Question: I had a car accident and was injured. The police came to the scene and investigated the accident. I wanted the other driver’s insurance information before leaving the scene, but the police officer said it would be in the report. He would not give it to me on the scene. They kept the drivers separate and would not let us talk to each other. How can I get the insurance information before the report comes out?
Answer: In the past, when police officers would investigate an accident, they would give you a slip of paper with the other driver’s insurance information. Recently, I have noticed that police officers have stopped this practice and refuse to exchange insurance information at the scene. I do not know why they will not facilitate the exchange of insurance information between the drivers, especially since drivers are required to exchange such information by law. What this comes down to is that you “cannot fight city hall.” Frankly, I believe this is another way for Texas politicians and law enforcement to suppress and frustrate the pursuit of injury claims, but that’s just my opinion.
If you run into this problem, do not argue with the officer. Most police officers will tell you that the report will be ready in 7 to 10 business days. However, the reports are normally completed within five business days or less. Once the report is completed, you can get a copy by making a request, either in person or by mail, and paying a small fee of about $6.00.
Most importantly, if you are injured, get emergency medical treatment. Do not let your lack of getting any insurance information stop you from getting the proper medical treatment. Delay in getting the proper medical attention can have devastating effects on the value of your bodily injury claim.
Then, consult with an attorney as soon as possible and just wait for the report to come out. In the meantime, report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible so that they can open the claim and begin an investigation.