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  • Texas accident question

    I'm a rookie still in training, and had an FTO tell me that Texas is a "no-fault" state in regards to accidents and that we don't bother doing accident reports unless there was an injury, criminal offense involved, etc, etc, etc.

    What I want to know is how does doing an accident report or not doing one affect the complainants' insurance? My FTO was telling me if we don't do a report (and just let them exchange info), it doesn't "ding" their insurance, but if we do a report, it will "ding" the insurance of both parties involved, even if one of them isn't at fault.

    This was just a little confusing to me. Isn't your insurance going to be "dinged" if you have to make a claim? Can someone give me some clarification? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Originally posted by creedstaind View Post
    I'm a rookie still in training, and had an FTO tell me that Texas is a "no-fault" state in regards to accidents and that we don't bother doing accident reports unless there was an injury, criminal offense involved, etc, etc, etc.

    What I want to know is how does doing an accident report or not doing one affect the complainants' insurance? My FTO was telling me if we don't do a report (and just let them exchange info), it doesn't "ding" their insurance, but if we do a report, it will "ding" the insurance of both parties involved, even if one of them isn't at fault.

    This was just a little confusing to me. Isn't your insurance going to be "dinged" if you have to make a claim? Can someone give me some clarification? Thanks in advance!
    When you complete an accident report and send it to the state the state does not care who was at fault, there will be a notice on their license showing what city the accident occurred in, I believe what county, whether their were any injuries or citations issued. This is not a negative mark on your license just documentation, insurance will do what they want with it, usually negative. Most insurance that I know of will bi-annually or annually check a drivers license to check for tickets, accidents, ect

    Yes if you file a claim no matter what your insurnace company can "ding" you. The option you are giving the drivers is if they can come to an agreement about who was at fault they can take care of it outside of contacting their insurance companies. Honestly if I was at fault and the damage was $1k or less on the other vehicle I would rather pay it out of my own pocket and keep my insurance out of it.

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    • #3
      Agreed, it is also something my department required we tell victims of hit and runs. It sometimes discourages people from reporting the accident to you then, but most people do not want the accident on their records.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Crimy View Post
        When you complete an accident report and send it to the state the state does not care who was at fault, there will be a notice on their license showing what city the accident occurred in, I believe what county, whether their were any injuries or citations issued. This is not a negative mark on your license just documentation, insurance will do what they want with it, usually negative. Most insurance that I know of will bi-annually or annually check a drivers license to check for tickets, accidents, ect

        Yes if you file a claim no matter what your insurnace company can "ding" you. The option you are giving the drivers is if they can come to an agreement about who was at fault they can take care of it outside of contacting their insurance companies. Honestly if I was at fault and the damage was $1k or less on the other vehicle I would rather pay it out of my own pocket and keep my insurance out of it.
        Thanks for the info... another question I had about it is this. Suppose drivers exchange information and leave, but then one of the drivers lies about being in the accident, doesn't want to cooperate with either insurance company, etc. Does it then become a huge hassle for the other party to get their damages paid for (especially if they're not at fault)? And does doing an accident report help ensure that the at-fault party does what they're supposed to?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by creedstaind View Post
          Thanks for the info... another question I had about it is this. Suppose drivers exchange information and leave, but then one of the drivers lies about being in the accident, doesn't want to cooperate with either insurance company, etc. Does it then become a huge hassle for the other party to get their damages paid for (especially if they're not at fault)? And does doing an accident report help ensure that the at-fault party does what they're supposed to?
          When I show up and get them to exchange I always recommend to them right then to take a picture of both vehicles with their cell phone cameras, if they don't have that then maybe a disposable camera (growing up my father was very adamant about carrying one for this reason).

          Whether there is an accident report made or not it can be a big hassle. An accident report does not guarantee cooperation between insurance companies, that relies on what insurance company each driver has. No an accident report does not ensure anything, above the narrative portion of the report it states officers "opinion". Insurance companies are under no obligation to take your opinion as fact when dealing with who should pay for the damages.

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          • #6
            Also, accidents are civil matters. If a driver/insurance company/whoever is not cooperating with the other side, people will have to lawyer up and go after them in civil court. Once it gets to this phase, a crash report may or may not help. It is another piece of documentation.

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            • #7
              anytime you put them in the "driver" portion of the report they get reported to thier insurance company even if they are not at fault.

              only doing reports for injuries is not something you want to do.

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              • #8
                It takes all of 20 min. to fill out a crash report. Who cares if there insurance gets dinged. The only time I do not fill out a crash report is if the accident was in a parking lot or the damage is less than 1K. In today's would 1K is a bumper replacement.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grummin View Post
                  It takes all of 20 min. to fill out a crash report. Who cares if there insurance gets dinged. The only time I do not fill out a crash report is if the accident was in a parking lot or the damage is less than 1K. In today's would 1K is a bumper replacement.
                  Well then your a better person/officer than I am. I on the other hand realize that some minor damage can be fixed without getting insurance involved which will later benefit both parties in the long run. The 1K damage by the state is a guide and not a rule to accident reports.
                  Last edited by Crimy; 10-15-2009, 09:36 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Grummin View Post
                    It takes all of 20 min. to fill out a crash report. Who cares if there insurance gets dinged. The only time I do not fill out a crash report is if the accident was in a parking lot or the damage is less than 1K. In today's would 1K is a bumper replacement.
                    When we used to do crash reports on the paper form, I would fill out the report while I waited for the wreckers.

                    Now I can't do that anymore because the whole crash report is entered in on the computer. So now it takes at least 45 minutes at the station to complete even the most basic crash. Adding travel time and waiting for wreckers, working a crash takes at least 1.5 hrs longer.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by beavo451 View Post
                      When we used to do crash reports on the paper form, I would fill out the report while I waited for the wreckers.

                      Now I can't do that anymore because the whole crash report is entered in on the computer. So now it takes at least 45 minutes at the station to complete even the most basic crash. Adding travel time and waiting for wreckers, working a crash takes at least 1.5 hrs longer.
                      We were introduced a PDF format for the AC reports which was incredibly slow. Seemed that one had to wait at least 30 seconds for the PDF to load up the next blank. Now we have a Excel format that is simply amazing. The only thing I hate doing on it is using the diagram portion. I just do the written part on the computer, print it later at the station and draw the diagram.

                      I save the handwritten AC reports for simple unattended FLID accidents.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Crimy View Post
                        We were introduced a PDF format for the AC reports which was incredibly slow. Seemed that one had to wait at least 30 seconds for the PDF to load up the next blank. Now we have a Excel format that is simply amazing. The only thing I hate doing on it is using the diagram portion. I just do the written part on the computer, print it later at the station and draw the diagram.

                        I save the handwritten AC reports for simple unattended FLID accidents.
                        I use the PDF format and it seems to work fine. I wait till the end of shift to do it, the longest part is drawing the damn diagram. O' and dont forget to put "NOT TO SCALE". It's like that tid bit of info makes all the difference in the world.

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                        • #13
                          Check the Traffic Code. I dont have my law book handy but I believe it is somewhere under "Fail to report traffic accident" or something like that. Anyway, we are required BY LAW to report traffic accidents that cause $1000worth of damage or more to any one vehicle or property.

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                          • #14
                            I think it would take me the entire shift to fill out a report on PDF.

                            Typically, if all vehicles are able to be driven from the scene and there are no injuries I exchange info and blue forms. If there is severe damage, injuries complained of, and/or one party is DWI I do a report. And of course with that report I include a causative factor citation if warranted. Only on a few occasions I have been contacted by the insurance companies for any kind of statement.
                            You, you, and you....panic. The rest of you come with me.

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