City of Wichita Falls v. Jenkins

In City of Wichita Falls v. Jenkins, 307 S.W.3d 854, 860-61 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 2010, pet. denied). the appellate court held that a letter that merely stated appellees sustained "personal injuries and other damages" in the accident was sufficient formal notice under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 101.101(a)). However, the court also held that even if the letter was not sufficient statutory notice, the evidence supported the conclusion that the City had actual notice of appellees' claims because the police officer's crash report listed the driver's driver's license number and address, and noted property damage to vehicles of at least $1,000; and the police report provided a detailed description of the incident and contained the names of each occupant of the driver's vehicle. Id. at 861. "Thus, on the date of the accident, a City representative had notice that a City-owned vehicle was at fault in an accident that caused at least $1,000 of vehicle damage and also knew the identities of all the persons involved in the accident." Id. "This, too, meets the purpose of the notice requirement of the statute to put the City on notice to investigate, settle, and prepare for trial." Id. "That the occupants did not appear to be injured and drove away from the accident, although possibly relevant for trial purposes (subject to an evidentiary determination by the trial judge), does not negate the City's notice that an on-duty officer driving a City-owned vehicle rear-ended the car in front of him, causing visible property damage." Id.