Recovering financially after a serious truck accident requires taking the right steps and arming yourself with the proper paperwork. That starts with getting a copy of the report filed by police who responded to the accident. You’ll need those details for filing a claim with the insurance company but also when working with an attorney to prepare for a lawsuit against the liable driver or trucking company. Not sure how to get your hands on that report? Here’s what you need to know.
Steps to Obtain a Virginia Truck Crash Report
A few different routes are available to acquire a crash report depending on where the accident took place and who arrived at the scene to assess fault. One of the simplest options is to submit a paper request to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Why go through the DMV instead of the police department? The Department of Motor Vehicles maintains records of any vehicle accident reported to the three main law enforcement agencies in the area. That means your report will typically be available quickly whether the initial reporting officers on the scene were from the:
- Richmond City Sheriff’s Office
- Richmond Police Department
- Virginia State Police
The DMV is able to provide you with accident details through a copy of the police report if you were a driver, passenger, injured pedestrian, or the parent of anyone hurt in the crash. Those parties can make a request to the DMV in person at a customer service center, through the mail, or via fax. Whichever route you use, be sure to include your payment and the completed DMV information request form. Make sure that the form has these critically needed details to avoid delays:
- Date and time of the Richmond truck accident
- Details of your involvement in the incident (if you were driving a vehicle, injured as a passenger, etc.)
- Location of the crash (specific street address within Richmond)
- Name of the truck driver
- Your driver’s license number if you were driving
Of course, the DMV isn’t the only option for getting a Virginia truck accident report. If it’s more convenient for your situation, you can also request records from the Sheriff’s Office or Police Department either in person or over the phone.
Other Evidence You Need After a Truck Accident Injury near Henrico County
A police report is only one piece of evidence necessary to negotiate with an insurance company or argue your case in court during a personal injury lawsuit, however. You may also need other crucial evidence like driver logs or employment records in cases where logbook violations or inadequate training led to the accident.
Truck maintenance schedules and medical documentation can also play a critical role in explaining how the accident took place and who is responsible. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, accident reconstruction experts and other witnesses may be necessary to testify about how the crash took place and what impact it has had on your life.
That sort of documentation is often more difficult to acquire than a police report, which is why retaining a qualified attorney is crucial to protecting yourself after an accident. Truck crash injuries are typically extremely expensive in terms of both medical costs and the physical impact on your ability to work. Because of how high your eventual compensation may be, both the liable trucking company and their insurer have a clear financial interest in paying less than you deserve.
An attorney who has handled truck cases before can look out for common defenses used by negligent truckers, the company that hired them, or the insurance adjuster to avoid responsibility. While sidestepping those pitfalls, your legal representative can fight for the fair and complete amount you are actually owed, covering medical bills, lost income while recovering, and emotional suffering.
Talk to an Experienced Richmond Truck Accident Attorney
Do you need help getting a copy of your accident report, or do you already have it in hand and aren’t sure what to do next? Talk to an attorney who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Find out more by calling (804) 409-0876 or sending your contact info online here.