by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--It's slowing down insurance claims, as companies try figure out who's to blame for causing the crash.
It's bad enough to get into a wreck in the first place, but having to fill out your own accident report, most of us wouldn't know which end of the blue form is up.
From minor fender benders to multiple car pile-ups, even though Odessa Police might be be on the scene, they won't always be filling out the usual reports.
According to Cpl. Sherrie Carruth with the Odessa Police Department, "It's just a driver's crash report, the drivers will fill out. This is something they will fill out if they are wanting an accident report. Basically this is for insurance purposes. It has nothing to do with the Police Department or the State of Texas."
You'll be filing your own blue form, that you get, either from the officer on the scene or the OPD website.
"The reason it's called a blue form is because they used to be blue. It's for minor accidents, for accidents on private drives, which the police don't investigate," Carruth explained.
Insurance agent Juan Luna says, it won't be up to the police to decide who hit who. The burden of proof will be up to you and your insurance company, "From that perspective, blue forms is not helping the citizens at all, especially if the fault has not been determined. That sometimes is a peace of mind for our insured."
Before your report gets sent to Austin, you must make sure it has all the necessary facts, names, phone numbers, and insurance information. Things the police used to provide for you.
"It's a good start for a good investigation. Now, with just the blue form, it takes a little longer to get the information to the adjustors," Luna commented.
But there are other things that could delay your claim, an expired insurance insurance policy. As Luna explained, that's something officers can't always check, "Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen after hours, so when they call us to verify insurance, either we're not here. He has to go by what you present."
Cpl. Carruth says there are a couple of exceptions where police will file the reports. Just hope you don't fall into those categories, "Accidents where vehicles have to be towed or where there is serious bodily injury or a fatality."
Luna recommends you turn in all the information you have, as soon as you can after the accident to speed up your claim. If you have any questions or aren't sure what you need to do to get the right form and information, call your insurance agent.