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Trial lawyers seek to speed access to crash reports

A surprise change in policy for the Virginia State Police has trial lawyers working to try to avoid long delays in getting copies of crash reports for accidents worked by state troopers.

As of July 1, the State Police no longer will provide copies of the crash report forms filled out by troopers. Lawyers, insurance companies and drivers seeking VSP crash reports now must request them only from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

DMV copies of crash reports are not available until 30 days after the crash, whereas police agencies generally have them available much sooner. The change in state law came through two identical bills, both of which carried summaries that failed to mention the “sole source” action.

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