How to Obtain Your Crash Report – North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
When an investigating officer arrives at the scene of a car accident, one of his primary duties is to complete a report of how the crash occurred, also known as a DMV-349. In North Carolina, reportable accidents, or those where crash reports are produced, must meet one of the following criteria:
1. A fatality occurred;
2. A non-fatal personal injury occurred;
3. Property damage exceeded $1,000.00;
4. Property damage occurred to a vehicle seized; or,
5. A vehicle was seized under General Statute 20-28.2.
If one of the above events did not occur, parties may opt to complete an Exchange of Information form, rather than a police report. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-166 mandates that, when a report is required, the investigating officer must make a written report of the crash within 24 hours and must submit said report to the Division of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.
You may have been asked on the scene if you wanted to receive a copy of the report. If you made such a request, the report will be delivered via first-class mail upon its completion. If you did not request a copy of the report at the scene of the accident, or your requested report has not arrived, there are several ways to obtain a copy:
- Initially, contact the responding agency. If a city police officer investigated the crash, call the non-emergency telephone number to the police station and ask how to obtain a crash report. The reports are generally provided free of charge, however, there may be a small processing fee. The responding agency can generally provide the crash report directly
- If there was a problem with the report or the report was amended, or for some other reason is unavailable from the responding agency, you will need to contact the DMV Traffic Records branch in person at 1100 New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, North Carolina, or by writing to Traffic Records Branch, NC DMV, 3106 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-3106
To keep the crash report simple, the majority of the information is coded and corresponds to items listed in the DMV-349 Instruction Manual. At first glance, the report may appear to merely be numbered inside of boxes. However, each box provides an essential description of your car accident.
If you need help obtaining, or understanding, your crash report, contact your Durham Personal Injury Attorney. Our attorneys will review your report at no charge and explain its impact on your case. For a free consultation call Wallace Pierce Law at (919) 887-7892.