A Police Report is An Important Tool After an Auto Accident
A police report is important tool that is often used when filing a personal injury insurance claim. A police report offers an unbiased perspective of how an accident happened, the extent of damages caused by the collision, what insurance coverage may be applicable to the car accident claim, and other accident related losses.
Police Report: Important to Insurance Company
If you are injured in an accident and require medical attention, it is important to call the police and have them respond to the scene. A police report will help to ensure that all of the necessary information is collected, including the names of all parties involved, insurance company information, and witnesses. Filing a car accident police report also creates a record of the incident.
Please take note that a crash report is usually not filed in a non-reportable accident. However, in some situations police agencies will file a report in a non-reportable crash if one of the parties request it.
Police Report: Personal Injury Claim
There are a number of ways that having a police report filed can help your insurance claim:
- It can help to establish who was at fault in car accidents. If you were not at fault, the police report can help to prove it.
- The police report can help to establish the extent of your injuries. The report will document any injuries that were visible at the time of the accident and will also note any complaints of pain that you made to the police officer. This documentation can be important when it comes time to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
- The police report can also help to preserve contact information for witnesses to the accident. The names and contact information for any witnesses who spoke to the police officer at the scene of the accident will be listed in the report. These witnesses can be important when it comes time to prove your case to an insurance adjuster or at the trial of your car accident lawsuit.
- The police report can also help to disprove any false claims that the other driver’s insurance company may try to make against you. For example, if the other driver claims that you were speeding at the time of the accident, but the police report does not list speeding as a factor, then their claim is less likely to be successful.
Police Reports: How to Get a Copy
If you were involved in an accident and a police officer responded to the scene, you should be able to obtain a copy of the police report by requesting it from the law enforcement agency that prepared the report. You will likely need to provide some basic information to the law enforcement agency, such as your name and the date of the accident, in order to obtain a copy of the report. There may be a small fee associated with obtaining a copy of the report.
Virginia Accident Reports: Virginia State Police
In Virginia, if the Virginia State Police investigated the crash, you will obtain the accident report from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles at the following address:
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 27412, Richmond, VA 23269
The cost to obtain an accident report from the Virginia DMV is usually $8.00
What if a Law Enforcement Officer Didn’t Come to the Accident Scene?
There are some situations where law enforcement will not come to an accident scene following a collision, such as after a crash on private property like a parking lot or in the case of a minor car accident. If police officers did not come to the scene of your accident, you may still be able to file a police report by going to the police station and filing a “counter report.”
Filing a counter report is essentially you telling the police what happened from your perspective. The officer will then document your version of events in a police report. While this type of report is not as definitive as an accident report that was filed at the time of the collision, it can still be helpful in supporting your insurance claim.
Talk With Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers
While a police report is not always an absolute necessity for filing a personal injury claim, it can be extremely helpful. A police report can establish who was at fault, document injuries, list witnesses, and disprove false claims. An experienced car accident attorney can obtain the police accident report for you, communicate with insurance adjusters for you, and help you to understand your legal rights.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us today for a free case evaluation. We will review the facts of your case and advise you of your best course of action.
Why do I need a car accident lawyer?
You may be wondering if you really need an attorney after a car accident. The answer is, it really depends on your individual situation. Some car accident cases are settled without going to court. However, if the other driver denies responsibility or if the insurance company denies your claim, you may need a law firm to take legal action to get the compensation you deserve.
When another driver is responsible for causing your injuries in a car crash, the Ritchie Law Firm is here to help. The experienced, certified car accident attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm will help you prove the other driver caused your injuries. DON’T GET HURT TWICE!! The Ritchie Law Firm will make them pay for their recklessness. We have helped thousands of injured people get the money they deserve
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Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.