Anytime a car accident occurs in the Commonwealth of Virginia, either the police or one of the parties involved will file an accident report. While it is not a legal requirement to contact the police after an accident, it is usually a good idea. A responding police officer essentially acts as a professional witness to the accident scene, and your accident claim could be much stronger if the authorities fill out the report.
What Is an Accident Report?
When a police officer arrives at the scene of an accident, they will fill out a document known as Form FR300P, or the “police crash report.” In this form, the officer will record information about the accident, such as:
- Time and date
- How many vehicles were involved
- Identification and contact information of the drivers
- Insurance information
- Vehicle identification information
- Weather and road conditions
- Identification and contact information of any witnesses
The responding officer will also take photos of the scene of the accident, draw a diagram of how the crash occurred, and provide their assessment of the cause of the accident.
Why Is the Accident Report Important?
The crash report is one of the most vital pieces of evidence for your accident claim. This is because the information it contains can supply insurance companies and courts with what they need to know about the circumstances of the accident.
It is essential that you obtain a copy of the accident report as soon as you possibly can. Sometimes, the report may contain errors that could have a negative impact on your claim. Reviewing the report in the early stages of your claim can allow you and your legal team time to contact the responding officer and request corrections to the report if necessary.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Report?
You can retrieve a copy of your accident report from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, which maintains records about automobile crashes for a minimum of 36 months from the date of the accident.
To request your report, submit a completed Information Request Form to the DMV, along with the required payment of eight dollars by check or money order. When filing your request, you must provide the following information:
- Your role in the crash (i.e., driver, vehicle owner, injured passenger)
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident (street, city or town, county)
- Name of the driver in the accident
- Your driver’s license number if you were one of the drivers in the accident
Send the completed form to:
Customer Records Work Center
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Post Office Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
Alternatively, you can file your request by fax at 804-367-0390 or by visiting the nearest Virginia DMV Customer Service Center.
You can also get a copy of the report from the police department that responded to your accident by visiting the department’s website and requesting that the report be sent to your address. You may also be able to pick it up in person.
Contact a Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident in Virginia Beach, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for your losses. The experienced Virginia Beach auto accident attorneys at
Mike Deering Law can assist you when it comes to obtaining a copy of your accident report, negotiating with the insurance company, and every other step of your claim.
Call us today at 757-383-6848 or contact us online for a free consultation to find out what your legal options are.