State law requires a written report after a car crash resulting in injury, death, or property damage. Most people don’t know what to do after an accident or how to file a report. However, not reporting the collision or filing an accident report can have severe consequences.
You should hire a Lawyer immediately after a car accident. They can assist you with the necessary steps and guide you through the complicated process.
Legal Requirement to Report a Car Accident
According to Virginia Code § 46.2-894, any vehicle driver involved in a crash causing a person’s death or injury or damage to attended property or an attended car must:
- Stop as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic
- Provide their name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number to local law enforcement or State Police, the injured person if they seem able to understand and retain the information, or the driver or occupant of another car involved in the crash
- Assist anyone injured in the accident by taking them to a hospital if they request or need medical treatment
Virginia Code § 46.2-372 enables motor vehicle drivers to report accidents in writing to the Commissioner on a form from the Department of Motor Vehicles if the crash causes injury, death, or property damage or if a motor vehicle in the accident was uninsured.
Leaving the scene of a car accident without notifying law enforcement or fulfilling obligations under state law is a crime. It can lead to severe penalties, including loss of driving privileges, jail time, and fines.
How to Handle a Minor Car Accident
Typically, reporting an accident that doesn’t lead to an injury, death, or property damage of less than $1,500 isn’t necessary. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inform the police of what happened.
Although inconvenient, calling 911 and waiting for law enforcement to arrive at the scene to investigate can be beneficial. If someone else is at fault for the crash, they should be financially responsible for your vehicle’s damage and any injury you sustain. An accident report can be helpful evidence in an insurance claim and prove you are entitled to compensation.
Who Fills Out the Accident Report?
The officer investigating the crash should complete a written report for you. You will have to submit a report yourself if you don’t notify law enforcement of the accident. Sometimes, the police refuse to investigate minor accidents on private property.
An officer who investigates an accident involving property damage of $1,500 or higher, injury, or death must write a report and submit it to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 24 hours. The report should include details such as:
- Date, time, and location of the collision
- Driver and passenger information
- Insurance company name and policy number for each vehicle involved
- Type of injuries each person sustained
- Whether anyone required ambulance transport to the hospital
- Names of witnesses
- Officer’s determination of fault
- Diagram showing how the accident happened
How to Request a Copy of the Accident Report
You can request a copy of the report online by completing a form and sending it to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You must also include a check or money order of $8 to pay the fee.
Speak to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Virginia Beach
At Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, we understand how traumatic a car crash can be. Someone else is responsible for harming you and should be liable for your medical treatment and other expenses. You can count on us to fight for the maximum compensation available and seek the justice you deserve.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, call us at 757-529-0000 immediately for your confidential consultation.