident can help support insurance claims and protect you legally. This can be important with disputes of fault such as when there is a claim you were in the No-Zone of a truck. While not always required in Texas, taking the time to call the police and obtain a report of the incident is worth the effort for your own records and peace of mind.

What if the Other Driver Leaves Without Calling Police?

If the other driver leaves the scene without contacting the authorities, you should call 911 to report the incident immediately. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in Texas, regardless of who is at fault.

When you call to report the incident, provide the dispatcher with details about the accident including the location, time, and description of any vehicles involved. Be prepared to give the license plate number of the other vehicle if known. The police will likely come to the scene to take a full report for their records and issue a case number for your insurance claim.

Even though the other driver failed to properly handle the situation, you should remain at the scene until the police have taken your statement. Cooperate fully with the responding officers and truthfully answer any questions about the events leading up to and following the collision. Do not admit fault or speculate about the cause of the crash. Simply provide the facts as you know them.

If injuries such as chest pain are involved or the vehicles have sustained major damage, emergency responders may also be dispatched to provide medical care or assistance. Seek medical attention right away if you or any passengers experience pain, discomfort, or other symptoms. Your health and safety should be the top priority following an auto accident.

Failure to report a hit and run incident could result in legal penalties and complications with insurance claims. Always contact the local authorities after a car accident, even if the other driver leaves the scene. Take appropriate actions to protect yourself and follow the guidance of law enforcement personnel. With the necessary information in hand, the police have the best chance of locating the other driver involved.

Working With a Texas Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash

After a car accident in Texas, contacting the police is not legally required but highly advisable. Reporting the incident to the authorities helps establish an official record of the events, which can protect you during insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

File a Police Report

Filing a police report after a crash details the specifics of the incident for the authorities. The report will contain information like the date, time and location of the accident, details about the vehicles and individuals involved, witness contact information, and an overview of events leading up to the crash. While not always necessary, a police report can help simplify the process of filing an insurance claim by providing an objective summary of the events.

Exchange Information

In addition to contacting the police, exchange insurance and personal information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Obtain their name, address, phone number, driver's license number, license plate number, and insurance details. Also, get contact information for any passengers or witnesses to the crash. This information will assist the insurance companies in determining fault and ensuring all parties receive fair compensation.

Contact a Lawyer

For severe accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries or fatalities, contacting an experienced Texas auto accident lawyer is advisable. They can guide you through the complex legal and insurance processes to help maximize your compensation. If your accident occured in Dallas, for example, reach out to a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer. A lawyer will handle contacting insurance companies on your behalf, investigating the crash, and potentially pursuing a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses. Their legal expertise can make a difficult situation much more manageable during this stressful time.

In summary, while reporting a crash to the police in Texas is not required by law, doing so is in your best interest. Promptly filing an accident report, exchanging information with involved parties, and contacting a lawyer for severe collisions help ensure your rights remain protected following an auto accident.

Fletcher Law Texas Injury Lawyers Have Experience To Help

After being involved in an auto accident in Texas, contacting the police is not legally required but is highly recommended. You may be scared to drive after the accident. Reporting the incident to law enforcement will help document the details of the crash for insurance and potential legal claims. However, there are a few situations where contacting the authorities is necessary:

  • If there are any injuries or fatalities. Emergency responders will need to be called to the scene.
  • If any driver does not have auto insurance. Police need to investigate crashes involving uninsured motorists.
  • If any driver leaves the scene or refuses to share contact or insurance information. Police can help identify and locate the other parties involved.
  • If there are any disputes over which driver is at fault. Having an official police report can help determine liability and fault in the accident.

The attorneys at Fletcher Law have years of experience helping clients in Texas deal with the aftermath of motor vehicle collisions. We can guide you through the process of reporting the incident to police and insurance companies, and help determine if pursuing legal action against any negligent parties is advisable based on the specifics of your accident. Our legal team will thoroughly review the details of your crash, including any police reports, to build a strong case on your behalf.

Don't delay - call the authorities and contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an auto accident for the best chance at fair compensation. The team at Fletcher Law offers free initial consultations to review your case and discuss your legal options. We have a proven track record of success recovering damages for clients injured in car crashes caused by another driver's negligence or recklessness.


After a car accident, emotions are running high, and it can be difficult to think clearly about next steps. However, calling the police and reporting the incident is extremely important for your safety, insurance claim, and legal rights. While it may seem easier to exchange information with the other driver and be on your way, doing so prevents authorities from properly documenting the scene and can weaken your ability to recover damages later on. No matter how minor the accident appears, always call emergency services without delay. Call Fletcher Law for help today. 

Your wellbeing and financial security depend on it. While reporting the accident and cooperating with authorities may require time and patience, you will have peace of mind knowing you did the right thing to protect yourself in the event of injury or insurance disputes down the road. Stay safe out there.