Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler August 14, 2015

One of the first steps your car accident lawyer will take in representing you for a claim is to ensure you obtain police reports of your crash. But how useful is a police report in a personal injury case?

Police Report Data

A police report lists data about the auto accident, including when and where it happened. It also gives a description of the accident as closely as the police officer was able to determine and the names and addresses of drivers, riders, injured persons (in or out of vehicles) and witnesses to the crash.

Obtaining a Police Report in Texas

To obtain a copy of a police report in Texas, individuals may be able to print one via an online accident report database provided by the police department. Or, they may be able to have a police department mail them a copy of the report, provided they pay a fee for the service.

The Houston Police Department charges $7.50 for online reports from the last three years. To mail a report, HPD asks for $6 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Reports also can be picked up in person at 1200 Travis in downtown Houston for a $6 charge.

The San Antonio Police Department charges $6 for mailed police reports and $18 per hour, pro-rated, for locating reports more than two years old in its archives.

The Dallas Police Department does not yet provide online reports but charges $6 for police reports delivered by mail or picked up in person.

The Fort Worth Police Department does not yet provide police reports online but will provide reports by mail for a $6 fee.

Your car wreck lawyer may be able to help you secure a copy of a police report.

Value of Police Reports

The value of police reports in an insurance claim or an injury lawsuit may not be high. For one thing, such reports only provide general observations or estimations about the accident and may not be admissible in court.

Though a wreck report can be admitted into evidence as a public record, it’s also subject to limitations on the basis that it is hearsay evidence. This means it’s an out-of-court statement not taken under oath in a court of law.

However, Texas law grants some exceptions for including hearsay evidence such as a police report into court proceedings. Texas Rules of Evidence 803(8) cites this, and a business records exception is granted under 803(6).

Under Rules of Evidence 803(8), the burden for demonstrating a police report’s lack of trustworthiness as evidence falls on the party opposing its admittance into evidence.

Texas trial courts have broad discretion in terms of accepting or rejecting a police report as evidence. That decision may be based on a perception of whether the police officer was qualified to issue the opinions cited in the report. The court also can decide to accept parts but not all of a police report as evidence.

Police Report Drawbacks

There are several drawbacks of using a police report as evidence in an injury claim. For example, a police officer may provide different information in court than was provided in the report. Also, various parties in the accident may provide varied accounts of the crash which may conflict with a police report.

In addition, the opinion of an officer who did not witness a crash may not weigh heavily toward one side or the other in a disputed claim. That’s due in part to the fact that police reports often are incomplete and inaccurate.

For instance, if you were injured in a crash and were questioned by an officer at the scene or later at a hospital, you may not have been in the proper condition to answer questions clearly and accurately.

All of these factors make it advisable that persons who were injured in a crash seek help from an experienced car accident lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates. Your attorney will try to use a police report that supports your claim, even if it has little bearing on the outcome of the case.

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Testimonials

Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.
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