How to Request an Accident Report
Posted on December 2021
If you get hurt in a car crash, obtaining a copy of the accident report is one of the most critical steps you can take afterward. Accident reports often contain information necessary to prove fault for motor vehicle crashes. You could use the details the officer provided to show that another driver is responsible for causing your injuries, and you deserve compensation.
Although you know you need the accident report, you probably don’t know where to find it. You should hire a lawyer to help you request a copy and locate other vital evidence that could help you in your case.
What Is an Accident Report?
An accident report, also referred to as a police report, crash report, or collision report, consists of details associated with a motor vehicle accident. If someone calls 911, an officer should show up at the scene and speak to everyone involved. They can jot down all of the information they obtain and include it in the accident report.
The information the investigating officer writes in the report can include:
- Date and time of the crash
- Location of the collision
- Names and phone numbers of every driver, passenger, and non-motorist involved
- Cause of the accident
- Description of events with a diagram showing how the crash occurred
- Traffic citations issued to the motorists
- Any injuries sustained in the crash
- Determination of fault
- Type of damage to each car
The officer’s description of events leading up to the accident and who they think caused it isn’t always factual. Law enforcement determines fault based on their opinion and the statements they obtain from the drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Someone could lie about what they saw or provide inaccurate details that sway the officer’s decision.
The driver responsible for the crash could try to blame you, so you can’t hold them liable. If the investigating officer took their statement as fact and determined you were at fault, the insurance company could deny your claim. Fortunately, you have a right to pursue a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
How to Report an Accident
State law requires notifying law enforcement of motor vehicle crashes if they result in an injury, death, or property damage of at least $1,000. If an officer arrives at the accident scene to investigate, they should submit an accident report within 24 hours.
The best thing you can do after an accident is call 911. Inform them of the crash and request an officer to come to the scene. If you or anyone else suffered injuries, you should also ask for an ambulance.
You need the accident report to use as evidence during your claim. If it indicates someone else’s actions caused the crash, you might be able to prove you deserve a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
How to Request an Accident Report in North Carolina
Specific individuals can request an accident report, such as:
- A parent of a minor involved in a car crash
- Drivers, passengers, and non-motorists with injuries or property damage from the accident
- Insurance companies of policyholders involved in the crash
- Attorneys representing the accident victim
You could request a copy of the report online through the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles website. There are options to submit your request in person, over the phone, or by mail. However, you must pay a fee to receive a copy.
BuyCrash is another website you can use to obtain an accident report. This service also charges a fee for copies. You must enter specific information to receive the report through this site, such as:
- State and jurisdiction of the crash
- Your last name and the date of the accident
- Accident report number
- Your last name and the location of the collision
You might have to wait several days or weeks before you can get a copy. It takes time for reports to become available.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact DeMayo Law Offices
At DeMayo Law Offices, we have represented clients since 1992. Our North Carolina car accident lawyers have over 150 years of combined legal experience handling insurance claims and lawsuits for injured victims. We understand how traumatic a situation like this can be and aim to provide the legal support and guidance you need to get through this overwhelming experience.
When you hire us, we will review the circumstances of the crash to determine how we can help. We can create a strategy to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their misconduct and seek the compensation you deserve. You will not have to face this difficult process alone. Our legal team will remain by your side until the end.
If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact DeMayo Law Offices. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you whenever you need us. Call for a free consultation today at (877) 333-1000.