How to Obtain a Car Accident Report in Virginia

By Peter DePaolis

If you’ve recently been in a car accident in Virginia, one of the first and most crucial steps you’ll face is getting your hands on the car accident report. This document plays a big role in dealing with insurance companies and filing legal claims. Think of it as your narrative anchor in a sea of post-accident complexities, offering a clear recount of events when things might seem foggy.

As Virginia car accident attorneys, we’re not just here to guide you through a procedure–we’re here to provide a helping hand. We get that this period can be a whirlwind of emotions and confusion. That’s why we’ve put together this guide – to help you navigate these waters with a sense of direction and confidence. So, let’s dive in and unpack this together, step by step.

How the Report Can Impact Your Personal Injury Case

In a personal injury case, the Police Crash Report from your Virginia accident is pivotal. The police crash report is key because it sets up who’s at fault, provides information as to who’s liable, and ultimately has a significant effect on who gets paid. Lawyers and insurance companies depend on the accident report to show what happened.

The police crash report has to be accurate and include everything for your injury case. Even a tiny mistake or an overlooked detail can flip the script on your claim’s result. It’s essential to review the report carefully and promptly address inaccuracies. In some cases, this might mean providing additional evidence or getting the report amended. A solid, in-depth report doesn’t just back up your claim—it’s critical to landing a fair outcome.

How to Obtain Your Police Crash Report

When you’re ready to get your Police Crash Report in Virginia, the DMV is your primary destination. While it might sound daunting, the process is quite straightforward. You’ll need to fill out Form CRD-93. Once you’ve got it filled out, you’re ready to make your request.

Three Ways to Request Your Report

Via Mail: If you prefer the traditional route, mail your completed CRD-93 form to the DMV’s Customer Records Work Center. Remember to include a check or money order for the fee, as credit card payments aren’t accepted through mail.

Faxing Your Request: If you’re a fan of the fax machine, you’re in luck. You can fax the completed form to the DMV. Just make sure to fill out a “License, ID Card and Records Payment Authorization” form (Form DMS 004) to accompany your request. This will cover the payment part of the process.

In-Person Requests: Visiting your local DMV office is the way to go for those who prefer face-to-face interaction. At this spot, you’ve got the green light to ask for what you need and settle up with cash, a check, money orders, or even your debit or credit card.

Fees and Processing Time

The fee for obtaining your Police Crash Report in Virginia is a flat rate of $8.  

How quickly you get your report hinges on the method you choose to ask for it. Mailed requests generally take longer due to postal transit and processing times. Faxing can be quicker, but it still requires processing at the DMV. For the fastest turnaround, consider visiting a DMV office in person. While the exact timeframe can fluctuate, knowing these factors helps set realistic expectations.

Interpreting Your Report

Once you have your Police Crash Report in hand, it’s time to make sense of it. This crash report you’re holding is loaded with key facts about your accident. You’ll find information about the drivers involved, vehicle descriptions, the accident location, time and date, as well as the officer’s observations and conclusions. It could also feature charts, photos, and statements from witnesses, giving a thorough snapshot of the event.

Navigating the Legal Jargon

Car accident reports can be dense with legal and technical language. Terms like ‘negligence’, ‘liability,’ ‘plaintiff,’ and ‘defendant’ are common. Some parts of the report are easy to get, but others might need you to dig a bit deeper. If you are puzzled by any section, don’t hesitate to seek clarification. A lawyer can break down the complex stuff in your report, making sure you fully get what’s inside. Contact our office for a free consultation if you have been injured in a car accident.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.