Tort Law

Accident Reports

This page is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court dealing with the topic of accident reports and the related topic of vehicle accidents.For more information about police accident reports see the site of the Virginia State Police.

Accident Reports-Statutes

See Va. Code § 46.2-377 indicating that accident reports shall be for confidential use of Division of Motor Vehicles. Of similar import is Va. Code § 46.2-379 dealing with reports of investigating officer.

See Va. Code § 46.2-378 indicating that accident reports to Division of Motor Vehicles shall not be used as evidence in any trial.

Accident Reports-Cases

2000 Acuar v. Letourneau, 260 Va. 180, 531 S.E.2d 316.

During trial, counsel referred to police accident report indirectly. The numerous references to the report in this case were prejudicial and reversible error.

1996 Cherry v. DS Nash Constr. Co., 252 Va. 241, 475 S.E.2d 794.

Statement given by State Trooper in regards to automobile accident as recorded in field notes was not barred by Va. Code § 46.2-379 because these particular field notes were not part of accident report even though statement later appeared in accident report.

1993 Galbraith v. Flemming, 245 Va. 173, 427 S.E.2d 187.

In this case, state trooper involved in motor vehicle accident. Trooper was also investigating officer. It was error for court to admit trooper’s diagram into evidence in violation of Va. Code § 46.2-379.

1978 Davis v. Colgin, 219 Va. 5, 244 S.E.2d 750.

Virginia Code § 46.1-109 [now § 46.2-379] forbids use of motor vehicle accident reports filed pursuant to Va. Code § 46.1-401 [now § 46.2-373] as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of any accident. Permitting reference to report by either party or counsel is prejudicial error.

1970 Phillips v. Schools, 211 Va. 19, 175 S.E.2d 279.

Accident reports not available to impeach witness by reference to report. See Va. Code § 46.1-407 [now § 46.2-377].

1966 Oliphant v. Snyder, 206 Va. 932, 147 S.E.2d 122.

Diagram contained in police report excluded.

1964 Lee v. Artis, 205 Va. 343, 136 S.E.2d 868.

Portions of accident report read into evidence. Improper because prohibited by Va. Code § 46.1-409 [now § 46.2-379] and because it is ex parte statement and hearsay.

1963 Carter v. Nelms, 204 Va. 338, 131 S.E.2d 401.

Plaintiff used D.M.V. report to contradict defendant. No objection was made at trial and thus objection was waived.

1943 Robertson v. Commonwealth, 181 Va. 520, 25 S.E.2d 352.

Statement concerning accident which is obtained by employer from employee for purpose of being communicated to attorney for advice or for use in litigation is privileged.

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Accident Reports

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