Obtaining Accident/Crash Reports in North Carolina
Typically, after any North Carolina motor vehicle collision, the responding law-enforcement agency will create a crash report that will be sent to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. The report serves a critical function – preserving basic information regarding the accident and those involved. It is referred to by the Department of Motor Vehicles as a DMV Form 349. The responding officer is charged with the obligation of investigating the physical manner in which the collision took place and basic details regarding each driver or passenger, their vehicles, and their insurance coverage.
One key piece of information provided on the accident report is the identity of the insurance company insuring each driver and the policy number. After a car accident, the injured party can use this information to place the at-fault driver’s insurance company on notice of a bodily injury claim. This is usually the first step in ultimately demanding fair compensation from the insurance company for your personal injury damages.
For more serious automobile collisions, the crash report may also provide some reconstruction data. This data might include the length of tire impressions and the estimated speed at the point of contact. The crash report may also indicate that the officer took field notes. Those can be requested informally or, if necessary, by subpoena.
Many crash reports are now available online within days after the wreck. Examples include reports for collisions in the City of Raleigh and crashes where the North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded. Many other law enforcement agencies will not provide accident reports and will require a formal request to the DMV.
The Raleigh personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Law can assist you in obtaining any North Carolina crash report and with completing a full investigation into your collision and injuries. We handle all automobile accident claims on a contingency fee basis. For a free consultation with a licensed North Carolina attorney regarding your case, please visit our contact page or call 919.480.8526.