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According to the law in North Carolina, it is essential to prove the fault of another party before you can receive compensation for a motor vehicle accident. The DMV-349 or the Raleigh crash report is an important piece of evidence here.

The police must file a report at the crash scene when there is any traffic accident in North Carolina that leads to a fatality, injury, property damage amounting to at least $1,000, or any amount of damage to a vehicle that has been confiscated for illegal activity such as in a DUI. However, it can also be difficult to understand because it is often written in short had and there a lot of sections that describe minute details of the crash.

It is important that, after an accident, you ask for a police report as soon as possible and verify its accuracy. An astute car accident lawyer would be able to help you understand how to read a Raleigh crash report (Form DMV-349).

Crash Report Checklist

The DMV-349 contains simple and direct information that explains what happened in the crash. The body of the report should have accurate information such as:

  • Owner identification
  • Driver identification
  • Vehicle information
  • Crash sequence
  • Names and addresses of all involved
  • Diagram
  • Roadway information
  • Narrative

Sections of the Report Relevant in Determining Fault

The boxes near the margins of the first page are statistical code boxes that are used by the DMV to collate accident data. When it comes to establishing fault, the boxes along the right-side margin are the most important. Boxes 14 through 16 show the role of the driver of the first vehicle in the crash. The contribution of the driver of the second vehicle is indicated in boxes 17 through 19.

The bottom of the second page will tell whether the officer issued a citation to either driver. If a driver received a citation, it may be easy to prove fault. However, not every accident caused by negligence results in a citation.

Box 37 indicates whether the officer suspects drugs and alcohol were involved. Like the section indicating whether there were any citations, this can help easily explain whether someone was clearly at fault.

Looking at these will give the reader an idea of the standing of their case in terms of liability. It will show whether the officer saw any problem with their driving. This assumes significance under North Carolina law, which adheres to strict comparative fault. In case of an adverse report against the person, additional evidence will have to be collected in their favor.

What is the Legal Significance of the DMV-349 Report?

The general public, lawyers, insurance, companies, and judges can all view North Carolina Crash Report Form DMV-349. An accurate and detailed investigation into the crash and filing of a report are essential for ensuring crash prevention programs and successful prosecution in court.

Any further investigation that follows will be based on the kind of information found in the DMV-349. The road conditions when the crash occurred, the location of the accident, and all other evidence must be recorded correctly by the officer during the initial investigation for any kind of recreation of the scene.

If you were in a car accident, you do not have to figure out how to read a Raleigh crash report (Form DMV-349) alone. A Raleigh car accident attorney can review the report with you and help you understand what it means. Call today to set up a free consultation.