Finding And Interpreting Your Nc Crash Report

Have you been in a vehicle accident here in North Carolina? If so, it would be wise to obtain a copy of your accident report. While these are not prepared for every single accident, the officer must prepare one in the event that

Have you been in a vehicle accident here in North Carolina? If so, it would be wise to obtain a copy of your accident report. While these are not prepared for every single accident, the officer must prepare one in the event that:

  • the accident has caused a fatality;
  • the accident caused a non-fatal personal injury;
  • the accident resulted in property damage of any amount to a seized vehicle;
  • the police have seized a vehicle which is subject to forfeiture; or
  • the personal or property damage is greater than $1,000.

Where to Find It

If one of the above has occurred, you may search online for the report, which will be made available generally between 24-72 hours after the accident has occurred. A number of city and county police departments have a Police to Citizen website where they can be found.

  • Charlotte Police Department
  • Raleigh Police Department
  • Department of Public Safety (for accidents investigated by the NC State Highway Patrol and occurring on the interstate)
  • A Listing of Various Departments with Online Reports

If you cannot find it online, go in person to your local police department. You can also mail a completed Crash Report Request Form TR-67A, along with a check for $5, to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

Interpreting the Report

The crash reports tend to be rather confusing for readers. To help you break the numerical codes listed on the report, check out this key. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has also published an instruction manual online, available here.

First, check to ensure that the officer properly described the identities of each driver and who was driving which vehicle. The bottom of the second page will have a box that states whether anyone has received a citation.

You can see whether the officer determined that the driver of the first vehicle was at fault in boxes 14, 15, and 16, which are filled with numbers. You can see whether the driver of the second vehicle was at fault by looking at boxes 17, 18, and 19. Use the above-mentioned key to see what each number means.

On page 1, at the bottom, you will see the other driver's insurance company and policy number. This is the insurance company you will likely be dealing with during the settlement.

Note that the officer's statements written in the report are not conclusive. With witnesses, videos, photographs, and other evidence, it may be possible to have the officer amend her or his report.

If you have been in an auto accident and would like to speak with a dependable and experienced personal injury attorney, please call our Concord, NC office today.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered or substituted as legal advice.