How to Read an Accident Report
May 15, 2022 | CHASENBOSCOLO
Car crashes are not uncommon in Virginia. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 105,600 crashes in 2020. Alcohol was involved in 6,624, and distracted drivers caused 18,808 crashes. In 2020, there were 847 people killed in car crashes and 52,668 people injured.
You may not be aware of the importance of requesting a copy of your accident report from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you have a question about your accident, please call the office of CHASENBOSCOLO at (301) 220-0050 to schedule a free consultation.
Why Do You Need Your Accident Report?
If you were involved in a traffic accident that was attended by a police officer, they would produce an accident report. These are critical pieces of evidence when you are negotiating with the insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit. The report describes the officer’s on-scene evaluation of the crash. This helps to determine who caused the accident.
If the case goes to trial, the investigating officer will likely testify based on the information found in the accident report. For these and other reasons, it’s important to get a copy of the accident report for your records and to ensure that the information it contains is correct.
If you do find information on the accident report that is incorrect, you can contact the investigating officer or the police department where the officer came from. Use their process for requesting a change in the accident report and provide evidence that supports your request.
How to Get Your Virginia Accident Report
You can request your crash report by mail, fax, or in person. Currently, Virginia does not offer the option to request your crash report online. The Commonwealth of Virginia police crash report is Form FR300–P and is used by police to report crashes to the Department of Public Safety.
You can request your crash report from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles located in Richmond, Virginia, by sending a Form CRD 93 with $8 for every crash report requested.
You can also request a report in person by visiting your local Department of Motor Vehicle office. You must have a completed copy of the request form and funds to pay the $8 crash report fee.
If an officer did not attend your accident, you can fill out and file a car accident report. There is a voluntary report of crash form that can be mailed to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in Richmond, Virginia. This also helps establish a chain of evidence of the car crash.
What Is on a Virginia Accident Report
There are six pages to a Virginia car accident report. The first page has information about the crash date, time, location, and the number of vehicles involved. It’s important that you check to be sure the information is correct and that the vehicle descriptions are also accurate. The first page takes note of how fast the vehicles were traveling at the time of the crash, which is information that can affect the determination of fault.
On the second page, there is a wealth of information focused on the actions leading up to the crash, driver impairment, driver distraction, and whether the driver was operating the vehicle recklessly. The officer will also record information about maneuvers made to avoid the accident or if the vehicle was poorly maintained.
The third page describes the conditions at the scene of the crash, and on the fourth page, the officer will draw a diagram that includes the position and direction each vehicle was traveling. The fifth page is used only as a supplement if there were commercial vehicles involved.
Finally, the sixth page is another supplemental page to be used if there was a pedestrian involved in the accident. The officer may also use this page if additional space is needed to record information about injured passengers.
After you receive your accident report, it is vital that you check each page carefully for accuracy. What may seem like an inconsequential error can potentially give the at-fault party’s attorney enough information to negatively affect your case.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Car Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident in Virginia, you want an experienced and skilled attorney to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation. The Virginia car accident attorneys of CHASENBOSCOLO understand the financial and emotional burden that accompanies a significant accident. Our team of attorneys is made up of skilled negotiators and tenacious litigators. Call our offices today at (301) 220-0050 to schedule your free consultation. We’ll discuss your case and offer you advice on your next best steps.