A car accident report is an official law enforcement document recounting the details of your crash. In West Virginia, the law requires you to report a car accident if it causes $1,000 or more in damages, personal injuries or deaths. When you report a crash to 911, one or more officers will visit the scene, interview those involved and put together a crash report.

You must also file a separate report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for crashes involving injuries or over $500 in damages. As a victim, you may need copies of these car accident reports for the processes that come next – such as an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Requirements for a Car Accident Report

Every police officer that investigates a car accident that results in bodily injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in damages on a public street must fill out and file a police report documenting the accident. The officer must interview anyone involved in the accident and record the answers within 24 hours of completing the investigation. Interviews typically happen at the scene, but the officer may contact witnesses for follow-up questions later. The report must contain certain information pertaining to the accident.

  • Time, date and location
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of both drivers
  • Descriptions of involved vehicles (make, model, color)
  • Roadway conditions at the time of the accident
  • Names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
  • Witness statements
  • What the officer thinks might have caused the accident

When an officer finishes a car accident report, he or she will send it to the Division of Highways. The submitted report must be in writing or delivered electronically. The division will process the police report and distribute it to all involved law-enforcement agencies or officers. A police officer has a maximum of 10 days after a car accident to submit a report. If by day 10 the officer has not completed his or her crash investigation, the officer must submit a preliminary report with everything gathered so far.

Requesting a Police Report

As a crash victim, you have the right to request a copy of the accident report the responding officer submitted. Wait at least 10 days after the accident. Then, contact the law enforcement office closest to where the crash occurred. Give the clerk the date and location of the accident, as well as your name, to find your report.

You may need to pay a fee to purchase a copy of the accident report. The fee can range from a $20 print fee to over $500 for a longer document known as a reconstructed report. A reconstructed report contains a comprehensive look into what might have caused the accident based on an expert opinion from a professional reconstructionist. These documents typically only exist if an insurance company, West Virginia car accident lawyer, or other investigator hires a reconstructionist to look into the accident for further evidence.

Make Copies of Your DMV Report

It is up to you as a driver to submit a crash report to the DMV within the time limit. Do this by filling out and submitting Form AR-13 to the DMV office in the county where the accident occurred. You can download and print the form or get a copy from your local DMV office. This form validates whether you had adequate vehicle insurance at the time of the collision.

If you forget or fail to file this report, the DMV could suspend your driving privileges. Keep a copy of your accident report by printing an extra for yourself before sending it electronically or by mail to the DMV. An insurance company may want to see copies of this report later. A personal injury attorney could help you get copies of all police reports and other accident-related documents before you file your injury claim in West Virginia.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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