The Importance of Police Reports in a Virginia Car Accident | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

If you have been injured in a car accident in Virginia, it is important for any legal action you may take against the at-fault driver to make sure you have the police report from the crash. This is one of the reasons why you should always contact law enforcement from the sight of the accident, regardless of what the other driver may say. Not only is it required by law, but it can also help prove the other driver’s liability for your losses.

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, that police report could end up being a vital piece of evidence for your accident claim. Typically, you can request a copy of the police report from the records division of the law enforcement agency that responded to the crash. Your Virginia car accident attorney can also obtain a copy of the report.

Details in a Police Report

There is often a myriad of details contained in a police report that your personal injury attorney will be able to reference as he or she builds the case against the at-fault driver. The officer who takes the report should include the date, time, and location of the crash, along with details of that location, such as whether it was in a school zone, parking lot, street, etc. If the officer issued any traffic citations or made any arrests, this information will also be included in the report.

The officer will also include details about the types of vehicles involved. For example, if one of the vehicles was a commercial truck, the report should contain information such as the size and weight of the vehicle and the type of cargo being transported.  

Other vehicle details contained in the police report should include:

  • The make, model, and body style of all vehicles involved in the incident.
  • The state and number of the license plates of all vehicles involved in the incident.
  • Vehicle identification numbers (VIN)
  • Where the vehicles were towed to if drivers were unable to drive them away from the scene.

The police report should also contain specific information about each driver involved in the accident. This includes the driver’s name and contact information, license number, type of license, and vehicle insurance company information. The officer will also include information on any injuries the drivers sustained and the extent of the seriousness of these injuries. If either driver was given a sobriety test, this information will also be in the report.

The report will also include important information about any passengers in the vehicles:

  • Name and contact information
  • Whether the passenger was wearing a seat belt or other type of safety restraint
  • What the seating position of the passenger was
  • Whether the passenger was ejected from the vehicle
  • The seriousness of any injuries sustained

Along with passenger information, the officer will also take contact information and statements from any eyewitnesses to the accident. This is also helpful for your attorney to be able to follow up with these witnesses later on.

Although the officer taking the report did not witness the accident, they often form opinions of how and why they believed the crash occurred and which driver is at fault. Many police officers will even include a diagram of what they believe the sequence of events of the accidents were. This information can be very valuable in a car accident claim, especially if the case ends up going in front of a jury.

Contact Our Office Today

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. It is critical to remember that Virginia has placed a statute of limitation for how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.

Contact our office today at (833) 997-1774 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia accident attorneys. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement. Call our office to find out how we can help.