North Carolina law requires drivers to stop and notify the police if they are involved in a car accident that causes personal injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage. Local police will respond to accident reports on city streets. Either the North Carolina Highway Patrol or local law enforcement may handle crashes that occur on major highways such as Interstate 40, Interstate 85, and I-440. The investigating officer will file an accident report.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you should obtain a copy of the police report. You will need it for filing a car accident claim. If you need to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your losses, the report may be helpful in documenting what happened in the accident and the damages you have suffered.
The Raleigh car accident lawyers at Hardison & Cochran in Raleigh can help if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in North Carolina due to someone else’s negligence. You may be entitled to file a car accident injury claim seeking fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. One of the first things a car accident attorney will want to do when investigating a motor vehicle accident is look at the police reports. If you don’t have the report when you meet with our law firm, we can help you obtain a copy.
To discuss a potential car accident claim with an experienced car accident lawyer, contact Hardison & Cochran today to set up a free consultation.
Where Do I Obtain a Car Accident Report Filed by the Police?
Law enforcement personnel who respond to car wrecks in North Carolina are required to complete and file Crash Report Form DMV-349. This report is to be forwarded to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days.
Car crash reports are public records that must be made reasonably available to the general public. The DMV must provide a certified copy of a police report to anyone who requests a copy and pays the fee.
The DMV provides two locations where you may obtain a crash report in person:
- Raleigh Central Services/License Plate Agency, 4121 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC
- Huntersville License Plate Agency, 12101 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, Huntersville.
To get a report, you must complete a Crash Report Request Form (TR-67A) and pay $5.50 per certified copy. You must also present a valid ID.
You can get up to five certified copies in person. Requests for more must be completed by mail.
To get car accident reports by mail, send a completed TR-67A form and a check for the proper fee to:
Traffic Records Branch
Crash Reports Unit
3106 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3106
Allow 10 business days from when DMV receives your request for it to be processed.
Many local police departments, especially in larger cities, have moved their public records services online. Fees and policies may vary.
Raleigh Police Department accident reports may be found at a site provided by the City of Raleigh.
Chapel Hill police records are also available at a site provided by Police to Citizen.
If the N.C. Highway Patrol responded to the crash, the Highway Patrol website refers citizens to the DMV web page that explains where to get accident reports in person or by mail.
In Cary, the second-largest city in Wake County, the police department’s website re-directs to the DMV web page.
What Information Is Available in Car Accident Reports?
Police reports filed after auto accidents contain factual information about motor vehicle accidents, including:
- Names and addresses of drivers involved in the crash
- Injury status
- Driver’s license numbers
- Passengers, pedestrians, cyclists involved in the crash
- Whether alcohol or drug use was suspected and tests were administered to possible drunk drivers
- Whether a ticket was issued or charges were filed
- Accident location
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions and visibility
- Vehicle descriptions and their damage
- Whether emergency vehicles responded to the accident
- Estimates of vehicle speed at the time of the accident
- The sequence of events involved in the crash
- Sketched diagram of the accident and accident scene
- Identify of at-fault party if determined
- Narrative description of the car accident and the officer’s opinion as to its cause.
It is good to review the police report after you have been in an accident in case the report contains inaccuracies that need to be corrected. You may ask the officer who filed the report to change it or to at least attach a statement from you to the report. This request must be in writing and accompanied by evidence and should be asked in a respectful manner. If Hardison & Cochran represents you in a Raleigh car accident claim, we can help you with this request.
Our Raleigh car accident lawyers use the automobile accident report from your crash as a starting point for developing a personal injury case. An insurance company will take into account the information in a police report when reviewing car accident claims. If an auto accident case goes to court, the official accident report and testimony from the law enforcement officers who filed the report are potentially strong evidence as to what happened to you and the severe injuries you sustained.
Do You Need a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer? Call Us Today
If you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, it is crucial that you take steps to protect your legal rights. You may need to pursue an injury claim and hold the at-fault driver financially accountable. You may file a personal injury case and seek to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, physical pain, emotional distress, damages, and other losses. Get a copy of the accident report and contact a car accident attorney as soon as you can.
The Raleigh, NC, car accident attorneys at Hardison & Cochran have more than 30 years of experience standing up for North Carolinians who have been injured in car accidents. Schedule a free consultation and review of your accident and injuries. If you have any questions, contact a Raleigh car accident attorney at 252-333-3333 or reach us online today.
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