Can You Report a Car Accident in Texas After 24 Hours?

Is it possible to report a car accident to the Department of Transportation once 24 hours have passed? Not all accidents require reporting, but in Texas, there is no penalty for waiting past 24 hours to report. The current time limit is much longer and only applies if the other driver sustained specific injuries or damage to their property. 

Use this guide to learn the specifics of reporting a car accident in Texas.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Wreck in Texas?

As a driver in Texas, what is the time frame for reporting a car wreck? This essential information can be challenging to parse on complicated government websites and isn’t always readily available to the public. The official legal time limit in Texas to inform the DOT of an accident is 10 days. 

But is this true in every case?

Not all accidents must be reported. If you are the only one who sustained injury or property damage, or if a responding officer was on the scene, there is no penalty for not reporting. Penalties begin to accumulate when the following factors are present:

  • No law enforcement officials investigated or responded at the scene
  • At least one person involved:
  • Sustains injury or death
  • Sustains property damage greater than $1000

Not reporting this accident could result in penalties like having your license suspended. For this reason, make sure you submit the proper form within 10 days. The form is called a Crash Report. It is officially Form CR-2 and is referred to as “The Blue Form.”

Reporting the accident late can also make it challenging to obtain the necessary information from all involved parties. Information that’s required includes: 

  • The details of the accident
  • The driver’s license
  • Insurance
  • License plate info of all parties

Weather and road conditions are even required on the report form. You must report the specific location and a summary of the accident as well.

Some specific accidents have other rules.  A hit and run, for example, can be reported up to two years past the event and still be investigated and the culprit prosecuted. If you were the victim of one of these accidents, reporting within this large window ensures an investigation. 

Earlier reporting, though, makes it easier to have access to key information that could help your case. Your insurance also may have a different deadline than these laws, meaning you could miss out on the chance to file an insurance claim.

Especially after an accident involving injury, pursuing a legal battle or managing necessary government processes post-accident can become a challenge. However, an auto accident attorney can help untangle the web of required documents and deadlines to ensure that you don’t have to deal with penalties. They can ensure that the appropriate forms are filled out and submitted to your insurance and the state government.

Utilize top-tier legal services to help you navigate the complex system and avoid costly penalties after a car wreck. That way, you’ll never miss an important deadline or accumulate penalties you didn’t even know were on the table.

If You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Car Wreck In Texas, Call Auto Accident Attorney Joe Stephens Now

If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, you could hire any injury attorney near you, or you can hire a good West Houston vehicle injury attorney. Joe Stephens has been defending injury victims in Texas for over 3 decades from negligent individuals, companies, and greedy insurance companies. As a local vehicle crash attorney in Katy, TX, Joe handles all cases personally, and his staff is always available to answer questions.

Accident Attorney Joe Stephens understands just how complicated and confusing legal paperwork can be. If you or a loved one have experienced injury or property damage as a result of a car wreck in Texas, you don’t have to suffer in silence. 

Call Accident Attorney Joe Stephens now for expert legal advice Texans know they can trust.

The Stephens Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers handles auto accident lawsuits across Texas, including these Houston cities.