One of the critical pieces of evidence relating to your accident is the Texas accident report, or Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3). But figuring out how to read a Texas crash report is far from straightforward.
Your CR-3 crash report contains everything you need to know about your accident in numerical code, including the time, place, damage, presence of intoxication, contributing factors, and more.
This guide will teach you how to read a Texas crash report and how to access it.
Reading Your Texas CR-3 Crash Report?
Your Texas accident report is the crucial evidence insurers will use while assessing your claim. Knowing how to read it is crucial to confirm the accuracy of the officer’s entries.
With an accurate CR-3 accident report, you can avoid losing out on the compensation you rightly deserve. So, let’s go through each page to decode what all the numbers mean.
Page 1 – Traffic Accident Overview
Page, one of Texas crash reports, is where you will see the factual aspects of the accident. Ensure you read each section carefully to ensure the facts are present and correct. This page is split into three distinct sections.
The first part of your accident report will tell you where and when the accident occurred. Expect to see information like:
- The precise time of the accident.
- Date of the accident.
- Exact location, including the street name, address, or route number. It will also include the city and county information. Note that this information will also be included if the accident occurred at an intersection.
- The posted speed limit.
In the middle section of page one is the identification section. You will see your name and the name of the other driver(s). Moreover, information about the passengers inside each vehicle will be documented.
Other pertinent pieces of information will include:
- The number of people in each vehicle.
- The severity of any reported injuries (included in Box 14).
- Whether anyone was ejected from the vehicle during the accident (Box 17).
- Airbag deployments (Box 19).
- Whether an alcohol specimen was taken by the attending officer (Box 22).
- Whether a drug test was performed at the scene (Box 23).
In the final section of page one of your police accident report, you will see the vehicle information for every vehicle involved in the accident.
Vital information will include:
- Driver insurance information and the type of insurance each driver has, such as “liability insurance” or “certificate of deposit” (Box 26).
- A rating for vehicular damage on a scale of 0-7. The officer will also assign a letter code to each part of the vehicle to tell insurers where the damage took place on the vehicle and the severity of it.
Page 2 - Injuries, Citations, and Property Damage
Page two goes deeper into the injuries you or a passenger may have sustained. It also discusses whether any citations were issued and cites the presence of property damage. Again, let’s split page two into its component sections.
The top section of page two of your Texas crash report form discusses injuries to each party. It will also mention whether anyone was taken to hospital after the accident and will include a time of death if a fatality occurred.
If charges were issued to anyone involved in an accident, the middle section of page two is where you’ll find them. It will include both the citation in question and a unique reference number.
Note that this is where you’ll spot the confusing array of Texas police report codes.
Additionally, this section will include the contributing factors registered by the officer. There are two sections to focus on, which are:
- Box 35 – Law enforcement will report the sequence of events, or, in other words, what happened. This may include colliding with a stationary motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or other movable objects.
- Box 36 – The attending officer will detail any factors that could have caused your accident. This is where an officer can choose from 77 different codes, with separate ones for causes like drinking alcohol, driving at unsafe speeds, and using a cell phone while driving.
Every police accident report includes a visual diagram drawn by the attending officer relating to your accident. In this section, the precise position of the vehicles is a massive factor in whether you can claim compensation or not.
Your insurance claim may be denied if the diagram shows that you caused the accident.
Pages Three & Four – Texas Accident Report Codes Explained
Pages three and four will include a detailed look at the various codes that the officer has used, various codes for events, vehicle action, and contributing factors codes. This is your guide to decoding the information displayed on your Texas crash report form.
Here are some examples of the most common codes you’ll see on this page for contributing factors:
- 19 – Distracted driving
- 45 – Drunk driving
- 60 – Driving at an unsafe speed
- 73 – Road rage
- 74-77 – Distracted driving due to a cell phone
There’s also a separate set of codes for vehicle damage or defects that may have contributed to the accident. For example, code 5 pertains to defective headlights, whereas code 12 is the vernacular for defective tires.
Moreover, you’ll notice alphabetical codes for particular sections, such as injury severity. For example, code A would indicate an incapacitating injury, and code B would be a non-incapacitating injury.
Decoding Texas Accident Report Codes
In the following sections, we look further at the alphabetical, numeric, and alphanumeric codes used in the Lone Star State.
Vehicle Type Codes
The officer will denote the vehicle types involved in an accident using “Body Style” codes. Some examples of these codes include:
- P2 – Two-door passenger car
- P4 – Four-door passenger car
- PK – Pickup truck
- AM – Ambulance
- BU – Bus
Contributing Factor Codes
Each type of contributing factor has its unique code. With more than 70 codes, this is often the most confusing section for people looking at an accident report for the first time.
Some examples of the most common codes include:
- 20 – Driver inattention
- 40 – Fatigued/sleeping
- 45 – Drunk driving
- 60 – Driving at unsafe speeds
- 72 – Cell phone use
Injury Severity Codes
If any injuries have occurred, the officer will rate the severity of the injury. Officers are not doctors, so only six codes denote injury severity. These include:
- A – Incapacitating injury
- B – Non-incapacitating injury
- C – Possibly injury
- K – Killed
- N – No injury
- 99 – Unknown
Your insurer will usually pair one of the six codes with your medical report if you attended a medical facility after the accident.
Roadway Condition Codes
Roadway conditions can be a significant factor in any accident. This section covers several categories on the code sheet.
For example, it will include the lighting conditions, ranging from code 1 for daylight to code 4 for dark/unknown lighting. Codes 5 and 6 are used for dawn and dusk, respectively. Box 38 discusses the weather conditions, including:
When describing the road and its conditions, several boxes have identical codes.
For example, let’s say Box 38, 39, and 40 all have code 6’s attached. This would indicate that the accident occurred in fog, at dusk, on a roadway with six entering roads.
Can the Crash Report Impact My Insurance Claim?
Your crash report is the core document your insurer will use to determine whether you have a claim. The correct information can show that you were not at fault, whereas the wrong information could leave you without compensation.
For example, let’s say that an officer mistakenly wrote code 73 for contributing factors instead of code 72. It might only be one number, but instead of registering cell phone use as a contributing factor, the officer will have written road rage, which is a far more severe issue legally.
What if I find inaccurate information?
Only the officer who created the report can change the information on it. If you notice a mistake, look for the officer’s information on your report and contact them. Here’s how to handle it:
- Move quickly. Officers are human and forget things.
- Be polite and professional.
- Provide information like your car’s registration.
- Be sympathetic to the officer’s position.
- Stay professional.
Remember, the driver might also be trying to get the report changed, which can put a lot of pressure on the officer. Be polite and friendly, and the officer is likelier to listen.
How to Access Your Texas Accident Report
Requesting your accident report in Texas is simple enough. Follow these steps to obtain your copy. Note that reports are not public records, so the system must identify you as an involved party.
- Step One – Visit the Crash Report Online Purchase System operated by TxDOT. Your report will become available no longer than ten days after the accident.
- Step Two – Enter your incident report number given by the officer at the scene. You can also provide information like the name of the drivers involved in the accident and the investigating department.
- Step Three – Pay a $6 fee for the standard report or $8 for a certified copy.
No waiting times exist for your accident report. You can download your copy immediately after paying the fee, and your report will always be available to download again for free.
- How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident?
- How the Police Accident Report Will Impact Your Insurance Claim
- THE CR-2 Driver Crash Report: Completing Your Own Texas Blue Form On-Line
- What to Do After a Car Accident in Texas?
- A Simple Guide to Understanding the CR3 Crash Report Document
- How to Amend a Police Report After a Car Accident