Take these Steps to Report a Car Crash in Richmond, Newport News, and Virginia Beach, VA and to Get a Copy of the Police Report from the DMV
Notify the police of a car accident, even if you were not injured in the crash. This is the most important thing you can do. When the police arrive at the crash scene to investigate they will create an official crash report. This report will help you receive fair compensation for your injuries and property damage, especially when the other driver changes their story and says that you were at fault.
We see it time and time again. The person who causes the crash apologizes and says they’re sorry for not paying attention. But when you talk to their insurance company a few days later, you find out that they’ve told their insurer that the accident was your fault. Reporting an auto accident to the police can help prevent this from happening.
Usually police officers interview all drivers involved in the crash and take notes. They may also interview witnesses at the scene and look for video or photographic footage of the accident. The police investigation provides several important details to help you build your case: a list of witnesses and available evidence.
Keep reading this article to find out how to report your car accident in Virginia and what you can do to help protect your legal rights. Then call or e-mail Richmond car accident lawyer Corey Pollard for a free, no obligation consultation.
Call 911 for Serious Car Accidents
If you, the other driver, or a passenger suffer injuries in the car wreck, call 911. Ask for both a police officer and emergency first responder to come to the scene of the accident. The police officer will investigate the crash and prepare an accident report. The accident report will diagram the vehicles and the crash. The police officer will also document road and weather conditions and give his or her opinion on whether any laws were violated and who was at fault. Many parts of the accident report are admissible at trial. The report can help you obtain a fair settlement.
If the injuries are minor, still call the police to come investigate. The Richmond Police Department has a nonemergency number of 804-645-5100. The Newport News Police Department has a nonemergency number of 757-247-2500.
How to Get a Copy of the Accident and Crash Report in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps the official record of all reportable crashes that happen in Virginia. Law enforcement or an individual involved in the accident may report the crash to the DMV. DMV will keep a copy of the accident report for at least 36 months after the Crash.
Section 46.2-380 of the Code of Virginia states that DMV will release a complete crash report to the following people:
- Any driver, passenger, property owner, vehicle owner, or other person injured in the crash
- Personal representatives of any person involved in the crash
- An attorney representing any person involved
- The authorized representative of an insurance company
- The parent or legal guardian of a minor involved in the crash
- Any other person with written permission of a person injured in the crash
Persons not involved in the crash may obtain the following information under Section 46.2-379 of the Code of Virginia:
- Date, time, and location of the wreck
- Name and address of each driver involved
- Name of each vehicle owner
- Name of each person injured in the accident
- Name of each witness to the crash
- Name of the investigating officer
You can obtain a crash report in Virginia by sending your request using one of the following methods:
- Customer Records Work Center, Room 514
- Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- Post Office Box 27412
- Richmond, VA 23269
- Fax: 804-367-0390
- At any DMV customer service center
You will have to pay $8.00 for each crash report requested.
Call An Auto Accident Attorney in Richmond, Newport News, & Virginia Beach, Virginia
Corey Pollard offers free consultation to car wreck victims in Richmond and Hampton Roads. If you’ve been injured through the fault of another, call or e-mail us today for a free consultation.