What to Do After a Crash
If You are Involved in a Vehicle Crash
- Immediately after you get into an accident, stop. Regardless of whether you caused the accident or are the victim in an accident, stop and don't leave the accident scene. If possible move to the shoulder to get out of the lane of traffic
- Check for Injuries
- Immediately after the accident, check yourself, your passengers, and the individual(s)in the other vehicle for injuries. If there are injuries that need medical attention, call 911. Before you even look at the damage done to your car, check everyone involved for injuries.
- Call the Police
- Exchange Information
- Regardless of if you're at fault or not, or the severity of the accident, you need to exchange information with the other party involved. You need to provide your name, phone number, address, license plate number, insurance information, and your driver's license number. You also need to obtain this information from all individuals involved in the accident. Your car insurance company will need this information to resolve the incident.
- Document Damage
- If you have a camera on hand, take pictures of the damage. If you don't, write down details about the damage. Document what damage was done to your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved.
- It is important to remember that an accident report may take longer than 5 days to complete. This is why exchanging information is important.
- If you are involved in a crash and a police report is not made because you exchanged information with other drivers and later decide you need a report, you may complete a report through the Texas Department of Transportation. The form is call the “Drivers Crash Report,” form CR-2. (This is also known as the “Blue Form.”) This may be filled out and sent in to TXDOT in lieu of a police report. This form is available at TDOT’s website, or you can download the form itself.
To Obtain a Copy of an Accident Report
Information You Need to Know if Your Vehicle is Towed
If your vehicle needs to be towed from the crash scene, you have the right to have your vehicle towed to a location of your choice. You will need to inform the wrecker driver of the location you want your vehicle towed to. The cost for this is set by City of Bellaire Ordinance and is currently $140.
The wrecker driver must complete a tow slip that lists who is towing it, their State of Texas wrecker license permit, the destination of your vehicle, the cost to tow your vehicle there, and the name of the wrecker driver. The wrecker driver is not allowed to ask you to sign this tow slip.
Paying for Service
In most cases the wrecker driver will expect payment for this service once your vehicle arrives at that location. Generally, if your car is towed to a body shop or dealership, the payment is handled by them and they are reimbursed by you or the insurance company. If it goes to an approved storage lot, the payment is made by the storage lot. If you have your vehicle towed to your house or other location, the wrecker driver will probably want payment at that time. If you cannot pay for the tow at that time or the place you want your vehicle towed to is not open or cannot accept it, your vehicle will be towed to an approved storage lot. Once at the storage lot, there will be additional fees added by the storage lot for the storage of your vehicle.
Note: Wrecker drivers are not allowed to solicit your business for which repair facility or location you want to have your vehicle taken to.
If you have any complaints about the towing or storage of your vehicle, or want more information about the regulations of wreckers in the State of Texas, contact the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation at:
Austin Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Austin, TX 78701
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711
Ph: (Toll Free in Texas): 800-803-9202
Relay Texas-TDD: 800-735-2989
5425 Polk Ave.
Houston, TX 77023
Ph: (Toll Free in Texas): 800-687-3861
Note: If you have insurance that covers the repair of your vehicle, do not agree to or sign any agreements for the repair work or estimates for the repair work without first contacting your insurance company.