How to File an Accident Report in Virginia

person filing a report

You may know that you should file an accident report after being involved in a motor vehicle crash in Virginia. However, you may not be familiar with the process of reporting an auto accident, when you must file a report, and what information is contained in accident reports. This article provides some important information about how to file an accident report in Virginia.

How to File an Accident Report in Virginia

A driver may file an accident report after a crash in Virginia with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV provides an accident report form. The form should be accompanied by an Information Request Form and the required $8 fee. Accident reports can be filed by mail, fax, or in person at a DMV customer service center.

An auto accident that results in death, injury, or property damage must be reported to the Virginia State Police or local law enforcement, any injured persons, the drivers of any vehicles involved in the accident, and the owners of any damaged property.

What Important Information Does a Police Report Contain?

Police officers who respond to the scene of a motor vehicle accident that results in death, injury, or estimated property damage of at least $1,500 must file a written police accident report within 24 hours of the accident. Police accident reports contain important details about the accident, including:

  • The date and time of the crash
  • The location of the crash
  • The names, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information of each driver involved in the accident
  • The make, model, color, registration number, and VIN of each vehicle involved in the accident
  • The names of any other persons injured in the accident, such as passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians
  • The conditions at the scene of the crash
  • A diagram of the accident, including identification of any damaged property
  • A description of the sequence of events in the accident
  • An explanation of what caused the accident and which drivers may bear fault for the crash

How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Virginia?

Drivers are required to report car accidents as promptly as possible. Accidents that result in injuries or serious property damage should immediately be reported to the State Police or local law enforcement. DMV accident reports should be filed within 24 to 48 hours of the accident.

Failing to report a car accident is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia criminal law if the accident caused $1,000 or less of property damage. However, charges can be upgraded to a Class 5 felony if the accident caused more than $1,000 of property damage, injury, or death.

Contact a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Today

Contact the law firm of Arrington Schelin now for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Virginia car accident attorney about your options for pursuing compensation. Our firm can help you file a motor vehicle accident report and obtain copies of police accident reports for your car accident claim.