Leaving the Scene of a Single Car Accident in Texas

This specifically applies to a situation where there are no injuries and the accident involves a situation such as just a one car accident. The damage is just to the car that crashed and nobody else’s property or roadside property damage. There are other specifics of the Texas Transportation Code Section 550 that cover injuries, damage, and/or death.

Let’s say that a vehicle is driving on a roadway and must swerve to miss a dog or deer and subsequently drives off the road and crashes. The accident here only damages the driver’s car. Assuming no bodily injury for this situation, this is an accident resulting in vehicle damage only.

If the damage to the vehicle is

“to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the accident” to local law enforcement.

The ‘quickest means possible’ is not clearly defined. It might be a cell phone call immediately. It might mean that a person might report it the next day after being checked out by medical personnel. A passer by may give the person a ride to a safe place because remaining at the scene is not a suitable place for a person to wait.

A law enforcement officer shall make a report in a case where the damage to any one vehicle is apparently $1,000 or more. This report shall be electronically filed with the DPS no later than 10 days after the accident.

What if I can normally and safely drive my vehicle even though it has over a $1,000 damage?

Even though the Texas Transportation Code Section 550.062 states that a law enforcement officer shall complete a report it is not clear what happens if they do not. There does not appear to be a duty for a person to report an accident of over $1,000 damage is their vehicle can be normally and safely driven.

If you are looking for more information outside of property damage on the just the vehicle driver only here is another blog post http://erictorberson.com/leaving-the-scene-of-an-accident.

For more information about this website take a look at the home page http://erictorberson.com.

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.