How Do I Find My Accident Report in Virginia?

If you were in a vehicle accident in Virginia and the police came to the scene, the officer probably filed an accident report. This report contains important information that could help you pursue a claim for damages. Here is everything you need to know about finding your accident report in Virginia.

Why You Need an Accident Report

Virginia Code 46.2-894 requires drivers involved in a wreck in which someone was injured or killed to remain at the scene and provide their information. The prudent course is always to call the police. Even when a person does not believe they are injured, the adrenaline rush from a crash could mask symptoms. They might discover an injury hours or even days later.

A police officer’s report will note the exact time and place of the crash, which could be critical evidence of the prevailing conditions at the time of the accident. It will identify the drivers and anyone who suffered injuries in the crash. The report will contain the officer’s opinion about the cause of the incident and describe any citations or arrests in connection with it.

Who Can See the Accident Report?

The accident report is not a public document, but many people can obtain a copy on request. The DMV will release it to involved drivers, passengers, and anyone else injured in the incident, such as a pedestrian or cyclist. The owners of any involved vehicles can obtain an accident report.

If any individuals are under 18, their parent or guardian may request a copy of the crash report. It is also available to insurance company representatives and attorneys representing any involved party. If anyone died in the wreck, their personal representative, executor, or next of kin could request a report.

Obtaining a Police Accident Report

Although a police officer completes the report, it is on file at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV responds to requests for copies of crash reports. Anyone authorized to access an accident report could request a copy by mail or online.

A written request to receive a mailed copy must include the location, date, and time of the crash. You must describe your involvement—were you a driver, a passenger, or the owner of a stolen car? The request should include the driver’s name. If you were the driver, it should include your driver’s license number. Mail your request to:

Customer Records Work Center, Room 514

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 27412

Richmond, VA 23269

DMV collects a fee of $8 for each report. If you mail a written request, you must include a check or money order. You can submit your written request in person at a DMV office. They accept cash, check, money order, or credit card. Online requests must be paid by credit or debit card. The report will arrive by first-class mail, usually within three weeks.

Contact a Virginia Attorney About Pursuing a Vehicle Crash Claim

If you were in a wreck and suffered injuries, collecting the compensation you are due can sometimes be a struggle. Working with an attorney could ease the pressure. Let an experienced professional in Virginia handle your claim. Call today to discuss your case.